Holistic Circumcision

Congratulations on your new baby and welcome to the Holistic Circumcision web site.

There is a quicker, gentler and more humane way to circumcise baby boys. A Holistic Circumcision is performed in the comfort and privacy of the home, not in a hospital or doctor’s office. A Holistic Circumcision is based on an ancient spiritual tradition, and has recently been shown by a number of scientific studies to provide important health benefits. Even the British Royal family has traditionally used a Mohel to circumcise their sons. A Holistic Circumcision takes less than twenty seconds and the baby is healed within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Any discomfort to the baby is reduced without the use of injections or drugs.

I have been performing circumcisions for many years in the context of the Jewish tradition (the Bris ceremony) and realized that the general population could benefit from this if they only knew about it. With increasing frequency, many non-Jewish families contact me as they recently attended a Bris that I performed and realized there is a wonderful alternative to a circumcision performed in a hospital or by a doctor. This is what they want for their son. The circumcision technique that I use has been handed down through the centuries and is designed to minimize the discomfort to the child. In the Jewish tradition, anything that increases the discomfort to the child is not permitted.

Most of the information that one finds on the Internet about circumcision describes what is done by doctors or in the hospital. In general, the information on the Internet is virulently anti-circumcision and is designed to frighten and misinform expectant or new parents. (Words like “mutilation” and “barbaric” are frequently used.) In a hospital circumcision or one performed by a doctor, the naked baby is usually strapped down to a molded, plastic restraint with the arms and legs of the infant secured by Velcro straps. The hospital/doctor circumcision can take anywhere form ten to forty minutes depending on the device that is used and the experience (or lack thereof) of the doctor performing the procedure.

Even if doctors were to use the same procedure that I do, they do not possess the super-specialized training that I received nor do they bring the same spiritual background and extensive experience to perform what should be a gentle and compassionate, non-clinical event. I do not perform medical circumcisions; I perform Holistic Circumcision ceremonies that are infused with the cultural and religious traditions of the family.

As with any procedure, parents will be asked to sign an informed consent outlining the risks, benefits, changes and alternatives. Cosmetic results will vary from child to child and cannot be guaranteed.

COVID-19 Update

In terms of the Covid-19 situation, after taking a temporary hiatus, I resumed performing Holistic Circumcisions at the end of April. I voluntarily have had myself tested monthly for Covid-19. The results from all of the tests have been negative. I was also tested for antibodies—also negative. I will continue to have myself tested regularly.

Please continue to be vigilant with masks and social distancing.

My goal is to maximize safety and minimize the risk for everyone involved. I would like you to be confident in the steps I am taking to ensure a safe and gentle Holistic Circumcisions for your baby. I have all of the necessary PPE equipment and continue to follow the recommended protocols strictly. Out of caution, I am also limiting the number of events I perform in a day. This may change by the time your son is born as I continue to reevaluate the situation on a week-to-week basis.

Requirements for COVID-19 Circumcisions:

  • Masks and gloves for the parents and anyone else holding the baby. Please have your masks on when I arrive. My mask protects you; your mask protects me.
  • Everyone else should be wearing masks, socially distanced or in another room.
  • Please read and review the Post-Care instructions before the Holistic Circumcision so you will know what to expect in the coming days and weeks.

NOTE: If you are considering a circumcision performed by a doctor or a hospital circumcision, please let me know and I will send you additional information. This is a very important decision and parents should have as much information as possible to make a fully informed decision. (For example, if you knew how a doctor or hospital circumcision is performed, you would never allow that for your baby.)

  1. Please make sure that all of the technology is set up in advance and that everyone is online and ready fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
  2. The number of guests who attend will be determined by your comfort level, local or state guidelines and common sense. Everyone present should be wearing masks and observe proper social distancing. Many parents assure me that they have been cautious during the pandemic, but reassurances become less certain with grandparents, aunts and uncles and other guests who may attend.
  3. Circumcisions may be held outdoors weather permitting. If it is too hot, too humid or raining, it will be held indoors.

I travel throughout the entire tri-state area including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties.

I have a flexible fee schedule that may or may not be covered by your insurance. NEW! I now accept Venmo. Once an event is scheduled, it must be confirmed with a deposit through Venmo. No deposit is required until after the Holistic Circumcision has been scheduled. The balance may be paid on the day of the event by cash or check.

If you would like additional information or you would like to schedule an appointment, please email me at . Let me know whether you would like more information about a Holistic Circumcision or you are calling to schedule a Holistic Circumcision. If you email me on Friday night or Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) or on a Jewish holiday, I will call you back as soon as I can after the Sabbath or Jewish holiday has concluded. Please make sure there is only one person making arrangements for the Holistic Circumcision. Finally, Jewish or Interfaith families who are interested in a Traditional Bris, a Bris for the Sake of Conversion, Holistic Bris or a Minimalist Bris, please visit www.emoil.com. Congratulations!

Cantor Philip L. Sherman
Certified Mohel/Holistic Circumciser

PBS Thirteen

PBS Thirteen

The Atlantic

The Atlantic

New York Magazine

New York Magazine

If you are planning to circumcise your child, have a Holistic circumcision ceremony. It is the gentlest and most compassionate way to circumcise.

  • Hospital/Doctor Circumcision:

    1. Ten to forty minutes
    2. Baby strapped down to a molded plastic body board
    3. Injections or topical creams
    4. See one, do one, teach one
    5. Clinical and cold
    6. In the hospital or doctor’s office
  • Holistic Circumcision:

    1. Under 20 seconds
    2. Baby held by warm, loving hands
    3. No drugs, injections, or creams.
    4. A year of training; a super-specialist.
    5. Spiritual and meaningful
    6. In the comfort and privacy of your home

Many parents are not aware of the differences between a doctor or a hospital circumcision and what I do as a traditional Mohel. They may be under the impression that they are the same or even think that the doctor or hospital circumcision is a better choice. That is not the case. The opposite is true and the differences are significant:

  1. Training: I trained for the better part of a year with the Chief Mohel of Jerusalem in 1976-1977. Most doctors have no circumcision training other than what they learned in medical school--see one, do one, teach one.
  2. Technique: The technique that I use to perform the actual bris takes under 20 seconds. There is no advance preparation required and the baby is never strapped down to any restraining board or device. The circumcision done by a doctor can take anywhere from 10 - 45 minutes with the naked baby strapped down to a body board called a "Circumstraint."
  3. Pain relief: I do not use any injectables or topical anesthetics as they may harm your baby. They are not designed, formulated or approved for use on newborns. The decision to use a topical anesthetic is between you and your pediatrician. I know of several pediatricians who actually refused to write a prescription for the topical cream if it is for an infant. (Please read FAQ #14 on my web site for more information about this.)
  4. Religious observance: I maintain and follow the highest religious standards personally and professionally. For non-Jewish families, that means the circumcision that I perform is the quickest, gentlest and most compassionate infused with spirituality. It is never a clinical procedure.
  5. Style: I try to make each event warm, meaningful, inclusive and spiritual.
  6. Reliability: I arrive early or on time and can’t be called away at the last minute by a medical emergency or by a patient.
  7. Dedication: This is what I do full time exclusively—not as a sideline.
  8. Recommendations: Most of my referrals come from doctors (pediatricians, obstetricians, urologists, etc.) who call me to perform the circumcisions for their children, grandchildren and their patients’ children.
  9. Cost: I accept graciously whatever any family can afford. If you know anyone who cannot afford the fee, I will perform the circumcision no matter how little they are able to pay. If parents are selecting a mohel based on the fee or because their insurance will cover the cost, that may not be the best criteria by which to select the person who is going to circumcise your baby.
  10. Experience: I have performed tens of thousands of circumcisions in my career. Most doctors may have performed only a few hundred. I might perform more circumcisions in a month than a doctor performs in a year.
  11. No geographic restrictions: I can travel and perform circumcisions in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania as well as internationally.

Choosing the right person to circumcise your son is a very important decision. Knowing the differences between a doctor or a hospital circumcision and what I do allows the parents to make a well-educated and fully informed decision.

Cantor Philip L. Sherman Mohel