Never Too Late for a Mitzvah

It is never too Late to carry out a mitzvah, said Ivan Alexandrovitz of Jerusalem, a recent oleh from the Soviet Union, and asked doctors at the Shaarei Zedek Hospital to be circumcised.

The doctors could not hide their surprise –after all, Alexandrovitz is 85-years-old — but went ahead and performed the operation. The unusual Brit Mila was performed by veteran Jerusalem mohel, Rabbi Yosef Weissberg. Surgeons and rabbis gathered in the operating theater and Weissberg said: “He is the oldest nimol since Abraham the Patriarch, who was circumcised at the ripe age of 99.”

The patient was released from the hospital yesterday after four days of rest and was described as “very pleased” with the operation. Alexandrovitz was given only a local anesthetic. He was conscious during the operation and heard the rabbis recite the usual prayer for the soul of his late mother and father in the circumcision prayer.

Alexandrovitz arrived in Israel from the USSR only six weeks ago. He grew up in a Russian children’s home and was not circumcised. Though later in life he became a religious Jew, he was unable to undergo circumcision because Soviet hospitals do not circumcise adults.

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