Philip L. Sherman, Who Circumcised Thousands of Babies, Dies at 67

Health Information Lifestyle


Armed with only a scalpel, a clamp and a metal probe, Philip L. Sherman would routinely carry out his surgical mission in about 15 seconds, leave in as little as 10 minutes and hotfoot it to his car, which was probably parked illegally but perhaps spared a ticket by the inspired placard on his windshield: “Mazel Tov! Bris in progress. Please don’t ticket.”

Mr. Sherman, whose website (as well as his vanity license plate) was emoil.com, claimed to have performed some 26,000 ritual circumcisions, mostly in the New York metropolitan area, during his 45-year career. He was trained in the Jewish religious practice of brit milah — a profession generally spelled “mohel” in English and pronounced “moil.”

His record, he said, was 11 in a single day, including two pairs of twins — a considerable scheduling feat, considering that the ritual is to be performed on the eighth day of the baby’s life and during daylight.

Mr. Sherman also performed ritual circumcisions on Muslim and Christian infant boys, as well as the son of a man he had circumcised as an infant and the grandsons of two Israeli prime ministers, and in all kinds of places, including Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and a bar on Third Avenue (for a family who lived upstairs).

He died on Aug. 9 at his home in Englewood, N.J. He was 67. His daughter, Nina Sherman Green, said the cause was pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Sherman performed his first circumcision when he was 21, in Brooklyn during a blizzard (prudently, he had stayed over nearby the night before). After his cancer diagnosis, he began what he called a sabbatical in June.

Sporting his signature bow tie, Mr. Sherman did his best to leaven a ceremony that is not for the fainthearted. For Mr. Sherman, it was a living — and, most important, it was the fulfillment of an enduring and sacred religious covenant, immortalized in the biblical verse “And Abraham circumcised Isaac his son.”

“I’m there to fulfill a Torah commandment, to educate, let them know what the significance is, briefly, appropriately, tastefully,” he told The New York Times in 2012.

He performed so many brises for Jewish families in New York that he became a boldface name and was written about like a celebrity.

His services did not come cheap. “You pay $800 for a steady hand and a good reputation,” Scott Stringer, the former New York City comptroller, told The Times after his son, who was born in December 2011, was circumcised by Mr. Sherman. “It’s not the kind of thing where you’re looking to save money.”

But Mr. Sherman said he did not turn away families who could not afford his fee.

Philip Lloyd Sherman was born on April 26, 1956, in Syracuse, N.Y. His mother, Malvina (Jacobs) Sherman, was an English teacher. His father, Paul Sherman, was a factory worker.

He was inspired to study brit milah by his grandfather Isadore Jacobs, who was a mohel and also a rabbi, a cantor, a dayan (a religious judge) and a shochet (a ritual slaughterer). After studying with Rabbi Yosef Hakohen Halperin, a renowned mohel, in Jerusalem, Mr. Sherman graduated in 1979 with degrees in music and Bible studies from a joint program run by Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

He also served as a cantor at several synagogues in New York, including the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in Manhattan from 1985 to 2019. He also occasionally worked as an actor.

He played a judge on the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” and appeared in an episode of the Amazon Prime show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He was also cast in the 2011 Paul Rudd movie “Our Idiot Brother.”

“I played a mohel, but the scene was cut,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “How ironic.”

He described himself as the only motorcycle-riding rabbi in the Screen Actors Guild.

In the actual religious ceremonies over which Mr. Sherman presided, he not only starred; he also fed the supporting players their lines.

“Let me tell you my secret,” he routinely confided to new fathers, according to an interview with The New Yorker in 1999. “After it’s over, be sure to thank your wife for doing a great job and giving you such a perfect son.”

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Sherman is survived by two sons, Reuven and Elan Sherman, from his marriage to Naomi Freistat, which ended in divorce; his brothers, Steven and Martin Sherman; and six grandchildren. His marriage in 1994 to Andrea Raab ended in divorce in 2022.

Mr. Sherman performed the brises for his sons and his grandsons, pointing out that in addition to following the biblical injunction to Abraham (rather than deferring to a doctor and turning a religious ceremony into a strictly medical procedure), he had undergone a full year of training.

Yes, he acknowledged, of course the baby feels pain during it. But, he added, “when it’s done properly, only for a moment.”

And, yes, he said, it was also true that sometimes even just by imagining the removal of the baby’s foreskin, one of the parents or a guest might pass out. But, he suggested cheerfully, “usually at a bris, there’s no shortage of doctors or lawyers.”

When the actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg told him that she hated attending a bris, Mr. Sherman offered her a suggestion.

“The next time you go to one,” he advised, “do what I do: Close your eyes.”

Just kidding, he added.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/15/nyregion/philip-l-sherman-dead.html, GO TO SAUBIO DIGITAL FOR MORE ANSWERS AND INFORMATION ON ANY TOPIC

Please follow and like us: Share This Post




Take a look at our comprehensive guide to the best and most popular information ebooks and products available today on Detoxing, Colon Cleansing, Weight Loss and Dating and Romance. They are all in one spot, easy to find and compere to make a quick selection for the product that best fits your needs or wants.

So browse through a category and make your  preferred selection and come back here to read  more choice articles and get a few more helpful tips on ways to help your enhancement.



Detoxing Reviews

Best Body Detoxification Guides & reviews





Colon Cleanse Reviews

Best Colon Cleanse Guides & Reviews





Weight Loss Ebook Reviews

Weight loss products really work! Click here





Dating and Romance Ebook Reviews

Looking for Dating Guides? Click here





Free Traffic System - Increase Targeted Website Traffic with Free Unlimited One Way Links

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. “saubiosaubiosuccess.com is a participant in third party affiliate and advertising programs; The Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Awin network, and other affiliate advertising programs are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees and commissions by advertising and linking to products on other sites and on Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Saubio's Promo Tools