Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Wrong Attitude Is Not to Ask

Someone recently called our home from New York. She gave birth to a boy a few weeks ago, and the bris took place on time – the services of a local NY mohel were obtained.

In her conversation with my wife, she indicated she had a few concerns and questions about her son's bris, so I was given the phone to offer a mohel's perspective and to put her mind at ease.

After describing the way the mohel had instructed her to oversee her baby's healing process, and giving the best explanation she could of what things looked like, she kept asking, "Is this normal?"

From the information that was shared, and obviously without having seen the baby, I felt that while the prognosis was not standard, with time all would heal properly and look fine.

I had a few questions of my own: Did the mohel explain everything that you'd see? (No). Did he give you instructions how to care for the bris? (Yes) Did he walk you through the process in advance? (No) Was he nice to you? (Yes – everyone uses him) Just because everyone hires him does not mean everyone has a nice experience – overall, do you think you would call him again? (No). Why not? (Uhhhh)

Then came what, to my mind, was the most disturbing comment in the conversation. "Now that I've had this experience, if I ever have a son again I'll know what to ask in advance, and I'll do it right."

[INSERT BUZZER SOUND]

Wrong thing to say!

Don't Make Your Son Into Your Experiment

Let us remember that each child is precious. That we want the best for every child. And, as best as possible, we should do what is right the first time around.

This means that if you are a parent, you must ask all the questions BEFORE your son's bris, even and ESPECIALLY if it is your first son.

[I will grant that if you've had a positive experience with a mohel in the past and trust the man completely, then you need not go through everything again – that is your choice, and I feel it is justified. But the conversation should be had with any mohel you are employing for the first time for your family – even if you've had (a) son(s) before!]

Some Links about IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

A list of 21 questions,
Triple C - Ceremony, Care, Complications
An old post about this subject of doing research beforehand
The 4 Most Important Questions ("how much will it cost?" is not one of them!)

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