"May your mother and father rejoice; and may the one who bore you thrill with joy." (Proverbs 23:25)
Performing brit milah (bris) in DC, Virginia, and Maryland
Mazel Tov on the birth of your son. And welcome to my website. This is an exciting time for parents, grandparents and the entire family. The brit milah (bris), or ritual circumcision, is a heartfelt and joyous experience. Arranging for it, however, can be stressful and confusing. Hopefully, the information I provide on this site will help make preparations smoother.
As a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who has been performing circumcisions for over forty years, and a mohelet (female mohel) performing brit milah since 2003, I will do my best to make this day the significant event that it is in your son’s life. My approach to the brit milah ceremony is one of personal attention to your individual needs. I work directly with the family to create a participatory service that is shaped by the specific needs and desires of the parents, intended to involve and include as many members of the family as possible, within the bounds of halachic requirements. I believe that everyone present at the ceremony, whether Jewish or of any other background, should be able to understand what is happening.
On the following pages, I present a brief overview of the brit milah ceremony and the circumcision. Reading and following this guide will help you make things go more smoothly so that you, your family and your invited guests will be in a better position to enjoy this event. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time, even if you only have a question. I look forward to being a part of this milestone in your son’s life when he is welcomed into the fold of the Jewish people.
Photo credit: Nikki Kahn/Wasington Post
Brit milah literally means "covenant of circumcision".
This covenant is between G-d and the Jewish people. The Torah tells the story of G-d saying to Abraham: "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your children after you, throughout all generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be your G-d and your children's after you ... This is My covenant which you shall keep ... every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a sign of a covenant between Me and you." (Genesis XVII, 7-11). Learn more about this timeless tradition...
Brit milah is possibly the oldest ritual in our nearly 4,000 year history: thus, it is rich with many beautiful customs.
Photo credit: Betty Adler
Circumcision is a common, minor surgical procedure which is performed about 1.2 million times per year in the United States. The same procedure (including sterilized equipment) that occurs at the hospital and the doctor's office will occur at your home. As an obstetrician/gynecologist I have performed thousands of circumcisions on babies I have delivered without any complications. Read more about circumcision...