New York – A renowned lawyer , well known as a staunch advocate of civil rights, came out with some surprising words on the topic of metziza b’peh in a radio interview that took place this past Saturday night.
Speaking with talk show host Zev Brenner, attorney Nathan Lewin said that he supported New York City’s decision to require signed parental consent before a mohel would be allowed to do metzitza b’peh.
Lewin told Brenner that he declined to represent the parties that were challenging New York City on the metzitza b’peh ruling and that while he has respect for the lawyers who took the case, it was not one that he would have taken on.
“I hope that the very fine lawyers who are representing the community that wants to be free of any restriction are able to succeed, but it seems to me that it is not unreasonable, even in the area of religious observance, for the city to require parents to sign a form that says that their eight day old baby can have this controversial procedure performed on them,” Lewin told VIN News today in an interview. “Given the allegations and history this is a reasonable requirement on the part of the city and falls within the kinds of things that are ordinarily regulated even if there is a religious duty attached.”
Lewin agreed that having the city regulate even one component of a religious practice could potentially create a dangerous precedent if it led to further restrictions on bris milah.
“That is the one legitimate argument that can be made against here,” observed Lewin. “But I think we can cross that bridge when we come to it.”