Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Blessings of Summer - With Compliments to the Mohel!

I don't know what it is about summer that makes it a time when more babies seem to be born, or maybe I'm just more established in Florida, having now been here 10 years, but I was a very busy mohel in June, July and August.

I am grateful to those who called me, including the repeat customers, as it is always an honor and privilege to serve in this capacity for families.

The greatest compliments I received over the summer addressed the time I spend explaining everything to the parents, and the speed at which I work with the baby when he is on the Sandak's lap

Of course every mohel should provide expert service in the circumcision realm, giving the baby the most comfortable experience possible under the circumstances, while also making the circumcision as aesthetically pleasing as one can.

But beyond that these two arenas that were complimented just go to show that they are not always "givens," even though they should be!

1. Explaining to the parents
Most parents go into the bris relatively blind as to what will be happening to their son. This is not their fault! While they may understand and be very in tune to the concept of the bris/Covenant, the anatomy of the foreskin and the penis in general may be a little foreign. Most parents having their first son have never seen a foreskin before!
And so I do a LOT of talking. Explaining the process, explaining what I am doing - from prep to post-bris check - to what has happened to the baby, to how the parents need to care for the circumcision, what to look for in the coming days, what is normal, what is not normal... all this is part of the package.
And in every case, the more information I give, the more helpful it seems to be!

2. Speed at which I work
While I am in no rush to get it over with, the precautions and set up I take in advance allow for the baby to be handled for a minimal amount of time. Since I don't use a circumstraint or tie the baby down, the only thing that restricts the baby's movements is the Sandak's hands holding his legs (and the Sandak is usually the baby's grandfather - as loving as you can get), and I tell him to release his hands as soon as I am done.
The speed of the work and the less exposing the baby to discomfort both go a long way in making his overall experience a good one.

Thank God, I haven't met a young man (or older man) who remembers the bris he had when he was a baby. But avoiding contributing to parental trauma is also part of the game!

Blessed to play a pivotal role in that for so many people.

MAZAL TOV.  And Shana Tova to all (Rosh Hashana is in less than two weeks!)

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