The Night Before the Brit
The night before the Bris is called “Leil Shimurim,” or in Yiddish, “Vach Nacht” — the night of vigil. Jewish mystical teachings explain that because the mitzvah of Brit Milah is so great and spiritually powerful, negative spiritual forces are at work to hinder the performance of this mitzvah. Therefore, one must take positive action during the night before the Brit to serve as a spiritual protection.
A beautiful tradition passed down through the generations is the custom of inviting children to come to the home of the newborn on the night before the Brit to pray, recite Psalms, and make blessings over food. Children’s voices are pure and their souls are unblemished. Their prayers pierce the heavens, forming a spiritual shield and drawing down blessings upon the newborn and the entire household.
The following are some of the prayers traditionally recited by the children in the presence of the newborn:
During this night, the father devotes himself to Torah study, ideally near the child. Some material has been provided here.
It is also appropriate to keep some light on in the child’s room throughout the night.