A Brit Milah, also known as a Bris, is a celebration in Judaism where an eight day old boy is circumcised and given his Jewish name. Traditionally, the infant is placed on the lap of a respected member of the community – often a leader – for the duration of the ceremony. The idea of a bris pillow developed from the desire to keep the child calm during the ceremony and a comfortable pillow was the simplest way to do so. Since then, the idea of bris pillows has expanded and they are now popular Judaica items used in the Brit Milah as well as other area of Jewish life, such as in the Wimpel ceremony in German communities.
If you would like to buy a bris pillow, they are almost exclusively white. In addition, they actually refer to a pillow case, not the pillow itself. However, beyond this you can have almost any design embroidered into the pillow. Bris Pillows are often decorated with quotations from the liturgy read during the Brit ceremony, specifically the wish that the child have a bright future amongst his Jewish brethren. Another common decoration is the Chair of Elijah, which in Judaism is considered to be a place of honor.
Bris pillows also can be decorated with traditional Jewish themes, such as the Old City of Jerusalem. It is also common for the baby’s full Hebrew name to be embroidered into the pillow as well.
World of Judaica invites you to browse our collection of unique Bris Pillows. If you would like to learn more about what that Brit Milah means in Judaism, please visit our learning center. For assistance regarding a specific item or to ask a question, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to address your questions.