Re: jewish birth traditions #hungary

Z Schonbrun <zschonbr@...>

"Witness to the circumcision" is most likely referring to the Sandek, the
person who receives the honor of resting the baby on his lap while the
circumcision is performed. This honor is traditionally given to a respected
family member or other prominent person, with first in line usually being
the grandfather of the baby - i.e. it's quite likely that this would be the
baby's mother's father. Traditionally, a person would not use the same
person as sandek twice, so it would make sense that this name would not
appear as "witness" to any of this baby's brothers.

----- Original Message -----
From: "d pfalzer" <>
To: "H-SIG" <>
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 2:15 PM
Subject: [h-sig] jewish birth traditions

As a result of my recent success with locating my
Neumann branch in Belicza [found in the county of
Zala], I have a question about one item of information
on my ggm's brother's birth record.

On these birth records I see a column headed "Name der
Pathen eder Zeugen" that I have surmised is the
witness to the circumcision. Please help me
understand who I should expect these people to be.
How would they be chosen?

In particular, what I really wish to know is that
given that the witness to the eldest son's
circumcision has the surname Kohn -- the same as the
mother's maiden name -- what is the likelihood that he
is her father? Can anything be read into his not
appearing as the witness for later grandsons?

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