Judy Fried Siegel, MD
M O H E L E T
Issues of Safety
Consenting for your newborn baby to have a Brit Milah is a giant step in parenthood. When my sons were born my husband and I asked, "How can we submit our perfect newborn to this painful, life altering event? How can we prevent a complication?" I controlled for as many variables as possible including sterility, pain management and selecting a certified Mohel with experience and excellent references. It was still a difficult and defining moment.
Since that time I have become a pediatric urologic surgeon, and a Mohelet, a female Mohel. I am the doctor a Mohel would go to with questions. I repair complications of circumcisions, and reoperate when the result is not satisfactory. I repair congenital penile anomalies such as hypospadius and chordee. The technical issues of newborn circumcision are second nature to me.
Today more than ever, modern sensibility and anti-circumcision rhetoric challenge us to question our commitment to Brit Milah. Medical data on the health benefits of circumcision seems to be changing with time, and the internet testifies to complications and benefits of circumcision. Circumcision remains perhaps the most commonly practiced Mitzvah among liberal Jews, sometimes by a Mohel and sometimes by a physician. I believe we must all come to Brit Milah with heartfelt confidence that it is right. Brit Milah, like birth itself, is an act of faith.