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Circumcision cups

The mohel may use a cup or cups as part of the brit milah ceremony.  I have these cups as examples: 

German circumcision
        cupsGerman circumcision cupsThese German silver cups are from the late 19th or early 20th century.  One cup is inscribed with kos shel (cup of) metzitzah and the other cup with kos shel bracha.  The first inscription refers to metzitzah, the practice of oral suction from the circumcision wound.  The second cup is for a wine blessing.

The double barrel was a popular German design for circumcision and marriage cups.  Examples exist from as early as the 1700s.

Caution:  it is likely that the inscriptions are not original to the cups and were added later. 

German circumcision cups--inscriptions


Dutch circumcision cupsThe pair of silver circumcision cups on the right have Amsterdam hallmarks from 1853.  The cups are gilded inside.  Unlike the cups above, an expert antiques dealer judged the inscriptions authentic.














The impressive box below and to the left is engraved Beryl Raizman, Mohel Castalla.  The box contains two cups hallmarked Vienna 1856, shown below and to the right.  Both cups are inscribed in Hebrew, one for blessing and one for metzizah.  Each cup is rather tall, 10 cm.  There is also a glass and tripod silver piece in this set. 
Antique circumcision cup boxAntique circumcision cups from Vienna

1951 Bris CupGerman Metzizah CupTo the right is a metzitzah cup.  Two crowned animals flank the cartouche.  There are crescent moon and crown hallmarks which identify the cup as German.  There is an additional mark from the silver maker Bruckmann and Söhne, circa 1930. 

  Further to the right is a cup engraved in Swedish.  Dated 1951, the cup is from the child's grandfather and aunt.
 

Click here to learn more about metzitzah b'peh, a controversial practice.

The next section features some interesting items associated with circumcision.  Click the button below.


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Copyright 2006-2017, Robert Lehrer, MD