Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cleanliness and Efficiency

If you were to ask me what are the top criteria I think anyone should seek in any mohel, I would say to check two things: his cleanliness and his efficiency.

Each of these has different components, and I will try to be brief:

Cleanliness

Cleanliness includes:
* The way he presents himself. If he looks polished, he is polished. If he looks like a slob, he probably is a slob.
* Maintaining a sterile field. It is very hard to maintain an absolutely sterile field in the public setting of a bris, but it is possible to do your best. Sterile drapes, gloves, bandages, and packaged instruments sterilized in an autoclave machine should all be standard.
* He should use a wastebasket for any packages, paper towels, diapers or used gauze pads he uses, to eliminate any mess which might turn people off.
* While there will be bleeding at a bris, he should keep it to a confined area, and be able to minimize any bleeding from straying beyond the immediate bris area

This leads into our second component...

Efficiency
* He should come on time and set his instruments in place in time for the designated hour.
* Everything he needs (diapers, wipes, receiving blankets, gauze, wine, kiddush cup, etc.) should be set up before the ceremony begins.
* The actual circumcision should take a minimal amount of time.
* Bandaging the baby should be a quick ordeal.
* Unless he has been asked to speak by the parents (often to explain the ceremony), he need not speak except: to "M.C." (if there is no other), to give the father and sandak quiet instructions, and to tell the father when he is to appoint the mohel his "shaliach" - messenger - to perform the mitzvah on his behalf.

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