Information for the family regarding the Brit

Mazel tov! It is my sincere desire that you and your family are able to focus on the simcha (joy) of this greatest of mitzvot. A few simple preparations on your part will minimize your anxiety and assure the least discomfort to your child.

A basic understanding of the medical aspects of the circumcision will hopefully allay your fears regarding the comfort of your son. Children younger than three months old lack the cognitive processes required to feel emotions. They cannot form memories at this young age, and are therefore unable to experience the adult emotions of “anxiety” and “fear." To your son, the circumcision will be a “non-event” a brief moment of discomfort without any lasting imprint on your child's future development or behavior. Similarly, infants are incapable of being embarrassed by the fact that others will observe an act which to adults is very personal and private.

Infants do experience comfort and discomfort. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that anesthesia be used during all circumcisions to reduce discomfort. For these reasons I will make every effort to provide an environment which is as comfortable as possible and recommend acetaminophen and an anesthetic block prior to the circumcision. Your child may cry simply from being undressed and exposed to the coolness of room air. We will also ease his discomfort by dipping 'sugar gauze' into wine and letting him 'drink' as much of this wine as he desires (this amounts to only a few drops; your son will not get drunk!) The sugar he will ingest stimulates the release of endorphins. These are our body’s natural hormones that help to calm us and relieve discomfort.

For reasons of safety, comfort, and halacha (Jewish law), I perform the circumcision with the Mogen clamp, traditionally preferred by Mohalim. The Mogen clamp protects the head of the penis and allows the Mohel (or father) to circumcise the infant in much less time (thereby less time the baby is being held in position) than the other clamp (gomco) used by some. The circumcision is done in the Sandek's lap, avoiding placing the baby in a hard, uncomfortable, aesthetically unpleasing plastic restraint. The result is a circumcision that is halachically correct, comfortable for the infant (and family), fast healing, and easy to care for.

Lastly, the skin on the end of his penis will be red for several days after the circumcision. Small amounts of blood may ooze from the site during this time. These changes are a natural part of the healing process and are not causes for alarm. Covering the penis with a small gauze pad which has been coated liberally on one side by petroleum jelly (avoid antibiotic creams as these may result in allergic reactions) each time you change his diaper will speed up the healing process. Do not be afraid to touch his penis after the circumcision! Regular cleaning and dressing the area will help prevent infection; pushing back any residual foreskin tissue will improve the cosmetic effect. Complete healing takes several weeks.

quote(We) just want to thank you again for helping to create a memorable and meaningful ceremony on Thursday. Micah is doing very well and looking forward to celebrating his first Pesach. Thanks again for doing such a great job and helping us fulfill this mitzvah. AP, West Hartford


What you need for your brit milah ceremony

Important Information

Please inform me as soon as possible upon the baby’s birth (immediately after you notify his grandparents is good) and whether the pediatrician has diagnosed any illnesses. Illness may lead to postponement of the Brit Milah ceremony.

I request that the baby's parents download, read and sign the release of liability/consent and insurance/registration forms and turn them in prior to the ceremony. In order to confirm the date and time for your Simcha I will need the information form filled out and sent to me as soon as possible but at least 2 days prior to the scheduled date for the Brit Milah.


I do not charge for my ceremonial services. If you are pleased with the Brit Milah, you may consider making an appropriate contribution to the Education Fund at Beth El Temple West Hartford, or the Synagogue or Jewish charity of your choice. The fees for Brit Milah around the country are commonly $600 -$1200.

Reimbursement for extensive travel time (more than 30 minutes each way) appropriate for a physician is expected and appreciated.