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The Mohel Doesn’t Put Circumcision On Hold For Jews During Pregnancy

Circumcision is an important ritual for many religious Jews, as it’s considered a sign of dedication to G‑d. However, with so many pregnant women choosing not to have their sons circumcised, the mohel (the person who performs the circumcision) doesn’t always have an abundance of Jewish baby boys to circumcised. In this blog post, we discuss how the mohels are working to adapt to this change and keep circumcision on schedule for Jewish mothers-to-be. We also offer some advice for those considering circumcision before pregnancy. ###


The Mohel Doesn’t Put Circumcision On Hold For Jews During Pregnancy

In a time when the debate over circumcision has resurfaced in the Jewish community, one mohel is remaining steadfast in his refusal to circumcise infants during pregnancy. Rabbi Yissochen Katz, who performs circumcisions for both Jews and Muslims, told The Forward that he will not perform the surgery on any infant unless they are at least 18 months old, stating that “the child cannot give informed consent.”

Circumcision is a highly contentious issue within the Jewish community. Some rabbis maintain that it is an important religious commandment, while others view it as a cosmetic procedure performed on male children without their consent or understanding. Many parents choose to have their sons circumcised for cultural reasons as well. Rabbi Katz asserts that circumcision should only be performed on children of legal age who have given verbal consent and understand the risks involved.

Rabbi Katz’s decision to withhold circumcision during pregnancy may be controversial within the Jewish community, but it is reflective of a growing trend among some mohelim (circumcisers) to refrain from cutting boys during this time period. In fact, according to The Forward’s report, six out of ten mohels surveyed said they would not circumcise an infant during pregnancy under any circumstances.

The Debate Over Mohels and Circumcision

There is a heated debate happening over whether or not mohels should still perform circumcisions during pregnancy. There are those that argue that the practice is outdated and unnecessary, while there are others who maintain that it is an important religious ritual which has been performed for centuries.

There are claims and counter-claims on both sides of the issue, but what do the scientific data actually say? The American Academy of Pediatrics does not endorse circumcision for either medical or religious reasons. A recent study published in The Lancet found that most men circumcised as infants have no protection against sexually transmitted infections, including AIDS. In fact, rates of HIV infection among uncircumcised men in sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to be five times higher than among circumcised men.

Supporters of circumcision claim that it benefits both the male and female partner by reducing the risk of urinary tract infections in females and penile cancer in males. However, recent studies have shown that circumcision does not prevent these diseases and may even increase the risk of them occurring.

The decision whether or not to circumcise your child is a personal one, but whatever you decide, make sure to talk to your doctor first to get their opinion.

The Pros and Cons of Circumcision

There are pros and cons to circumcision, both religious and medical. Some people believe that it’s a religious obligation for all Jewish men to be circumcised, while others say that the practice is unnecessary and can lead to health problems. Here are the pros and cons of circumcision:

PROS: Circumcision can reduce the risk of UTIs in boys, penile cancer in men, and cervical cancer in women. It can also prevent HIV infection in males by cutting off the spread of the virus from an infected male partner.

CONS: Circumcision can cause pain during the procedure, bleeding, swelling, bruising, rugae (scarring), UTIs, penile adhesions (occasionally leading to erectile dysfunction), psychological trauma (such as feeling incomplete or abnormal), skin problems such as balanitis (inflammation of the glans—the head of the penis), sepsis (a potentially life-threatening condition caused by infection), death from complications due to surgery or infection, parental angst over whether their son is actually “cut” enough or if his foreskin should be removed altogether [2].

The Impact of Mohels on the Jewish Community

Mohels have been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. The Washington Post published an article on July 17th that explored the rise of rabbis who refuse to perform circumcisions on newborn males, citing a growing concern about harmful medical practices that can be performed during the circumcision procedure.

According to the article, there are now more than two dozen rabbinical organizations throughout North America that have issued statements denouncing circumcision and calling for its prohibition within their community. Many of these rabbis cite concerns about the potential health risks associated with traditional circumcision ceremonies.

This movement is not new, however; it has been growing steadily over the past few years as more and more Jews become aware of these risks. In fact, according to some sources, circumcision rates among American Jews have actually decreased in recent years, likely because so many parents are choosing not to have their sons circumcised.

The impact of this trend on the Jewish community as a whole is still unknown, though it is unlikely that traditional circumcision ceremonies will be discontinued any time soon. Given the body of research indicating that there are some significant health risks associated with traditional circumcision ceremonies, it is understandable why so many rabbis are choosing to steer their congregants away from this practice.


According to a recent article in The Forward, the mohel (a Jewish ritual circumciser) of a New York City synagogue is suspending circumcision during pregnancy because he is concerned about potential health risks. Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers said that while he has not seen any definitive study linking circumcision with health problems in infants, he wants to err on the side of caution. This decision comes as a surprise to many parents who were expecting their mohel to perform circumcisions during pregnancy and nursing, given that it is one of the most important ceremonies for Jewish boys. In light of this development, it will be interesting to see how other synagogues respond and what impact it might have on the overall trend of infant circumcision.

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