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Rabbi Yehuda Lebovics, Mohel in Los Angeles, CA!

I trained as a rabbinic mohel at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel. Upon my ordination I was certified as a Rabbi and Mohel by a member of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

I received advanced medical training at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut and here in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This training certified me to perform full adult and infant circumcisions in a hospital setting with operating room privileges such as Cedars, Tarzana and Kaiser hospitals.

I have been a practicing mohel for over twenty years and have performed over 15,000 circumcisions, including my own three sons, who have thank G-d no complaints.

The method I employ in performing the circumcision is swift and causes minimal disturbance to the infant. My instruments are autoclaved sterile and thank G-d I’ve never had an infection caused by this procedure.

Most families choose to have the entire bris in the presence of their guests. However, the surgical aspect of the bris can be performed away from the guests and the baby can be brought out for the naming and completion of the ceremony. I do not begin the procedure in the bedroom and complete the surgery in front of the guests. This method causes much distress to the baby and should be avoided. Whatever way the parents choose in arranging the ceremony I make my utmost concern the safety and comfort of the baby and the parents.

I draw upon my training as a Rabbi and an educator (I have a master’s degree in education), to make this occasion an enlightening and meaningful experience so that all present will be imbued with the warmth of our rich heritage as people of the covenant. It is my goal to make every ceremony a special one, one that fits the needs and desires of each family.

Q Do medical doctors use better techniques than Mohels?

Parents who choose to have their sons circumcised must decide who should perform the circumcision. Familiarity with the customary religious ceremony makes the traditional Mohel the choice of many families, but parents are still concerned about getting the best care for their newborn and minimizing his discomfort.

The New York Times and Connecticut Post reported in August, 1997 that Mohelim "inflict less pain on their newborn subjects than most doctors do". The article explains that different tools are used by the medical doctor and the Mohel. The clamp used by Mohelim was found to be much quicker to use and less painful that the one used by most doctors. The report quotes a study involving 48 newborn boys in Hartford by Dr. Hema N. DeSilva, director of neonatology at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Babies circumcised with the Mogen clamp used by Mohelim suffered less stress, showing only half the heart rate increase and total crying time of infants circumcised with a Gomco, the choice of most physicians. Oxygen levels were higher in the Mogen infants as well. Circumcision typically takes 20 to 30 seconds when a Mohel is using the Mogen clamp. A doctor using the Gomco clamp averaged 3 1/2 minutes for the procedure in the study.

A Mohel is used to handling the circumcision in front of a crowd and is a specialist in the procedure. Doctors usually use different tools and techniques for circumcision than a Mohel would, but in my own opinion and that of many parents the shorter time and lower stress level are key advantages in choosing a Mohel to perform the circumcision.

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