Chief Rabbinate Concerned Over Changing Trend Regarding Selection of a Mohel


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bris.jpgThe Chief Rabbinate of Israel is concerned with the increase in requests for a physician –mohel as opposed to traditional non-physician mohel. The Rabbinate already certifies mohelim in Eretz Yisrael as does the Ministry of Health; but the former now wishes to compete with this unwanted trend. As such, a new certification is being offered, a “מוהל מומחה”. Participants in the course will study 40 hours of medical training in addition to an additional 15 hours of Halacha. Candidates who successfully pass the test will be certified and permitted to charge a higher fee for a bris, 1,000 NIS. A ‘regular’ certified mohel may charge 750 NIS.

The first class of the advanced mohel course is set to begin immediately after Pesach. The director of mohel certification in the Chief Rabbinate, Moshe Marciano explains “Just as there are doctors and professors, there will be a mohel and expert mohel.”

Persons already certified by the Chief Rabbinate as mohelim in the past will increase their knowledge regarding the anatomy pertaining to bris milah, bilirubin, hemorrhaging and other issues. They will also learn to read and understand a hospital letter of discharge and other medical information that is not included in the standard course as well as expanding their Halachic knowledge.

Requirements for registration in the Mohel Expert course include:

1. A minimum of 10 years experience in the field including a minimum of 120 britot.

2. A mohel who has not had complaints filed against him.

The mohelim will be tested on their level of competence and knowledge regarding standard milah and the associated issues.

“This is the first course of its kind and it is our hope it will permit mohelim to compete against the increasing trend of seeking a physician mohel,” explains Marciano.

Ten of the thirty applicants for the first class were disqualified and it is expected that some of those entering the class will be dropped along the way.

[see PDF with latest list of certified mohelim]

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)