Mohelim for the Goyim

The Forward reports that there are a growing number of gentiles who are hiring mohelim (Jewish ritual circumcisors) to circumcize their sons.

“When [a circumcision] is done by a mohel, you appreciate the gravity, the
beauty of the religious connotations,” Reverend Louis DeCaro Jr. said in an
interview with the Forward.

My feeling has always been that I am a rabbi who performs Jewish rituals for Jewish people. For instance, I am entitled to officiate at wedding ceremonies according to civil law because I am an ordained religious leader. This means that technically I can officiate at the wedding of two gentiles, however, I wouldn’t do this because I believe that my purpose is to serve as an officiant for members of my own religious tradition. The same could be said about the role of the mohel. Any physician can perform a circumcision procedure, but it is the task of the mohel to perform the religious ritual of circumcision (bris) — and that should be reserved for Jewish baby boys (but that’s just my opinion).

According to [two mohelim in Manhattan], non-Jews make up between 2%
and 5% of their clientele. Some are motivated initially by practical
circumstances, but others seem drawn to the mohels for spiritual
reasons, if not explicitly religious ones.

View the entire Forward article here.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | http://blog.rabbijason.com | Twitter: @RabbiJason | facebook.com/rabbijasonmiller