A Bris Performed by a Mohel Less Likely to Result in Complications then if Performed by an MD


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

brisThere has been a 23% decline in the incidents of complications related to a bris milah. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel statistics show there is a less likelihood of complications when the bris is performed by a certified mohel as opposed to a physician.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel Council convened this week to discuss a number of issues, including bris milah. The rabbonim learned that in 2013 there were 30 reported cases of complications resulting from a bris as opposed to 38 in 2012 and 54 in 2011. About 65,000 britot are preformed in Israel annually, which places the risk factor at .004%.

The statistics gathered show that a bris performed by a certified mohel who is not a physician is likely to result in complications. The Chief Rabbinate Bris Unit estimated physicians perform about 15% of the britot annually, and in 2012, the last year with recorded data pertaining to complications in a bris performed by doctors, there were seven cases with complications from a bris performed by a doctor, representing 19% of the total cases involving complications.

The head of the Bris Unit, Rabbi Moshe Marciano reports that certified mohelim perform about 65% of the britot annually, and they were responsible for 52% of cases involving complications in 2013. Uncertified mohelim performed about 20% of the britot and were responsible for 50% of complications according to Chief Rabbinate estimates.

Chief Rabbinate General-Director Oded Viner reports that the Chief Rabbinate has updated MK Nachman Shai on the statistical data as he is the Knesset liaison dealing with agencies abroad in the battle against the new trend in a number of countries to declare bris milah illegal.

It should be pointed out that a certified mohel in Israel carries certification from both the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Ministry of Health, and has a license number to permit one to verify his credentials.

CLICK HERE for a spreadsheet with the breakdown in britot with complications as well as a list from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel of certified mohelim.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. How is it possible that certified mohelim are responsible for 52% of complications, and un-certified mohelim are responsible for 50%?
    Are there 102% total complications?
    Are there circumcisions that have more than one mohel preforming the operation?
    Can a mohel be both certified and un-certified?
    I assume this is a report and not a poll, and therefore there is no margin of error.
    This report makes no sense.

  2. Please correct the title of this article. It should say “A Bris Performed by a Mohel Less Likely to Result in Complications THAN if Performed by an MD”. Even that is not 100% grammatically correct but at least it uses the correct word.