Monday, December 4, 2017

So... You Found Your Mohel on the INTERNET?!?

One thing I've learned over the years is that advertising mohel services in the traditional form of advertising is a useless endeavor.  Most people hire a mohel based on one of the following:

1. Word of mouth, ideally from a friend or relative.
2. Recommendation from a doctor or rabbi or synagogue office
3. Reputation or name recognition
4. Internet search

The Internet search is obviously a more recent approach, really unique to the current generation of parents, but even with the Internet search, all reservations still remain without having any of the first 3 "supporting" pieces of confirmation that the person you're hiring is right for you.

This is one of the reasons why I opted to go a very different route than others in how I built this website. It is a blog, and I have written hundreds of blog posts over the years to tweak out any information I can give over to you about what you need to know as a parent, about my own experiences as a mohel (including great stories and stories from which I learned valuable lessons), and about Bris Milah - its significance to the Jewish people and why we continue to do this.

I found that most mohel websites were the same - very little information, a bunch of smiling pictures of mohel holding baby, claims of being the best mohel. Just about every website I visited did not address the healthy tension that comes with having a bris, the feelings of uneasiness, the realities of what could happen at a bris (even though uncommon), and helpful information about the longer term healing that every circumcision undergoes. And of course the oft-repeated lie that the baby doesn't feel anything at the bris and that everything is smooth sailing from beginning to end. 

This is not a knock on their websites, per se (some are quite professional). But it is a hope that mohels can be more up front with people so that the experience they share together with the new parents can always be one looked back at fondly.

To be clear - that IS the experience many have. BUT I have met many people who found me for their second or third son who told me "I wish I knew all the things you're telling me for our first son's bris. I wish the mohel was as comprehensive and thorough and explained everything to us as clearly as you are explaining." (Many also call me for son #1, but they have nothing to compare to!!)

In sum, I am grateful to all those who called me based on the first 3 criteria. Those jobs are much easier to come by. But I am even more grateful to those who called me based on finding me on the Internet, reading through my site, liking what they read, and determining that I was the right match for them. And our experience together proved their intuition right. 

It means that the impression I was trying to leave reached where it was supposed to, and that a feeling of trust was created before you even picked up the phone. And for that I am most grateful.

MAZAL TOV!!