On the Cutting Edge

Some fairly serious professions are, in spite of themselves, inherently funny. Consider that of the mohel (pronounced “moyle”), the rabbi who performs ritual circumcisions. A mohel is an important personage in the Jewish community, yet he’s also the subject of many jokes (“Did you hear about the mohel who doesn’t charge for his services? He works for tips.”)

Enter that cutup Rabbi Michael Rovinsky, who-far from being offended by the jokes- applied his razor-sharp wit to adapt them as headlines for his. uh, unorthodox advertising campaign. Yes, advertising. Thanks to a friend at Austin-based ad agency GSD&M, Rabbi Rovinsky’s ads are running regularly in the Texas Jewish Post, various synagogue bulletins and other relevant media. They cut through the clutter with headlines like “All Circumcisions 10 Percent Off,” “All Circumcisions Come With A Lifetime Guarantee” and the “tips” joke mentioned above.

Rabbi Rovinsky says he really doesn’t charge for his services but makes ends meet through a suggested donation of $250. He grows the tiniest bit snippy when asked if advertising is consistent with the dignity of his profession. “The joking ends when the ritual begins,” he says. “I believe that every Jewish boy should have a kosher bris [ritual circumcision) and this is proving to be an excellent way to reach people. Besides, if I didn’t bring in more business, I’d have to cut back.”

Interested parties may call the rabbi at (214) 233-BRIS or stop him on the highway. His is the license plate that reads “Mohel.”

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