Rabbi Mark Cooper, Mohel

My Approach as a Mohel
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I view a Bris as a sacred religious occasion. It is a time to celebrate the miracle of new life, the blessing of family, the joy of parenthood, and, of course, the ongoing story of the People of Israel. I see every Bris as a new link in the endless chain of Jewish tradition that stretches from the very beginning of the Jewish story to the present, and into the future. The rituals performed and the words spoken at a Bris at which I officiate all serve to underscore these important ideals.
As a Mohel, I strive to make each Bris ceremony meaningful and relevant to those who are present. I feel that everyone in attendance, regardless of their background, experience or religious affiliation should come away knowing the reason they were there and feeling moved and inspired. When necessary, I always adjust the traditional ceremony to meet the needs, expectations and background of the families with whom I’m celebrating.
A Bris is an opportunity to include family members and friends in the celebration. Reflections offered by the parents, grandparents or friends help make the occasion memorable and are always welcome. Jews and non-Jews are welcome to participate in the ceremony.
As a Mohel, and the parent of five sons, I understand that having an infant can be stressful in addition to being joyous. Parents of a newborn are often sleep deprived! I strive to make the preparations for the ceremony as well as the celebration itself a calming experience so parents, family and friends can enjoy the moment.