Circumcision has been practiced for thousands of years since the time of Abraham. This ancient ritual has a number of health benefits aside from its religious significance. I have seen Cantor Phil Sherman perform this practice many times over the past seven years including four of my own grandsons. When my own children asked for my advice on whom to select to perform this ritual for them, I enthusiastically recommended Cantor Sherman. The skill and speed which he exhibited was very impressive to me. As a urologic surgeon who has performed many of these procedures over the past thirty years, I recognized the difference between Phil Sherman and many of the other mohels that I have seen perform this procedure.
Dr. Howard Schiff
Hello Cantor Sherman,
You were recommended to my husband and I by our midwife. We are expecting a little boy in July and are looking for an alternative to a hospital circumcision. I was so overjoyed by everything I read on your website that I cried with relief. I am so happy to hear that we could possibly give our son a meaningful and spiritual experience and not a horrifying painful one. Based on what I’ve read and our midwife’s recommendation, I am certain that we would like for you to do our son’s circumcision if you are available.
Can you please tell me about how long after the baby is born do you traditionally like to do the circumcision? Thank you very much and look forward to hearing from you!
A Happy Parent:
Dear Cantor Sherman:
I apologize for not writing sooner. I have been very busy with my son Ryan; you performed his circumcision on March 19th. Alan and I were VERY happy with you; it's amazing how many people asked me "Where did you get him from?" All of my guests thought the world of you (I admit, that goes for Alan and myself). I want to thank you again for helping us perform the ceremony. Many people have asked me for your card. Is it possible to throw a few in the mail (so I have them on me)? I never knew how hard it was/is to find someone. You made such a great impression at the ceremony, I'm sure we will run into you again (and I'm sure some of my guests will need you). I feel very fortunate to know you and it was an honor to have you there. I will definitely recommend you.
Sharon and Alan (Denker)
Another Happy Parent:
We were not particularly happy with our older son's circumcision which was performed in the hospital setting. It never occurred to us that there might be a wonderful, happy alternative available to us. At the recommendation of our close friend who is Jewish - we decided to have a mohel perform our youngest son's circumcision in our home.
Cantor Sherman was immediately responsive, warm and professional. His communication skills are beyond excellent. Prompt and efficient in all the arrangements and logistics - he was also wonderfully warm and engaging in our home. The entire procedure was over in the blink of an eye and our baby Aaron recovered beautifully. During the entire time Cantor Sherman talked us through, made us laugh, and handled our baby with the utmost care and gentleness.
We will always remember Cantor Sherman's wit, warmth and kindness to our family.
Our baby, Louis Michael DeCaro, was born in January 2006, in a New York City hospital. At the last minute, his scheduled circumcision was cancelled and he was released and sent home, leaving us in a situation more than inconvenient. When we brought him for his first examination not long afterward, we explained to our pediatrician that Baby Lou had been released without being circumcised. To our horror, he informed us that we would have to schedule a major medical procedure, probably in five to six months, and Baby Lou would have to stay in the hospital for a couple of days after his hospital circumcision.
Recognizing our frustration and disgust with the whole situation, our pediatrician then suggested an alternative. He told us about the wonderful mohel who had performed his son's bris, and he offered to give us his telephone number. As a devout Christian and clergyman, I knew about the centrality of circumcision in Jewish faith and life. But it never would have occurred to me that the benefits of this beautiful and ancient spiritual practice might be extended to my son. Looking back, we really believe that God's grace was evident in our doctor's recommendation, and that we were actually blessed to have had the hospital-based circumcision cancelled. At the time, of course, we still were not sure.
Fortunately, we called a friend who is also a pediatrician in New York City. To our surprise, he advised us that we would do well in seeking out a respected mohel. He told us that he had little faith in the consistency or quality of many hospital-based circumcisions. Too frequently, he added, hospital-based circumcisions turned out to be mutilations. Furthermore he told us that hospital-based circumcisions were frequently handled by interns with little experience, or by medical professionals who really did not want to be bothered because they did not make as much money on circumcisions as they did performing other procedures in the operating room.
At this point we called our pediatrician's mohel, Cantor Philip Sherman. He got back to us promptly and I was immediately taken by his friendly, thoughtful, and humorous manner, which relaxed and comforted me. Cantor Sherman knows that parents are perhaps more "pained" by this whole process than are their baby sons. His manner was pastoral and therapeutic over the telephone, and he was even more so on the day that he came to our apartment.
Cantor Sherman immediately set us at ease, explaining everything that was going to happen, patiently answering all of our questions, and reminding us that although he used levity and humor, he took things quite seriously because of the great spiritual and cultural meaning of the bris. Even though we are not a Jewish family, he brought the same devotion and discipline to our home and handled our son with a masterful yet gentle touch. Cantor Sherman treated our baby with kindness and respect, speaking to him as a person as he held him up, as if it was even important to communicate the concern and reverence of the moment to Baby Lou.
Having comforted both of us, Cantor Sherman then prepared Baby Lou for the holistic circumcision. Rather than being strapped down on a cold, sterile operating table in a hospital, he was gently laid on a towel atop a table that I inherited from my grandmother, with his parents close by. As directed by Cantor Sherman, I participated in the event, gently holding my son's legs as he was given a little sugar water to ease anxiety and discomfort. Everything was done in such a way as to minimize pain and discomfort, and honestly it happened very quickly, although there was not the slightest sign of insensitivity or carelessness. Indeed I looked on in amazement at Cantor Sherman's gentle precision and tenderness.
Of course the holistic circumcision is a cutting and there is discomfort. But as Cantor Sherman told us, we were evidently more disturbed by it than Baby Lou. Cantor Sherman had instructed us in advance of what few things would be needed, telling us what would be done and would to expect. Baby Lou cried only briefly, but I believe it was less about the cutting and more about the unpleasant novelty of the experience. But this is precisely why I believe this was far better, kinder, and comforting under the auspices of Cantor Sherman than it would have been as a hospital surgical procedure. As parents, we were with him throughout and were able to provide maximum and immediate comfort to our son. As instructed by Cantor Sherman, the aftercare was simple and Baby Lou showed no sign of trauma or discomfort. He healed quickly and in a few days the simple bandage was removed-revealing a job well done.
We are pleased and delighted to provide this testimony on behalf of Cantor Philip Sherman, and heartily recommend his services to anyone who would like their son to receive the best possible experience and outcome. Cantor Sherman's practice is spiritual, skillful, hygienic, and steeped in the wisdom of the ages as well as the experience of many years and many thousands of successfully performed holistic circumcisions.
If you are considering a hospital-based circumcision, do yourself and your baby a great favor. Don't do it. Instead contact Cantor Philip Sherman immediately. Talk to him. Ask him questions. We did and we have no regrets--only gratitude.
Rev. Louis A. DeCaro Jr. & Michele Sweeting DeCaro