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 (http://bit.ly/QSbUZZ).
“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.”