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Bio/PhilosophyAbout Berit MilaThe CeremonyFAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

What type of anesthesia do you use?

A topical lidocaine cream is applied at least 30 minutes before the circumcision. In addition, sweetened wine or a sucrose solution provides an extra calming effect.

What technique do you use to perform the circumcision?

A bris performed at home is virtually the same as one performed in a hospital. My non-disposible equipment is gas sterilized in advance and I apply an iodine based skin prep. The procedure is performed with a Mogen clamp, using sterile surgical technique. The entire surgical procedure takes 5 minutes or less.

How do you work with interfaith couples?

I am sensitive to the needs of interfaith families. My service is inclusive and nurturing, and the non-Jewish parent and their family are welcome and encouraged to participate. I will be happy to send a copy of my serivce upon request. I am happy to perform a bris for the child of any Jewish parent who has decided to raise their son with a Jewish identity.

When should we call you?

Call me anytime! However, since the bris is performed on the eighth day, please call me as soon as the baby is born so that we can confirm the proper date of the bris. If you have a planned induction or C-section, you may call me as soon as the delivery is scheduled and I will be happy to reserve a time for your bris.

Do you provide references?

I will be delighted to provide references on request.

How do you handle twins?

Twins are very special! I have a special service for twins, that I will provide for you. If it's a girl and a boy, I will be honored to do your daughter's naming during the service as well.

Can a bris take place on Shabbat or on a holiday?

Yes. If the eighth day is on Shabbat or a holiday, the bris should take place on that day. In the case of a Caesarian section delivery, it is customary to delay the bris until the first opportunity after the Shabbat or holiday.

What are the honors that can be given out at the bris?

The highest honor given at a bris is that of the Sandek. The Sandek's role is to help hold the baby during the circumcision. Traditionally the Sandek is a grandfather, but both grandfathers can share this honor, or it can be given to any other special person that you would like to honor in this way. The bris service affords opportunities for the grandparents and others to participate with readings and blessings. The grandmothers traditionally light candles before the service.

Can the parents explain how they decided on what names to give the baby?

Absolutely! This is a very moving and emotional part of the service. This can be done by anyone, including grandparents.

Do I need to have a Minyan present at the bris?

A minyan is not required.

Do I have to appoint godparents?

No you don't. Godparents are a tradition at a bris, although some people choose not to name godparents.

Must I have a big party?

A seudat mitzvah or festive meal is traditional at a bris. It can be as simple or elaborate as you would like.

How much pain does the baby feel?

The baby feels little, if any, pain during the circumcision. The combination of his being recently fed, the anesthetic cream, and the wine or sugar water usually make for a sleeping baby! You do have the option of giving him infant Tylenol after the bris.

Does jaundice prevent a bris from taking place?

Jaundice is not a contra-indication to circumcision. If the bilirubin is very high, however, the baby may need treatment in the hospital and therefore may not be available for the bris on the eighth day. In that case, it will be postponed until he is well.

What if the baby is born prematurely?

If he is in a neonatal unit, or otherwise hospitalized, the bris should wait until he is ready to go home. If he is born prematurely, yet is over 5 pounds and otherwise healthy, then the bris can proceed normally.

Does insurance cover a berit mila?

Sometimes part of the cost may be covered by your health insurance. You will need to check this with your insurance carrier in advance. I will provide you with a properly coded statement and paid receipt that you may submit to your insurance.