Since job-shadowing a rabbi was very interesting, I decided to take it up a notch and job-shadow a mohel. A mohel is a professional who practices ritual circumcision for Jewish babies. I shadowed an experienced mohel at a circumcision one morning this summer.

The mohel I shadowed usually visits the parents the day prior to and the day following the circumcision. Around a half hour before the circumcision, he recommends breastfeeding to the parents and he does not recommend an anesthetic. Instead, he prefers a traditional approach of sweet wine for the baby. During the actual ceremony, which only took about 20 minutes, the mohel unwrapped all his instruments, which he told me had been sterilized in a machine. After a quick procedure, everything was done and while the parents of the baby looked very nervous, the mohel was incredibly calm. 

After the ceremony, I asked him why he had wanted to become a mohel. He decided to become a mohel after spending many years as a doctor. He says a lot of mohels are doctors because it’s a great way to blend a love of medicine and their Jewish faith. I guess I understand that, but I still wouldn’t want to do what he has to do.  

A Typical Day

When a mohel isn’t performing a circumcision, he may be checking in on the baby to make sure he is okay, working as a doctor or organizing his schedule.

Top 3 Perks

1) Free meals 

2) Gratifying and spiritual work 

3) Good mix of science and religion 

Job Culture

Indoors, using sharp objects, religious work, work as much or as little as you want.


1) Complete medical training in a field relevant to circumcisions like pediatrics  

2) Apply to a religious board  

3) Complete a 30- to 35-hour training course 

Skills Needed

Dexterous, ability to calm people and yourself, people skills, communication, religious knowledge.

The Field

- There is a shortage of mohels.