Hundreds in Northern Israel May Require New Bris Milahs


bris-milahIsrael’s Chief Rabbinate suspects that a mohel from the north performed hundreds of circumcisions in recent years that did not comply with Jewish Law. Some of the children circumcised by the mohel have¬†already undergone surgery to correct the bris. There is significant concern that others will be forced to undergo a similar procedure.

The mohel oversight committee instructed the mohel not to conduct additional circumcisions until the Rabbinate’s hearing on his case, expected to be held this week, is completed.

According to a report on, suspicions were aroused after a number of senior rabbis from the Haifa area were present at a bris milah performed by a rabbi affiliated with the local Chabad and were surprised to find out that he did not remove the foreskin around the makom hamilah, as is required by halacha. The rabbonim notified the Chief Rabbinate, and word spread throughout the community.

Following these revelations, dozens of concerned parents contacted expert mohelim to examine their children’s bris milahs. A number of circumcised children had to undergo a surgical procedure under full anesthesia to correct the botched circumcision. Each such surgical procedure costs thousands of shekels.

The said mohel performs hundreds of circumcisions a year. Estimates are that the revelation will likely have implications for thousands of children. For instance, the Chief Rabbinate may decide to summon the circumcised children for an examination whether the circumcisions meet kosher standards.

However, it is important to note that there is no concern of medical complications. The issue is a purely halachic and aesthetic one.

Rabbi Moshe Weisberg, a member of the inter-ministerial committee of the Health Ministry and Religious Affairs ministry for oversight and training of mohelim, said that he does not remember any such instance. “It can happen to anyone because no one is an angel, even if he is a mohel or a doctor,” he explained. “But on such a scale? This is already in the realm of the abnormal.”

Rabbi Weisberg added that a number of worried parents have already contacted him on the matter.

{Ynet/Ladaat/ Israel}