The common age for brit milah (circumcision) is eight days, but as always in life – there are exceptions to the rule. Many men, who for various reasons were not circumcised as babies, choose to undergo the procedure years later.
This weekend, for example, an 87-year-old man and an 81-year-old man were circumcised by a mohel (circumciser) working with the Ezrat Achim-Brit Yosef organization, which is dedicated to circumcising Jews of all ages across the world.
To this day the organization has circumcised some 35,000 Jews in hundreds of countries, including Guatemala, Japan and Finland.
The organization offers full circumcision or a correction procedure free of charge. Children younger than 13 go through the procedure under general anesthesia, while older applicants only receive local anesthesia.
Once the procedure is completed, the circumcised gets a mitzvah meal and a free ride home.
5 million uncircumcised
"We put Jews on the right track in the easiest way possible, explained Aryeh Amit, Ezrat Achim's director. "We come to pick them up from the house, and then return them, give them a mitzvah meal and if they promise to lay teffilin we also give them teffilin as a gift."
According to Amit, the organization was founded by his father 20 years ago, to help the millions of Jews who grew up in the Soviet Union and were never circumcised. "According to our data, there are about five million uncircumcised Jews. A large part of them have no connection to Judaism, or simply don't know what it entails.
"We let them know that such an option exists, and practically give it to them on a golden platter. When someone comes to us we ask him about his family, and this way we sometimes end up circumcising entire families."
Yitzhak, 81, learned about the organization through an ad in the paper. He immigrated to Israel m15 years ago, and revealed the decision to have a brit only to his wife. After the circumcision Ezrat Achim also celebrated a bar mitzvah with Yitzhak and presented him with his own teffilin.
Next week the organization is expected to break its record by circumcising a 90-year-old man in the United States. Mazal Tov!