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Welcome to USAMOHEL.COM 
Website of  Rabbi Nechemia Markovits, M.B.
Certified Mohel | Expert Bris Milah | Ritual Circumcision
Services for People of All Communities

  הרב נחמי' מארקאוויטש
מוהל מומחה ומוסמך

Chairman of the Bris Milah InstituteCertified by
The Medical Board of the Initiation Society and Beth Din of London

Summary Of  What A Bris Entails

The main element of a Bris.

The main element of a Bris--also called a brit milah--is the removal of the foreskin from an eight-day-old baby boy. Every Bris Milah must be performed by a properly trained and certified Mohel (Ritual Circumciser). A Mohel is a professional specially trained both in circumcision techniques as well as in Jewish law and tradition. A bris is actually more than just a snip; it is a ceremony that includes various traditions, rituals, and prayers.

The Bris - circumcision Procedure
There are three important stages to the Bris process:


Chituch - The removing of the foreskin.

Priah - Uncovering the glans of its or ha-p’riah (outer mucous membrane layer)

Metzizah - Removing the blood out of the wound and surrounding areas.


The entire circumcision (including bandaging and diapering) takes less than a minute. Every Mohel has his own style - Here's a rundown of a typical traditional ritual procedure:


  • Before the ceremony, the baby is usually placed on a large pillow and carried into the room where the circumcision will take place.

  • After welcoming the baby ceremony, the baby is handed to the sandek, which is the name given to the person who holds the baby during the circumcision.

  • The Mohel will cleanse his genital area with an antiseptic solution and release any adhesions between the glans and foreskin.

Chituch - The removing of the foreskin

  • The circumcision is accomplished by grasping the foreskin either with a hemostat or skillfully with the fingers. A metal plate with a thin slit (Mogen-Shield ) is applied to the foreskin, leaving the foreskin resting above the plate, with the glans safely shielded below. A scalpel or Izmel-bris knife is used to excise the foreskin.

  • The mogen-shield is used to protect the penis and to guide the Izmel-special circumcision knife, to make sure only the foreskin is cut. There are different kinds of shields, some tighter than others. Traditional mohalim (plural for mohel) as myself WILL ONLY perform a Bris on infants using the plain shield without the use of painful devices, thus avoiding pain to the infant. Non-traditional mohalim use a clamping device (e.g. Mogen Clamp, Gomco, Plastibell etc.) which have been banned by traditional Jewish legal authorities.

  • Before the circumcision, the mohel recites a blessing acknowledging that the mitzvah (commandment) of circumcision is about to be fulfilled and then immediately removes the baby’s foreskin with the Izmel.

Priah - Uncovering the glans of its or ha-p’riah (outer mucous membrane layer)

  • Then the mohel tears off and folds back the mucous membrane to expose the glans. Once the entire glans is revealed metzitzah follows.

If you've been holding your breath up to this point, you can relax. Surgery is over. The circumcised penis is then bandaged and the baby is diapered and swaddled.


This technique used by myself and other traditional mohalim takes approximately

5-10 seconds to perform, and there is "no crushing of tissue" involved (as compared with a hospital circumcision or one performed by non-traditional doctor/mohel that can take anywhere from 10-40 minutes).


After the Mohel has performed the Bris, a special blessing is recited upon a cup of wine, and the baby is given his Jewish name. Of course, the celebration is completed with refreshments or a meal after the bris.

Tools and Techniques

The techniques used for a Bris - ritual circumcision differ from those most often used in the medical profession. Most ritual circumcisions are either performed with a mogen (a simple shield) or a mogen-like clamp called the Mogen Clamp. The mogen-shield techniques are most notably known for their quickness and safety.


A few hundred years ago, a plain Mogen shield was introduced to enhance the safety of Bris Milah. Most Mohalim use at least this basic shield for Bris Milah. 

Approximately seventy years ago, the Gomco clamp was introduced and became a standard tool for physicians who perform circumcision. Halachic authorities- Jewish legal authorities, strongly opposed the use of the Gomco clamp. Virtually no Orthodox Mohel uses a Gomco clamp for a Bris Milah.

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