According to a report carried on Kol Chai Radio Monday afternoon news magazine program, some of Israel’s hospitals seek to encourage families to permit doctors to perform a bris on their newborn instead of a certified mohel.
Quoting from a pamphlet distributed in the maternity ward of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital, it states that according to Halacha, a non-frum Jew can do a bris the same as a religious Jew, highlighting there is no reason to use a mohel over a medical professional. Hospital including Beilinson and Ichilov, both in Tel Aviv, recommend physicians to their patients and there have been reports the hospital do their utmost to keep mohels from soliciting business in maternity wards far away from mothers, albeit this is done in an unofficial fashion. Guards inform a mohel he cannot enter the ward and if he persists he is threatened police will be summoned.
There is growing concern as it appears the hospitals are trying to push the agenda of physicians wishing to perform a surgical procedure to remove a child’s orla, and R”L for many parents who are foreign to Halacha, they will have complied with Halachic requirements to have a bris milah.
Ironically, from the perspective of risk to an infant, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel released statistics in February of 2014 showing that there is less risk of problems arising from a bris performed by a certified mohel as opposed to a physician.
The head of the Bris Unit, Rabbi Moshe Marciano reported 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.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)