Jerusalem – A charedi mohel, Dovid Tzadok, has become an unlikely teacher and mentor to Arabs in Eastern Jerusalem, instructing them on how to safely and properly perform bris milah on their children, Ynet reports (http://bit.ly/1gYH6WO).
Tzadok, whose father and grandfather were also mohelim, performed his first circumcision at the age 16. Over the years, Tzadok, who speaks Arabic, has circumcised thousands of babies in Israel and throughout the world. Now, he says, he wants to train the next generation of mohelim by opening a school to train prospective mohelim from different faiths.
To date, the 40-year-old mohel and rabbi of various moshavim has given 400 workshops about circumcision to both Jews and Arabs. He regularly travels from one Arab farm to another to circumcise Muslim children.
His workshops are based on Jewish halacha, he says, and because halacha permits circumcision for “bnei Keturah,” he is allowed to teach non-Jews and perform circumcisions on their children. The fact that Tzadok is a charedi rabbi does not deter the Muslims from studying with him or learning how to perform bris milah. “Sometimes they respect me more than the Jews respect a rabbi,” claims Tzadok. “Sometimes they even want to go with me to kosher restaurants.”
In the Muslim world, bris milah is not performed at the same time Judaism requires it to be, yet many Muslim parents are careful to circumcise their sons close to birth in order to prevent trauma and wounds that can occur if the bris is performed at an older age.
“The birth rate in the Arab sector is just about parallel to that of the Jews and there’s a great demand for experienced mohels,” Tzadok explains.
The courses he teaches include checking the baby before the bris, rules of doing a proper bris, recognizing the cutting instruments, and how to cut. He also sets aside time to teach a session on interpersonal communication between the mohel and the family of the child to be circumcised.
“We have to teach the Muslims not just for ourselves, but also for the Jews, because there could be an Arab doctor who gets a boy as a patient following a complication after the bris and the doctors need the tools to know how to handle it. There are doctors who don’t know anything about bris and because of this, they make mistakes.”
Tzadok also had pointed criticism for other moehlim who he says give the profession a bad name because of their abusive conduct.
“Unfortunately many good moehlim fall prey to this,” Tzadok says. “They come to perform a bris milah in dirty pants and they stink. It’s not proper and it’s unethical. You can’t think of a child as a money-making thing. There are mohelim who just see their job as hit and run.”