Back To Home - Dr. Fred R. Kogen, The Bris Mila,
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 Non-Ritual Circumcision
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This is Very Important!

Please follow these directions carefully.

A. Purchase the following medical supplies for wound aftercare:

(click on the links below to see actual pictures of the products)

  • Vaseline or pure white petroleum jelly in a tube - 2 tubes of at least 3.0 oz.
  • Neosporin Plus Pain Relief Ointment or Mycitracin-Plus ointment - 2 tubes of at least 1.0 oz.
  • 3x3" or 4x4" Sterile surgical gauzes (2 boxes or approx. 50 total gauzes)
  • Infant Tylenol
  • Note: There are generics available for all the above supplies, ask the pharmacist to guide you.

B. Preparations for the baby:

  • Feed the baby until the ceremony begins. Dress the baby as you wish... just no snapped one-piece suits.
  • Administer the Tylenol drops (Apap) 30 min. prior to the ceremony.
    Dosage: 0.4 ml = (1/3 eye dropper).

C. Have a parking space for the Mohel (I keep emergency supplies in the car)

D. Room Preparation:

  • Large open room --- Preferably dining or living room. Ceremony should be held inside.
    Because guests remain standing during a Bris, be sure to clear the room of coffee tables, chairs, etc. Please remember to raise the chandelier... if it is suspended low! Also, make sure that there is good lighting.
  • Large table --- sturdy, large, waist-high table (dining or breakfast table preferable, minimum. 4x4ft.), placed 3-4 feet away from a wall. Any shape, will do... No flimsy card or diaper changing tables please!
  • Table Cloth -- plain blue or white fabric is traditional... some families use their wedding chuppah. Any color or style may be used. Please no plastic!
  • Two Sleeping Pillows -- 2 standard sized sleeping pillows. One pillow is for the baby to rest on during the procedure, the other for the "Chair of Elijah". Please have the pillows on the table prior to my arrival.
  • Excellent light source and also... two tall tapered candles with holders. Please supply two red roses in place of candles, if the Bris falls on a Saturday. Please make sure there is plenty of light in the room and over the ceremonial table. I really need good light to facilitate a safe and successful circumcision.
  • Small Trash or Plastic Trash Bag
  • Have these items on the ceremonial table prior to my arrival.
    • Extra pamper or cloth diaper with wipes... in case of... well you know!
    • One plain receiving blanket --- Preferably white or powder blue. Not to wrap the baby!
    • One pacifier & one small cotton burp cloth or bib
    • Pre poured wine for each guest -- to join in the Kiddush.
    • Plastic or Oneg Shabbat cups are absolutely acceptable. Please place the pre poured wine for the guests separately from the ceremonial table... an adjoining room or a counter top is an easy option. The guests will be asked to get their wine during the circumcision procedure.
    • Four (4) Kiddush Cups or fine wine glasses on the ceremonial table --- Please have the cups 1/3 full with either Kosher wine or grape juice. The babies definitely respond better to traditional Manishevitz red (Concord grape) wine but there are new Kosher white wines available too... better for light carpets! You may substitute Kedem Kosher grape juice for wine. The choice of wine or juice, is ultimately up to you. Be sure to have some sweet wine or grape juice for the baby if a dry wine is chosen for the guests!
  • One chair for each Sandek. The Sandek sits during much of the ceremony.

E. Before the Ceremony:

  • Choose the participants for the ceremony -- (Candle lighters, Godparents, Sandek etc.), as follows:
    • 1-2 Candle lighters,
    • 1-4 readers,
    • 1 or 2 Sandek,
    • if no Godparents then use grandmothers.
  • Then, fill out the bris script card and... please print clearly! Do not mail it back to the mohel... instead keep it for the ceremony.
  • Inform participants that they may share special thoughts about the baby. Compose a letter or poem (an ethical guide) to your son describing his namesake & what special hopes you have for his future. This is essentially a moral or ethical guide.
  • Please have the candle lighters/poem readers arrive a few minutes early in order to review their roles. Remind everyone to bring their reading glasses!
  • Disconnect the telephone during the ceremony. Place Ceremony in Progress, Please Enter Quietly sign on your front door.
  • Have extra cameras available & load extra film into these cameras. Assign photo responsibility to someone. Strongly consider hiring a professional photographer for the occasion.
  • If there is a special family talis (i.e. grandfather or dad's), we'll use it to wrap the baby.
  • Scatter flower petals (rose or other types) about the periphery of the table, in addition consider a small simple flower arrangement to add a special beauty to the table. (12 inch max. height).
  • Family photos - Weddings, portraits, the baby's namesake. Other mementos & heirlooms such as the namesake's tefilin, lighter, glasses, watch, pen, wedding band or wallet adds a nice touch when placed on the ceremonial table near the front edge.
  • If you would like suggestions for a food caterer, baby nurse or even some Klezmer music, please contact my office (800) 644-4479.