Though there are some mohelim who express opposition to the use of EMLA cream based on their belief that it is somehow unsuited for application to infants, Dr. Blake is aware of no scientific supporting evidence for this position. Obtaining the cream does require a prescription, and so a physician’s order is needed to dispense it.
The safety of each baby Dr. Blake cares for is further enhanced by her selection of the clamp needed to be in place in order to prepare the child for circumcision. There are two types in use, one known as the “mogen,” the other as the "gomco." Dr. Blake chooses the gomco clamp because it prevents any damage to the head of the penis. This instrument does require a greater degree of manual dexterity in its use, but by its design affords a cleaner, more aesthetic result.
Following the bris ceremony, Mohel Emily remains with the family through the first diaper change, explaining the care needed for the infant and helping the parents to feel comfortable performing it themselves. She telephones the family that night to check on how they and the baby are doing, and follows up through the next week, making sure the healing process is continuing normally. If needed, Dr. Blake will also visit the family again in order to ensure that the baby is fully cared for.
Certainly Brit Milah is not simply a surgical procedure, but an ancient ritual with an almost mystical quality, literally embodying the Covenant (Brit) of God with the Jewish people. The gentleness, caring and skill that Dr. Blake brings to the performance of the rite is coupled with her personal philosophy of Brit Milah, which is founded in her deep commitment to Judiasm. Through her medical training, Dr. Blake became skilled in performing circumcision, but her Jewish identity led her to “question the difference between a medical circumcision and the Brit Milah.” She was then moved to obtain the religious training that allowed her physician’s abilities to be guided by a profound spiritual intent.
Mohel Emily’s desire is to make the ceremony, in her own words, a “gentle, joyful occasion for the whole family, an experience that makes us proud and happy to be Jewish.” And, as she concludes, “this what I strive to attain.”