Rabbi Menachem Strum, Mohel
- Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Yerushalayim and was raised here in Baltimore, where I have deep roots. In fact, I am a 6th generation Baltimorian! Some of your readers may know my grandparents, Rabbi George and Brenda Strum. My mother’s parents were Rav Yoseph and Esther Tendler, the menahel of Ner Israel’s Mechinah for 48 years and the nurse for Bais Yaakov elementary for many years, respectively. My father is a rebbe in R’ Shlangers yeshivah and my mother is a shadchan for the Shidduch Center of Baltimore. I currently learn full-time at Ner Israel’s Kollel Avodas Levy, as well as give a weekly shiur at Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim.
- What caused you to enter the field of milah?
Milah has been in my family for generations, as many of my relatives have been successful, sought-after mohelim.
I have found that this field fits me like a glove, as I am someone who strives for perfection. And the fact that I am very adept with my hands doesn’t hurt, either (no pun intended!).
The more that I learn about the significance of this very special mitzvah, the more thankful, humbled, and excited I become to have the opportunity to perform it.
As a mohel I have had the opportunity to study hematology, the science and behavior of the blood, as well as learning about other complex organs. Through learning milah I never cease to be amazed by the inner workings and perfection of the human body.
Finally, I have always been fascinated by the story of Eliahu Hanavi and this mitzvah which is associated with him has always interested me.
- Tell us about your experience in the field of milah.
I have had the opportunity to study under a number of seasoned mohelim for close to 3 years. Amongst them are R’ Eliahu Tendler, an uncle of mine who was the primary mohel in Columbus, Ohio for a number of years, and Harav Yosef Berger to whom I turn for halachic guidance. In addition, I have traveled to Europe to perform circumcisions under the guidance of expert mohel R’ Josovic., where I had the opportunity to perform 68 circumcisions under his guidance, in addition to the bris of my own son. Impressed with my work, R’ Josovic granted me semicha (certification).
Many mohelim and medical professionals have viewed my work and endorse my skills. Readers can contact me for references.
- What are you offering that is unique?
I am very gentle and sensitive to the needs of my patients, ensuring that every baby receives the highest level of care possible. I make every effort to minimize discomfort to the baby while still remaining within the parameters of halacha. To that end, I take extra steps such as soaking bandages with novocaine and other techniques to reduce pain. My experience has granted me professionalism and confidence in my work.
I am there for the parents at all times: before, during, and after the procedure, and make myself available by phone to discuss anything from possible concerns to an in-depth explanation of bris milah.
In order to add meaning to their son’s bris, I often study the classic sources e of this very special mitzvah with parents. In addition, should parents ask me to, I am very happy to share a thought about milah before the actual procedure.
- Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
As a communal service, I am delighted to answer any questions that parents of the community may have regarding milah, whether they are clients of mine or not. I can be contacted at 443 360 1900. Additionally, I can travel almost anywhere to perform this very special mitzvah.
Thank you for your interest. I look forward to sharing simchas with the greater Baltimore community and beyond!