Brit Milah / Circumcision

One of the primary commandments of God to His people was that of circumcision. It is a covenant between God and man. By creating us with an imperfection, God taught us that our job in this world is to partner with Him in perfecting ourselves.

The process is simple and is virtually painless to the child. No anesthesia is given, for numbing the area could cause more pain than the circumcision itself, and could greatly hinder the healing process.

The Procedure

 The Brit Milah/Circumcision has been practiced for thousands of years, since the time of Abraham. The foreskin is fully removed to expose the ridge on the penis. Doctors do not always remove the entire foreskin, and that would not be considered a Brit Milah.
The first step of the process is the Mohel meeting with the parents. This can take place before or after the baby is born, depending on the preference of the parents. The Mohel first makes sure that the baby is in perfect health. Any health concern must be discussed with the Mohel, because the law prohibits a Brit Milah on a child that is not 100% healthy.
Next, the ceremony is planned. The Mohel will use pictures or a short Powerpoint presentation to illustrate the different parts of the ceremony, so the parents will be completely comfortable with what is going to happen. He will offer the option of explaining the ceremony to the guests in attendance, and whether they would like to recite a short prayer immediately prior to the Brit. They also have the option to bestow certain honors upon family members and friends. 

The first step of the process is the Mohel meeting with the parents. This can take place before or after the baby is born, depending on the preference of the parents. The Mohel first makes sure that the baby is in perfect health. Any health concern must be discussed with the Mohel, because the law prohibits a Brit Milah on a child that is not 100% healthy.

Next, the ceremony is planned. The Mohel will use pictures or a short Powerpoint presentation to illustrate the different parts of the ceremony, so the parents will be completely comfortable with what is going to happen. He will offer the option of explaining the ceremony to the guests in attendance, and whether they would like to recite a short prayer immediately prior to the Brit. They also have the option to bestow certain honors upon family members and friends. 

Common Misconceptions

 "Anesthesia is a more humane method"

This is a myth. The administering of anesthesia is more painful than the entire process of the Milah, and has side effects as well.  Circumcision performed by a doctor is a long, drawn-out process in which the blood vessels are sutured off to minimize bleeding. This gives the illusion of a more gentle procedure, but it is excruciatingly painful for the child and therefore does require anesthesia.

"A hospital is the safest place to have the circumcision"

 A Mohel uses sterile instruments, scrubs up, and uses sterile bandages and ointments. Circumcision infections are exceedingly rare and a Mohel experiences an infection rate no higher than in hospitals or by physicians. No further precautions are necessary.


 

"Rabbi Ezra Cohen performed a Bris for both my sons with most impressive precision and skill, while providing a very meaningful experience for our family and friends of all walks of life. He helped to make these some of the happiest days of my life."

-- Justin Goodwin, Southfield MI