New York – Rabbis Say They’ll Defy Law On Metzitzah B’peh


    New York – In advance of the Department of Health’s vote next week to require City parents to sign an informed consent form prior to the performance of “metzitzah b’peh,” 200 rabbis have signed onto a proclamation alleging the Health Department “printed and spread lies. . . in order to justify their evil decree. It is clear to us, that there is not even an iota of blame or danger in this ancient and holy custom,” the declaration stated.

    Despite the fact that 11 babies contracted the herpes simplex virus since 2000, killing two infants and causing brain damage to another two babies, Rabbi David Neiderman, executive director of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, said religious Jews will defy the measure, even it becomes law, according to the New York Post (

    “For the government to force a rabbi who’s practicing a religious act to tell his congregants it’s dangerous is totally unacceptable,” he said. “You’re forcing the mohel and the parent to sign a piece of paper that contradicts their religious convictions.”

    The Department of Health did not respond to the rabbinical proclamation except to say, “It is important that parents know the risks associated with the practice.”

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    1. Since when does signing a paper contradict one’s religious beliefs? In order not to interfere in the Bris ceremony, which the authorities could well have done, they were kind enough to merely require informed consent about a risky procedure. A procedure which is highly questionable whether it has any relationship to the Bris at all, or was just an ancient way of stopping bleeding or cleansing the wound, based on the medical knowledge of those times. Those who believe we should practice medicine based on the gemara, do you still attach a blood sucking leach to your arms to do bloodletting? Why is this different?

      In addition it is the height of chutzpah to accuse the benevolent Health Department of trying to institute an evil decree, when they have only the child’s best interests in mind. Whether you agree or not with the accuracy of their statistics, at least argue intelligently about the claims. Is this Purim that we go around calling it an evil decree? I am embarrassed that Rabbis would engage in name-calling and appealling to nonexistent charges in an enlightened and kind country in which we are fortunate to live.

      • you state: “In addition it is the height of chutzpah ” or is it the height of your naïveté that this is about health! and not about politics! (gay marriage rights in particular)

      • We don’t need you or the health department to reform the torah or bris mila that health department rule is not based on science they are based on personal opinions now there still is no proof that any child got herpis from a mohel there is some proof that they might of gotten it from there mother who was having a infection or brother!

      • Hello Pashuteh Yid,

        Without wishing in any way to detract from your excellent and well thought out contribution, I must tell you that the clinical use of leeches is back in medical fashion again.

        It made its comeback in the 1980s with the advent of microsurgeries, such as plastic and reconstructive surgeries. In operations such as these, problematic venous congestion can arise. Sometimes, because of the technical difficulties in getting veins to reconnect, no attempt is made to reattach a venous supply to a flap at all. This condition is known as venous insufficiency.

        If this congestion is not cleared up quickly, the blood will clot, arteries that bring the tissues their necessary nourishment will become plugged, and the tissues will die.

        To prevent this, leeches are applied to a congested flap, and a certain amount of excess blood is consumed before the leech falls away. The wound will also continue to bleed for a while due to the anticoagulant hirudin in the leeches’ saliva. The combined effect is to reduce the swelling in the tissues and to promote healing by allowing fresh.

        Next week we shall discuss “cupping” , but best wishes in the meantime, Pashuteh Yid.

        • Cupping has been in use by Chinese Medicine providers all along, and is used by other holistic practitioners as well. It is harmless and sometimes helpful. The pressure does indeed draw out harmful elements from the tissues so they can be disposed of by the body.

          • Narshkheit. Cupping causes bruising, medically useless. Why are heimishe people always taken in by this rubbish? Swinging a pendulum over a fish, drinking peroxide, eating clay. Is there no sense?

        • Thanks for the informative post. However, I still don’t believe they are used for bloodletting as in ancient times, where most diseases were thought to originate from an imbalance or excess of fluids. We would also not do brain surgery based on a half-amud description in gemara kesuvos, etc.

          And those who have claimed that the health dept stats are inaccurate, are you claiming there is absolutely no risk for any mouth contact to an open wound? Would you let a doctor suck blood with his mouth for any other procedure? There is obviously some risk, and that is all the Health Dept. document says. When they go after lead paint, is that also rishus? Please.

        • One additional small comment. It is appropriate both academically and halachically to give attribution to your cited sources regarding modern use of leeches. In this case, verbatim from Wikipedia. Kol hamoer davar bshem omro mevi geula l’olam. (Gemara.)

    2. The Department of Health did not respond to the rabbinical proclamation except to say, “It is important that parents know the risks associated with the practice.”
      Do they also warn The “Alternitive lifestyle people” that their lifestyle is a prime cause of AIDS.

    3. The reasonable and rational response would be to hire an unbiased expert to review the data and determine if their is a danger. There was a time in our history when our religous leaders appreciated the need to study math and science. It’s a shame that we are now raising a generation of ignorant people.

      • אולי צריכין להתקין עצמינו קודם בהשלושה דברים כסדרן: לדורון, לתפילה, ורק אח”כ למלחמה!, פחז כמים אל תותר

      • Rav Belsky, shlita, is an expert in both math and science, he has shown conclusively that the Dept of Health’s findings were statistically and scientifically false. When he presented this, they changed the subject. The science and math are on our side. Unfortunately, as it is with the lies of evolution and other issues, the so-called “scientists” allow their anti-religious agendas to blind them from scientific truths, as too many (not all) so-called scientists have made a religion out of atheism and agnostism. Our Chazal had scientific truths, including the scientific truths of the transdimensional spiritual realms revealed in kabbalah, that are far beyond even true modern science. The Arizal said that metitzah bpeh helps a boy to be shomer habris. Is there any wonder that today gilui arayos is so rampant since many disregard this important halachah.

      • You seem to imply that our gedolim who support mitiztza bpeh are ignorant. How dare you say this. I know Harav Belsky personally he is an expert in math and science. (When I was in Torah vodas bochrim would go to rav Belsky for help with chemistry and physics regents). I’m sure you can say this about many of the gedolim who support mititza bpeh.

    4. “Despite the fact that 11 babies contracted the herpes simplex virus since 2000….” seems to imply that the Rabbis are ignoring that fact and insisting on their way… and that is not the case. That statement has already been disputed, there is so much missing from this article. I hope Hashem will be on our side and this gezeirah will not come to fruition.

    5. Will the proposed DOH form explicitly say that Metzitzah B’peh is dangerous, or will it just require that the participants acknowledge that they are aware of the risks (whatever they may be)?

    6. I think the rabbis are making a huge mistake by doing this. The Government is not saying you cannot do it, rather they are making you aware of the potential effects.

      The government is required to make you aware of it just like they are required to print the ingredients on food, so you know how many calories there is in it.

      What is so wrong with that? Why fight them on this? Why not just take it as a service, before the government realizes that ultra orthodox a re a group that you cannot deal with and take stronger measurements against them.

      You are making a big mistake that might have huge consequences down the road

    7. “It is clear to us, that there is not even an iota of blame or danger in this ancient and holy custom”

      2 problems with this:
      1. Not even an iota of danger. The fact that there might be danger in MBP means that there is more than an iota.

      2. ancient and holy custom. It’s a custom. I know that chassidim regard customs as more important than law, but custom is just not the same as law. sorry.

    8. Arguing intelligently about the claims doesn’t mean that I agree with you.
      Many Dr’s and Scientists have already spoken clearly about how statistically there is no risk to a child, even if all 11 contracted it via metziza, which has not been proven, and most evidence proves otherwise.
      The health dep’t is making believe that this is about a childs interest. There are far greater risk to children that NYC is not addressing. Their internal memos make it clear that this is about getting rid of ancient practices than the child’s safety. This is a veiled attack on religion. If we compromise on this we can expect further attacks on our practices.

    9. It would be most beneficial for those writing “kol korehs” to use modern day terminology, and words that are easly transalted into English.

      Writing about “Evil Decrees” makes us sound primitive. If the same points would be made in an intelligent fashion the “Kol Koreh” would have a better chance of being effective.

      (Case in point the Anti – Internet Organization, Vaad L’tharos Hamachne translates as the Organization for the Purity of the Camp which sounds rediculous and backwards in English.)

    10. I remember when the Chevra kadishas of New York were given a lecture on disease transmission. We were required to get Hepatitus B shots and started wearing gloves to protect ourselves. A question was asked – what about a Gadol Hador like Reb Moshe (Feinstein to the Chassidics who never heard of Litvishe G’dolim). The answer was that we still had to wear gloves – not because of the lack of Kavod Hamais, but because we will do it for all.

      Now we have a case where Chassidic ‘gedolim’ are worrying about their ‘kavod’ and ‘mesorah’ more than they are worrying about the babys life. What if it were YOUR baby that died?

      I recall when air conditioning was not allowed on Shabbat, because the Rabbonim did not understand the concept behind it and found it easier to ban it than to ask how it worked. Maybe these Rabbonim need a course in micro-biology. They were able to find the bugs in the strawberries. Now they should find the diseases in bodily fluids

        • The OU had a mass meeting in NYC and representatives of the Chevras were invited. Reb Moshe was niftar in 1986, so the meeting took place between 1987 and 1990.
          I would take an educated guess and say that Rabbi Zohn was also there, representing the Vaad of Queens. There were a few hundred people there, but again, that was 20+ years ago.
          As I recall, people from all over the Metropolitan area came

      • Rabbi Reuven Feinstein signed this letter.

        Many “Litvishe” leading Gedolim (almost all) signed the above letter.

        In regards to Air conditioning, what a falsehood, no one banned it. It was Reb Moshe that banned a timer. He stuck with it until the end. So did he ban the Eruv.

        Dont malign Chassidim just because they carry the religion on their cuff. Get your facts right. Litvish and Chasiddish BOTH are Orthodox and follow the code of Jewish law with great diligence and objectivity. What you want is an easy ride to Paradise with doing nothing to earn it. Well you in for a surprise, you gotta earn it.

      • I love this line: “Maybe these Rabbonim need a course in micro-biology. They were able to find the bugs in the strawberries. Now they should find the diseases in bodily fluids” Chazal knew more about microbiology. See Shulchan Arukh OC 170:16 and 22 and the Nosei Keilim.

    11. Again, the DOH is not banning MB”P. All they are saying is that the parents should sign a form of consent that they are aware of the risks of MB”P. That’s all and nothing more.

    12. M”BP is completely safe if performed under sterile conditions, the evidence to the contrary is circumstantial and very suspect. This declaration ironically serves to shield mohelim from liability by requiring a letter of informed consent. This ruling is unconstitutional and will be struck down on these grounds.

    13. Its amazing how people because of respect for gedolim think thgat because someone is a Rav and knows some basic math and science and helped a few kids with their studies, that he is somehow an “expert” in these areas. How ignorant and foolish we have become. You also seem to ignore that this articles it quoting Satmar and not Rabbi Belsky. Satmar chasidim are denied even the most basic secular education and are completely out of touch with how a normal society functions. My rebi from yeshiva was very good at math and science. Neither he or Rav Belsky would or could claim to be an “expert” in disease transmission or any kind of truly advanced applications and theories etc, any more than a scietnist who is learned in Torah could claim to be an expert in that. But, somehow if someone is Rosh Yeshiva, we make him out to be a tremendous genious in all things. Yet, the same person could’t even pass a class at MIT with their current knowledge. Not to say they arn’t smart enough, but, their knowledge is so limited to basics and you are a fool to think otherwise.

      • Lets just “trust” government. Why not involve them in our education system as well?

        Is the same govt that is still looking for WMD’s in Iraq which they new for a “fact” that it existed?

    14. Anyone who knows how Government works, especially a GOV run by King Bloomy, would realize that regulating is the 1st step towards banning plain and simple. So we must fight it now and not be all wishy washy.

    15. I cannot understand – why the suction has to be with direct mouth to wound contact- if the suction is needed – why can’t a sterile pipet be used- suction applied – no worry of germs-everybody should be happy.
      reading some of these comments – if these people are in need of surgery – they shouldn’t call a doctor -they should call a “godol batorah”and have him perform it

      • “You dont understand”? Ok that’s enough reason for us Torah abiding Jews to abandon our religious rights and beliefs and succumb to a bogus, biased and inflated study.

        Now if you want to know why, that’s already another questions, the answer lies with Halacha and also Kabbalah.

        I dont understand why kids play sports, studies have shown that even with helmets etc, children still get hurt.

        • Yes, kids can get hurt, CV, and that is why my child’s yeshiva has the parents sign a consent form giving permission to participate in school activities. I don’t see the parent’s rioting that the school is a bunch of evil tyrants because they have to sign a form.

          It is really sad when one convinces himself that he is still living in some anti-semitic primitive shtetl in Europe, instead of the free and benevolent USA, thank G-d, and then makes a fight and chillul hashem over a piece of paper. I’ll bet the Zionists are somehow at fault, here, as well, and who knows if some secret Zionist from Israel didn’t invent this whole anti-Torah idea to destroy Judaism by signing a paper.

    16. As far as I know the babies did not contract the virus from the mohel but, from a mother or a sibling. I want to know statistics from the general population,of baby boys as well as baby girls, who get the herpes virus. That would be more a more correct way to determine how herpes is contracted and it would rule out MBP as the culprit. The dept. of Health is on a witch hunt against mohelim and it is biased and antisemitic.

      • Read the CDC report. They conclude that the risk of contracting herpes after MBP is 3.4 times that of the general population. There is no proof that any of these babies got the virus from their family members, but the presence of lesions in the genital area make it more likely to come from MBP. The same mohel was used in three of the 11 cases of neonatal herpes, which is very rare for any newborn males. The chances of this happening by chance are extremely small.
        See the full report here:

        • “There is no proof that any of these babies got the virus from their family members”

          That’s a big flaw, they are making an issue before eliminating family members? Let them take a DNA test and they’ll know where it came from, exactly where it came from.

          • If you read the articles by Sprecher, you will find out that the reason they weren’t able to do DNA testing, is that the families involved (and who were in certain cases related to the mohalim) refused to cooperate with the Health Dept., possibly for fear of what those tests would show.

        • “The same mohel was used in three of the 11 cases of neonatal herpes, which is very rare for any newborn males.”

          They fail to admit that out of those three 2 were twins, being subjected to the same environment, Mother, Father, Nurses, pacifiers and bottles.

        • “They conclude that the risk of contracting herpes after MBP is 3.4 times that of the general population.”

          “they conclude” they first need consider the fact that they are using census data from 2001 and that 3 children did not even have MBP and another two were twins, another two were siblings (being exposed to the same parents who can be active carriers) and another one that got the infection on his foot, not on the lesion.

          “they” are manipulating data to their advantage.

          • “they are using census data from 2001”

            You are grasping at straws, “Facts1”. There are no later data available to the public yet.

            In any case, many Jews in BP, Willi and the Five Towns went out of their way to do all possible to avoid being counted in the 2011 and the 2001 censuses, claiming Tanachic precedents. That was extensively reported here in VIN at the time.

            “You” are manipulating facts to your advantage – like so many statisticians. Always remember the old quip: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

    17. Interesting not only for the names of the signers, but also for whose names are not there.

      For example, Rabbi Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe. Is it because the people who put together the Proclamation didn’t approach him? Is it because he disagrees with it? Or is it because he, as the top banana at the Agudath Israel of America, might not wish to be known by the politicians his Agudaniks lobby as a scoffer of the laws??

      Just wondering.

    18. Even though the risks of death or serious injury when doing a Bris Milah may be ONE IN A MILLION… it is known there is a very remote risk when doing a Bris.

      Therefore we should stop doing any more Bris Milah’s.

      So regulate Bris Milah too. No Bris can be performed unless government regulations of Brish Milah, namely to sign a consent form of the risks inherent to a Bris, if first signed.

      Why stop at MBP? Bris itself should be government regulated.

      It’s only the first step. Once the NYC DOH establishes they can regulate MBP, the next step will be for them to ban it altogether.

      We cannot allow them a beachhead in establishing that the State can regulate a Church (religious) practice. It is against the Constitution.

    19. “Despite the fact that 11 babies contracted the herpes simplex virus since 2000, killing two infants and causing brain damage to another two babies”
      So what they are saying is that in 12-13 years there were only 11 cases! Out of probably 20k babies!?!?!? There is a bigger chance of dying from all vaccinations we give babies these days!!!! so now the city health dept will start to regulate vaccinations??? I don’t think so! So obviously this is a witch hunt by bloomys soda drinking ban administration

    20. The DOH regulation on MBP (and it isn’t even a law) is completely and entirely unenforceable:

      1. It isn’t even a law. It is just a regulation passed by the local directors of the city health board. Even if it is violated, it is not breaking the law. It will result in getting a “ticket” with a monetary fine. (Like a parking ticket.)

      2. It is illegal as it is unconstitutional. The government is constitutionally prohibited from regulating a religious practice.

      3. It is unenforceable. The government cannot place department of health inspectors in synagogues to observe if the mohel performs MBP or not. At most, they need to ask the parents or mohel. And they probably won’t even know who the mohel was. And even if they ask, neither the parent nor the mohel have to answer or even talk to the DOH or any government officials. It is called the Fifth Amendment.

      • Ha ha, that’s what you think.

        We will just raise that “ticket” to 25,000.00 and will you do then?

        Oh how about charging the parents and the mohel with child abuse?

        “Unconstitutional” what’s that? We are an agency, you cant fight us.

      • As others have pointed out, the govt is justified in stepping in when health is in danger, such as if a parent believed one is not allowed to go to a doctor or to get a blood transfusion for religious reasons.

        • Just go ahead and “trust” the govt, the always have either our “health” or our “security” in mind.

          While you’re at it, they should force schools to “educate” children in religious schools on relationships for “health” reasons.

          They should institute a ban against building a סוכה (hut) without a building permit and a licensed builder for “safety” reasons.

          They should ban Shchita for “animal rights” reasons.

          They should ban circumcisions altogether, its an unnecessary medical procedure and should need concent from the child.

          They should ban fires on Erev pesach, its unsafe and harms the “enviorment”.

      • The first amendment only applies to the federal government. States and municipalities can have their own religions as part of states rights. We have freedom as americans to leave from one state to the next freely. Every pious Jew, Christian, and Muslim should have left NY as soon as they legalized gay marriage. Incidentally, as we mention marriage, the state and city government does regulate religious practice when it comes to marriage, regulating who may officiate at a wedding and requiring a license. Technically it is illegal what most bnei torah do by getting the marriage license only after the chasunah, but our halachah and minhag comes first that the couples do not see each other before the wedding. That is also an unenforcable law, for will the city clerk’s office stand outside every chasunah hall in willi and arrest or ticket the rebbes and roshei yeshivah who are mesader kiddushin without a license?

        • Oh my word, the lack of understanding of basic constitutional law is absolutely horrifying. The First Amendment does apply solely to the FEDERAL government, but the same limitations are imposed on the STATES through the 14th American. So sorry to burst your misinformed bubble but neither states nor municipalities can prefer one religion over another or favor religion over non-belief. I realize that we all think we have unlimited freedom of speech, but I was always taught that with freedom come responsibilities. So along with the freedom of speech comes the responsibility to know what one is talking about.

        • Please don’t spread L”H on your fellow Jews. There are great and prominent people who would not be Misader Kiddushin unless the couple ALREADY had a civil marriage.

          What halacha and minhag states that couples don’t see each other before the wedding? They don’t see each other from when? From the engagement? Nobody said they have to get a civil marriage the week of the wedding. They can do so two weeks before, etc.

      • A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing. Religious BELIEF is absolutely protected, but religious practice is not. The government can regulate or limit a religious practice if the regulation serves a compelling government interest and the regulation is done is the least restrictive manner.

        • Now that sounds like my government, circumventing laws so that they lose it original intent. With this approach we are not far off from regulating religious schools so that they are somehow stifled and starved from funding even through charity, mandatory curriculum etc., until they just cease to exist. That’s exactly how it was in Russia. They never banned religion they “regulated” it.

          That’s what this country has been doing for the last 100yrs or so. We have been undoing the constitution all in the of “interest and regulation”. As I am writing this I always know that the possibility and likelihood exists that this is being monitored in the name of “security”.

          When they wrote the constitution, do you think that had in mind gun rights with regulation that stifles that right, freedom of religion with regulation that stifles practices so that the religion just dies out, right to gather to demonstrate with regulation and fear that you are being monitored? Hell no! Every right not within the constitution is reserved “for the people”.

      • You seem to be completely ignorant of Constitutional Law.

        Religious practice is regulated ALL the time by local government. I don’t understand how you could think otherwise.

        Many places regulate fires, which affects burning Chametz. Many places have “blue” laws, which prohibit selling alcohol on Sundays (possibly affects any Yom Tov starting Sunday night.) Zoning laws affect the building of Succahs. I am sure there are many more examples.

      • “Again- “b’peh” is not mentioned ONCE anywhere…..”

        No, that is not true. In משנה ברורה, we find in הלכות שבת סימן של”א, the ביאור הלכה saying that מציצה through a sponge is better than מציצה בפה. And, even to be מתיר
        a sponge for this purpose on שבת.

        מתיר למצוץ בספוג דבדוקה דיותר טוב ממציצה בפה ואפילו בשבת יש להתיר בספוג

          • “You are taking the Mishna Brura out of context…..”

            I am not taking the words of the משנה ברורה at all, but, those of the ביאור הלכה, if you have actually read my post! There are no two sides of any argument here! Post #49 said that מציצה בפה is never mentioned. My post showed that to be incorrect.

            The next time you accuse someone of being dishonest, make certain you know what you’re talking about!

    21. why don’t they have parents sign consent forms before their children receives shots?!?! there are more illnesses and deaths affected by shots than by mitzpe.just saying…

    22. We the people are well aware of the innocent intentions of the lovely govt agencies that are regulating for the interest of “safety”. Just sign that paper and everything will be fine. Just admit that we are in charge, trust me!

      These are the same agencies that now harass every eatery in the name of “health”.

      The same agencies that hand out lofty tickets (oh it just started out with an awareness sticker, $15 fee, $65, and now a full fledged ticket quota) in the name of “safety”.

      The same agencies that now will be controlling how much soda you can buy in the name of “safety”.

      The same agancies that have killed the MTA will unrelenting “fast-track” construction in the name of “jobs”.

      The same agnecies that have raised the price of an MTA fare 6 times over the last 10 yrs, raising it over 120%.

      The same agencies that keep on raising that “tolls” for bridges built over 60 yrs ago, these tolls were meant to pay for the construction and maintainence of thaose individual bridge, now a source of income for the “agencies”.

      Agencies how we love you, we trust you, you are the way around the constitution. No lawsuits, no elections, nothing can undo you!

    23. The City of New York should be applauded for doing what the “Rabbonim” refuse to do- make it known that a Mohel putting his mouth to an open wound is dangerous. I’d have preferred if NYC took the route of some Gedolim from the 19th and 20th century and banned it all together. This is a start…

    24. “For the government to force a rabbi who’s practicing a religious act to tell his congregants it’s dangerous is totally unacceptable. You’re forcing the mohel and the parent to sign a piece of paper that contradicts their religious convictions.”

      But, the entire process of ברית מילה can be dangerous, based on the words of חז”ל themselves. In שלחן ערוך יורה דעה סימן רס”ג , the מחבר writes:

      אשה שמלה בנה ראשון ומת מחמת מילה שהכשילה כחו ומלה גם השני ומת מחמת מילה הרי הוחזקה שבניה מתים מחמת מילה

      How does anyone contradict their religious convictions by signing an informed consent form, testifying that they are aware of the risks involved in מציצה בפה? Aren’t Rabbi Neiderman and the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg over dramatizing this entire affair, by lamely attempting to disguise a health issue into some supreme act of מסירת נפש against an evil government that seeks to be רודף Jews living in New York?

      חכמים הזהרו בדבריכם

    25. The City of New York should be applauded for doing what the “Rabbonim” refuse to do- make it known that a Mohel putting his mouth to an open wound is dangerous. I’d have preferred if NYC took the route of some Gedolim from the 19th and 20th century and banned it all together. This is a start…

    26. The ultimate analogy to metzitza is the following. Take a gun that has a 1 million bullet capacity. Place one bullet in one of the chambers leaving the rest empty. Take that gun, point it at the head of your 8 day old infant and pull the trigger,
      Is there a sane person in the world that would do that? I think the answer is obvious: A resounding no! You would have to be criminaly insane to do such a thing even though the odds of killing the baby are statistically insignificant. Why would anyone do such a foolish thing? There is a loaded gun and a chance that the bullet will end your baby’s life.
      the halacha teaches us that ‘safek pekuach nefesh” trumps all the prohibitions in the torah,a perfect example ” there is a city of one million non-jews and only one jew living there,and you see on shabbos that a wall fell on someone and you have no idea who it is,the halacha tell us that even though the odds of that person being jewish is one million to one,we must be mechalel shabbos and try to save him,and on top of that we all agree that metzitza done with an instrument is halachikly valid,and doing by mouth is only a minhag because we want to do it the way our forefathers used to do it,

      • If that’s the case, just call it quits on Circumcision altogether. That’s from your religious perspective.

        From a secular point of view; According to your logic, we should place a ban on riding a train, car or plane. The statistics are way higher.

        Hey you never know!

      • The situation is halachically not as simple as portrayed here.

        1) Metzizah b’peh is designed to prevent a sakanah. We don’t eat fish and meat together, due to sakana, even though there seems to be no known risk involved. We are mechalel Shabbos for an injury to the back of the hand, even though there seems to be no known risk to one’s life. We take very seriously Chazal’s gereiros.

        2) Yet, it is not so clear that we are mechalel Shabbos to try to save someone is the odds are 1,000,000 to 1 that there is a Yid under a collapsed wall.
        Just because the government and many physicians think the miniscule risk from MBP is significant doesn’t mean that it is significant from a halachic point of view.
        3) The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a policy paper about a decade ago claiming there was no scientific benefit to circumcision. Only a few weeks ago, a definitive statistical study indicated that there are huge health benefits to the circumcised individual and to his partner in terms of disease prevention. We simply do not know for a fact whether there is a demonstrable health benefit (in addition to the benefit in ruchniyus, according to Kabbalah, etc) to MBP.

    27. This is not the 1st time that so-called intellectuals try to refrain yidden from millah. Who remembers the educated Yevonim and their followers, the Misyavnim? Familliar?

      This is a history repeat. Jews bravely defied them then, and we will continue in that path. Hashem is with us!

      • No one, not even the CDC, is even thinking of “trying to refrain yidden from millah”. Anyone who says such a thing is lying.

        All the CDC is doing is urging yidden to think long and hard about metzitzah bapeh, which the CDC considers to be a vector for the transmission of herpes to neonates.

        Please open your eyes Open-Your Eyes #63.

        • Think long and hard if I should practice my “religious right”? If its a danger let them regulate, if not let them get out of the way.

          I dont “trust” government and dont want them to prompt me to think about my religious practices, I am capable of thinking by myself.

          Let them shift their focus on places like autism as a direct result of immunization shots, many countries have ruled that immunization shots are a factor in autism. They should require parents to sign a “consent” form before they send the to public school so that they can think “long and hard” about what they are about to expose their children to.

          • ” … autism as a direct result of immunization shots”

            That is a slander propagated by a British former doctor, Andrew Wakefield. I say “former” because he was struck off the list of people entitled to practise medicine .

            In the UK, the MMR vaccine was the subject of controversy after publication of a 1998 paper by Wakefield reporting a study of twelve children who had bowel symptoms along with autism or other disorders, including cases where onset was believed by the parents to be soon after administration of MMR vaccine.

            In 2010, Wakefield’s research was found by the General Medical Council to have been “dishonest”, and ‘The Lancet’ fully retracted the original paper. The research was declared fraudulent in 2011 by the British Medical Journal. Several subsequent peer-reviewed studies have failed to show any association between the vaccine and autism.

            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service have all concluded that there is *NO EVIDENCE* of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

            Change your name to “BlatantLies1”; it would be much more of a “fact” .

            • What is the negiah for the govt to lie about unsafe vaccines??? Have you ever heard of an FDA recall? It happens all the time that if new evidence comes up about a drug that it will get pulled. It is sounding more and more like you are paranoid. Many times the govt has to do a shikul hadaas between a risky med and the risk of not taking it at all. If they recommend vaccines they are telling you the benefits outweigh any risks. Do you not think Jonas Salk did the entire world a tova by getting rid of polio?

            • “An Italian Court has ruled otherwise”

              If you. Facts1, declare that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service and I “are propagating govt lies”, and that “an Italian Court has ruled otherwise and so will parents of “many” children with Autism”, then clearly YOU are right and ALL the medical experts are wrong.

              Meanwhile, I shall tear up my degrees and diplomas, resign my positions at my hospitals, confess to my students that I have been filling their heads with falsehoods and – on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service – I shall seek selicha and mechila from you, Facts1.

              You are clearly far, far more knowledgeable than all the rest of us. Why you have been hiding your vast bank of experience and expertise under a bushel is completely inexplicable.

          • Last night a British television station broadcast a film about the life of Charles Darwin, the originator and author of “The Origin of Species”. As biopics went, the story was more or less faithful to the truth and it made interesting viewing.

            As I sat watching the movie I thought of some of the more blinkered members of the VIN community who, let me stress, are perfectly entitled to their own opinions and to express them, too. More than 150 years after Darwin, there are so many people, including “our own”, who believe ba’emunah shlemah in Creationism to the utter exclusion of everything else.

            The person who has contributed no less than seven consecutive comments would no doubt head the list.

            Morai verabossai: if you wish to comment on this posting please try to avoid the obvious jibe that watching television is contrary to the rabbinical rulings, or that it is a bitul zman; we all know that already.

            If you must criticize, please try to be a little more substantial and original than the blatantly obvious.

            Thank you.

    28. Unbelievable how there are so many people here who are such experts, and are so sure that MBP is so safe. Like ‘Facts1’, and others. So enlighten us; what do you know about bacteria? Staph Aureus, Strep Pyogenes, Clostridiae, etc. Please, tell us some facts. have you ever seen one of the above organisms under a microscope? Or maybe you believe they don’t really exist.

      Tell me, when your kid scrapes his knee bloody, do you put a Band-aid over it? Some bacitracin perhaps? Why? Chances are he’ll be fine. And next time you go to the dentist, tell him forget the gloves- you don’ think anything will happen. And if you have to have any kind of surgical procedure done, just tell the surgeon to skip the mask. You don’t care about his bacteria laden droplets breathed into your surgical field.

      You’d want the mohel to wear gloves, but then he can go and squeeze his bacteria loaded mouth abainst the wound? Where’s the seichel?

      Since when did MBP become yehareg v’al ya’avor? It’s a minhag. A bris done without MBP is just as kosher as one done without.

      I think I’ve lost what little respect I’ve had left for Rabbis like Reuven Feinstein and Salomon. Belsky I lost respect for long ago.

      • “You’d want the mohel to wear gloves, but then he can go and squeeze his bacteria loaded mouth abainst the wound? Where’s the seichel? “

        Of course not, a mohel is not allowed to wear gloves, it will make the פריעה invalid. That is what’s at risk here, once we submit to the jurisdiction of government, it’s just a matter of time before they will require gloves, hospital, doctor, license and the ban it all together. If I would look from the point of view of a liberal, there is no way I would allow this unnecessary procedure take place at all. Why cut someones foreskin without their consent?

        In regards to the bacteria etc., you are right and that’s why the it says “שומר מצוה לא יאונה רעה” (Those who heed the commandment will not be subjected to danger). We have the statistics to back it up. The CDC and NYC health departemnt is working with flawed data (like ignoring the general population that has attracted herpies) and even so cannot “prove” that the Mohel and not a nurse, parent, sibling was at fault. They also have , what like 11 cases over 6 decades? Is that even a risk factor?

        The Israeli health dept has rejected that any risk exisits.

        • No it’s 11 cases over 11 years. That’s one case every year. In one city. And not all of those years was it mandated to report cases.

          The CDC did NOT ignore the general population. They looked at the incidence of newborn herpes in the general population, and found that it was 3.4 times higher among babies who had MBP.

          The Israeli health department has NOT rejected the existence of risks. The Israeli pediatrics association has advocated that MBP be banned.

          The CDC data is not flawed, your understanding of it is. Read it here:

          • They ignored the “cause” in the general populam, that’s what makes this reports unreliable. All this reports says is that Group A had more cases than group B.

            Remember that the Orthodox community is also an inseparable component of the general population, so they to are entitled to their fair share of the virus as well. Now that said they are “not” 3.4 more likelier to get the virus, more like 2.1 likelier.

            Now add in that 4 of the cases were siblings being exposed to the same envoirment, Hospital, Nurse, Parents and Siblings, I beleive we are now less then the general population.

            Add in the fact that 3 of the parents deny MBP (See report – “probable direct orogenital suction”), Now we are really below the general population.

            Indeed they ignored the general population, they are after a suspicion and therefor only following up on MBP cases, that’s like saying Jews are smarter because they eat Chulent.

            • “that’s like saying Jews are smarter because they eat Chulent”

              Judging by the dogmatic and stubborn attitudes demonstrated by Facts1 (a misnomer if ever there was one) on MMR vaccines and metzitzah bapeh, both subjects of which he is clearly totally ignorant,it surprises me that he has not insisted,like Torah miSinai, that “Jews *are* smarter because they eat Chulent”.

            • Hey, are you the Anonymous who davens at Sheinfeld’s? Or are you the Anonymous whose grandfather was run out of town in Biala-Podolsk for meddling with – (hmm, we’d better leave that right there)?

              Stupid questions? Absolutely so. But why on earth do so many people choose to post as “Anonymous” all the time?

              We often have three or more “Anonymice” arguing with each other on the same thread!

              Come on guys; it’s the work of a single second to choose a screen name. Stand up and be counted!

            • “You still don’t know who the screen names are?”

              You’re right, I don’t – but debating with “PashutehYid”, for example, differentiates that person fromall th rest. It makes the person with the cojones to choose a simple nickname stand out from a herd of mediocrities.

    29. Perhaps the DOH should close all hospitals, health centers, etc. because people are getting staph infections (some fatal) there. The reason government is getting involved in this issue is because there are people pushing this agenda. If all the gay bars were forced to close their doors to prevent the spread of AIDS, there would be a huge outcry about “civil liberties” and rights.

    30. I am more willing to take the risk and have a traditional bris with MBP on my baby, than I am willing to risk giving him vaccinations that contain toxins like mercury etc.

      • Vaccines do not contain mercury and haven’t in decades. And if you refuse to vaccinate not only are you endangering your children, you are endangering everyone else he comes in contact with.

      • Then get ready for Diptheria (risk of death 1 in 20), Tetanus (risk of death 1 in 5) and Pertussis (risk of death 1 in 200) for starters. Lucky for you your community should have herd immunity from these diseases, thanks to all the responsible parents getting their kids immunized.

        • There is no “herd immunity” from tetanus as it is not a communicable disease in the sense that diptheria or pertussis are.

          Tetanus is caused by the tetanus bacterium Clostridium tetani which usually enters the body via a puncture wounds. Diphtheria, on the other hand, is a contagious disease spread by direct physical contact or breathing the aerosolized secretions of infected individuals.

    31. I repeat…

      Metzitzah b’peh should be banned. End of story. Circumcision is not under attack. The practise of metzitzah b’peh is. People who claim that banning MBP would be the thin edge of the wedge to outlaw circumcision are being disingenuous. Brit milah is a set in stone mitzvah whilst MBP is a later adopted custom. (A bit like the fact that the Tanach is the primary book whilst the Talmud is a derivative.)

      This is a simple halakhic issue to solve. The sucking ritual as part of the bris is not mentioned in the Pentateuch and even if it is a custom that has been passed down from mohels through the centuries does not make it right in this day and age. We don’t push goats off cliffs anymore to absolve our sins etc. etc. Sometimes it amazes me that in 2012/5772 the thinking of various “sages” and “scholars” is so medievil.

      Again…People should also not confuse the MBP practise which is a custom that should be banned and brit milah which is a mitzvah. Disingenuous people are trying to confuse others. On small matters of principle do empires thrive or collapse.

        • But, the גמרא in שבת קל”ג does not say that a מוהל who doesn’t do מציצה בפה is fired. Only a מוהל who doesn’t do מציצה at all is fired!

          אמר רב פפא האי אומנא דלא מייץ סכנה הוא ועברינן ליה

          Prior to correcting anyone else, you should know what you’re talking about!

    32. Even if the figures on MBP cited by the Health Department are correct, the chances of serious illness are remote; less than 1 in 10,000. That being said, it’s a disgusting practice, and does absolutely nothing to improve the health or well-being of the little boy. This is one of the rare occasions I agree with Bloomberg.

    33. *You* know, and *I* know, the rabbinical reasons for MBP, whether or not we support or negate it. However, have any of the proponents and supporters of MBP considered what a negative image the practice generates in the eyes of goyim?

      In the second decade of the 21st century a single picture can be flashed onto the television screens of millions of people around the globe. In the second decade of the 21st century, few people will stop to consider the Jewish rationale for MBP but will immediately get negative, prurient, thoughts in their minds. That, my friends, does not help klal Yisrael one single iota.

      It’s bad enough that in the second decade of the 21st century our brethren in continental Europe are now having to fight a ‘milchemet kodesh’ to protect and to preserve their right to circumcize their sons – without having to cope with propaganda pictures that do nothing to help.


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