The Head Nurse of a major New Jersey hospital called me. A friend of hers had attended a bris and relayed to her that the baby hardly cried at all during the procedure. The nurse was writing a paper to present to the doctors about pain relief during circumcision. She asked what I used on the infant to minimize the pain. I told her that I hadn't used anything. She thought I was kidding, but I told her I thought she needed to ask different questions. The questions she should be asking are: who is performing the circumcision, how much experience do they have and what technique are they using. If it is a doctor with very limited experience using a technique that takes twenty to forty minutes with the baby strapped down to a molded, plastic body board, then they will have a baby in great pain and distress. I explained that as a mohel, I have performed thousands of circumcisions and my technique takes twenty to thirty seconds while the baby rests comfortably on a pillow held by the warm, loving hands of the grandfather. I told her that if a new operating technique were discovered that took one-tenth the time and the recovery was minutes instead of hours or days, there would be seminars and symposia held all over the country touting this new technique and every hospital would have a mohel (read: holistic circumciser) on their staff.
If there was ever a more persuasive reason to circumcise, it is the recent discovery that circumcision is a simple and possibly potent weapon against new AIDS infections. Circumcision protects women and reduces the spread of AIDS. The article ("Circumcision Studied in Africa as AIDS Preventive") appeared in the New York Times on Friday, April 28, 2006. An excerpt:

"Perhaps the most compelling evidence came last year from a study financed by the French government of 3,274 men outside Johannesburg. Half of them underwent circumcision; the others were uncircumcised.

After 17 months, 49 of the uncircumcised men became infected with H.I.V., while only 20 of the circumcised men caught the virus. The study was called to halt in March 2005 when a review board decided that it would be unethical to withhold circumcision from the control group. Researchers estimated that the procedure reduced the risk of contracting H.I.V. by roughly two-thirds." (emphasis mine)
New York Times, Thursday, December 14, 2005
H.I.V. Risk Halved By Circumcision, U.S. Agency Finds
Two Trials in Africa Offer Way for Heterosexuals to Avoid AIDS

New York Times Magazine, Sunday, January 14, 2007
A Real World AIDS Vaccine?
Could circumcision turn out to be as good as a shot? By Tina Rosenberg
"Circumcision would be given more weight if the world recognized that it is, in fact, the real-world equivalent of an AIDS vaccine."
"So far, we have proof only that circumcision protects the circumcised men. But there are strong indications that it protects their sexual partners."

New York Times, Friday, February 23, 2007
Circumcision's Anti-AIDS Effect Found Greater Than First Thought
"But the final data from the trials, to be published today in the British medical journal The Lancet, suggest that circumcision reduces a man's risk by as much as 65 percent."
"Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases...added, 'This is a one time, permanent intervention that's safe when done under the appropriate medical conditions. If we had an AIDS vaccine that was performing as well as this, it would be the talk of the town.'"

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