DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

(File size: 5.4 MB)
Choosing a Mohel

The Rama (Rav Moshe Isserles of Cracow, 1530-1572), in discussing the laws of Berit Mila (Yoreh De’a 264; listen to audio recording for precise citation), writes that when choosing a Mohel to perform a Berit, one should search for a Mohel who is not only knowledgeable and proficient, but also righteous. The Lebush (Rav Mordechai Yoffe, c. 1530-1612) explains that the Mohel’s intentions when performing a Berit can have a profound influence upon the child, and therefore it is preferable to choose a righteous Mohel whose intentions at the time of the Berit can positively impact the infant.

Interestingly, however, the work Machshireh Mila (4:18) cites the Shulhan Gavoah (Rav Yosef Molcho of Salonika, 1692-1768) as advancing a different view. The Shulhan Gavoah notes a famous passage in the Midrash stating that the prophet Eliyahu refuses to attend a Berit Mila until Hashem forgives all the sins of everybody in attendance. As such, the Shulhan Gavoah writes, it can be assumed that all the people present at the Berit – including the Mohel, of course – have had their sins forgiven so that Eliyahu can attend. It thus turns out that everyone present at the Berit is, for those moments, a righteous person. Accordingly, there is no reason to search specifically for a righteous Mohel – because everyone present at the Berit is righteous. The Shulhan Gavoah observes that the common practice is, indeed, not to make a point of selecting an especially righteous person to perform a Berit. Moreover, he adds, every Jew has a “Hazaka” (presumed status) of being upstanding and observant. For this reason, too, it is not necessary to specifically choose a particularly righteous individual to serve as the Mohel for one’s child.

Practically speaking, then, there is value to try to find an especially righteous Sadik to perform a Berit, in accordance with the view of the Lebush, and certainly, one should not invite a Mohel who has a bad reputation. However, if somebody invited a Mohel with an acceptable reputation to perform the Berit, and he then hears of a different Mohel with a reputation for being especially pious, it would inappropriate to disinvite the first Mohel. Our Rabbis speak very harshly about one who breaks a verbal agreement, and this would apply in this case, as well. Therefore, especially in light of the position of the Shulhan Gavoah, one should not cancel the hiring of a Mohel in favor of another Mohel reputed to be more righteous. Perhaps, if one appoints a Mohel and then hears that one of the leading sages of the generation is going to be in the neighborhood and is available to perform the Berit, we might consider allowing cancelling the first Mohel, though even this is far from clear. But certainly, it would be improper to cancel a Mohel to choose a Mohel who is reputed to be more pious.

Summary: It is preferable to choose as a Mohel for one’s child somebody reputed to be especially righteous, though any proficient Mohel may be chosen, as long as he has a generally positive reputation. If one chose a Mohel and then hears of a different Mohel who is known to be especially pious, it would be improper to cancel the first Mohel.


Recent Daily Halachot...
How Soon After Kiddush Must One Begin the Meal?
Berit Mila on Shabbat – Bringing the Baby to the Synagogue
Opening a Front Door with a Key on Shabbat
Using Baby Wipes or Moistened Toilet Paper on Shabbat
Taking Fertility or Birth Control Pills on Shabbat
May a Doctor Receive Payment for Medical Services Provided on Shabbat?
Violating Shabbat for a Woman and Newborn After Childbirth, and for Fetal Distress During Pregnancy
Violating Shabbat to Care for a Woman After Childbirth
Violating Shabbat For the Sake of a Woman in Labor
Resuscitating an Unconscious Patient on Shabbat
Using Suppositories or an Enema on Shabbat
Taking A Blood Test on Shabbat
Exercising on Shabbat
Prescription Medication and Antibiotics on Shabbat
Shabbat – Using Mouthwash, Eating Food for Medicinal Purposes
Page of 220
3292 Halachot found