A Cut Above the Rest: In Search of the Perfect Mohel
Sam Apple, author of the delightful [“Schlepping Through the Alps: My Search for Austria’s Jewish Past With Its Last Wandering Shepherd,”]( (http://www.samapple.com/ ‘“Schlepping Through the Alps: My Search for Austria’s Jewish Past With Its Last Wandering Shepherd,”’) has just published a hilarious essay on the Los Angeles Times Web site about his search for a mohel to circumcise his son. The setup:
I did not want just anyone to cut my son’s penis. I wanted the best. And so when my wife, Jennifer, neared the end of her pregnancy, I decided to interview mohels.
I had good reason to be nervous about ritual circumcisers. In 2004, three New York babies contracted herpes from a mohel, who, in keeping with an ultra-Orthodox Jewish tradition, used his mouth to draw blood from the wound. I had no intention of letting a mohel — or anyone else for that matter — put his mouth on my newborn son’s genitals, but the moral of the story was clear enough: If you’re going to chop off part of someone’s penis without asking permission, you’d better choose your chopper with care.
The full article is here.
The essay is a finalist in the “Be Joel Stein” contest run by the L.A. Times columnist of the same name. You can vote for your favorite (i.e. Sam Apple’s essay) here.
Full Disclosure: Sam’s a good friend of mine (but don’t hold that against him). I was even at his son’s bris.