As a parent, you need to make many decisions that will impact your child’s future. Deciding whether to make a Bris is one of them. Here are the things you need to know before deciding what to do:
– A surgical circumcision is not a Bris. Apart from the missing blessings and prayers, the actual cut may be different. Which means one day when your son realizes that he didn’t have a Bris, he may require a rather unpleasant procedure to get it fixed. A Bris is no big deal when you are a baby, but not quite as easy when you’re older.
– A Mohel is not an amateur. Quite the opposite. An experienced mohel does them almost daily, and has performed hundreds, or possibly thousands, over the years. The mohel who did my sons’ brisses claims to have done over 50,000.
– Many Mohels are also medically qualified. Some are themselves surgeons, who will perform a Bris in their surgery rooms if you prefer.
– The risks involved with a bris or medical circumcision procedure are minimal, but surgical circumcision could at times be riskier than a traditional Bris, as more complications can arise from giving a baby an anesthetic than from just a clean cut alone.
– The Bris is a tradition that stretches back almost four thousand years. It connects us and our child with all past generations of Jews, who gave their children a Bris under all circumstances. Your son will enter the covenant that started with the first Jew, Abraham, and continues to this very day. The spiritual power of a Bris cannot be matched by a surgery that is essentially cosmetic.
You don’t want your son turning to you years from now and asking, “Why didn’t you give me a Bris with a Mohel? Now I have to go and get it done properly!” On the other hand, if you do it the right way now, he will never turn to you and say, “Why didn’t you circumcise me in hospital? Now I have to go and get a local anesthetic to make up for it!”
Give your son a Bris, and you give him four thousand years of Jewish identity that will stay with him forever. Don’t leave it for him to fix later. This is one of those things you only want to do once.
Mendel (Menachem) Bluming and Rabbi Aaron and many other sources