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July 31, 2007

Should We End Circumcision As We Know It?

At the end of the day, every couple has to make its own decision, said Rabbi Donni Aaron, head of program designed to train Reform mohels. But, she added, most of the parents she has encountered eventually choose to circumcise their sons, and that trend is unlikely to change any time soon. “If for thousands of years it was clear that the practice was harmful,” she said, “it would have gone away a while ago.”

Without arguing for or against circumcision, and without bringing in the many diseases contracted over the centuries from metzitza b'peh, the oral-to-genital-suction traditionally preformed by the mohel on the bleeding infant immediately after the circumcision cut has been made, or the many children who died or were maimed from infections or loss of blood, I believe the history presented by Rabbi Aaron is incorrect. Here's why:

  1. Jews at various times in history voluntarily ceased circumcising their sons. One example that comes readily to mind is during the Hellenistic Age, but there were others, as well.
  2. The ritual itself has dramatically changed. Originally, only a small piece of the foreskin was removed. Later, after Jews tried to reverse their circumcisions through various stretching procedures, the rabbis increased the amount of foreskin taken and also ordered the total removal of the underlying membrane. In other words, today's circumcision is a much more radical procedure than the circumcision of the Torah. (I don't have the source for this readily available so reader beware until I can come up with it.)

The Forward notes the growing number of Jewish ant-circumcision activists and the growing number of Jews who voluntarily do not circumcise their sons. Perhaps, in light of #2 above, it would be wise for some to consider returning to Jewish ritual circumcision as it was practiced before the rabbinically mandated change.

That would still fulfill the biblical commandment and it would eliminate many, but not all, of the complaints of the anti-circumcision activists, especially the fear that circumcision reduces sexual feeling and pleasure for both partners.

UPDATE: 3 metzitza b'peh sources after the jump …

The Hatam Sofer:

I am ever mindful of Hashem’s presence (Psalms 16:8), Pressburg, Evening before Thursday, 20th Shevat [5 ]597 (=1837).

Peace, goodness, long days and years of life to my friend, my student, the Rav etc., R. Eleazar S.G.L. Horowitz, may his light shine, Head of Beit Din in the capital city Vienna.

Your valuable [letter] has reached me. You write correctly that we find no requirement to do meẓiẓah specifically with the mouth. Only the mekubalim require this for they say that Divine judgment is softened through mouth and lips. We do not reckon, however, with the “hidden” when there is even a minute danger. The root ץימor ץצמare the same as i n (Proverbs 30:32): [So] patience under pressure [produces strife] and in Judges (6:38) regarding Gideon: and w rung out the dew from the fleece. Rashi explains these as “squeezing out,” to remove force fully. So also do Radak and R. Ibn Ezra explain, ibid. If so, we need to draw the blood from the distant points by whatever method, and one may trust the experts regarding which method is as effective as drawing with the lips. Furthermore, I declare that even if it had been stated explicitly in the Gemara “Draw with the mouth, ” nevertheless this is not part of what validates the circumcision, it is rather for the purpose of medical danger. If one circumcised and uncovered the corona but did not squeeze out the blood, he has already completed performing the commandment; the child may eat Terumah, and his father may arrange the Pascal sacrifice. It is just that the child remain s in danger until one takes measures to extract the blood from distant points. In the Chapter R. Eliezer de-Milah (Shabbat 134b) R. Pappa deduces similarly that a bandage and cumin are necessary to prevent danger . This applies to meẓizah as well. Now as to the bandage and the cumin—we do not use cumin at all, nor the particular bandage mentioned in the Gemara by Abaya and Rava . Thus we see that since it is only for therapeutic purposes we need not be concerned if doctors devise other methods in their stead . The same applies to meziẓah. Even if the Mishnah had mentioned that meẓizah is performed with the mouth we would still be able to substitute something similar. However, they should exhort the expert doctors to testify truthfully whether the sponge has the same effect as meziẓah with the mouth. More than this, according to my humble opinion, we need not be concerned. May Hashem heal you and strengthen you —in accordance with the wishes of your precious soul and the wishes of your devoted friend who desires your constant well- being.

Moshe ha -Katan Sofer of Frankfort-on- the- Main

Dr. Shlomo Sprecher's article on the medical and halakhic history of metzitza b'peh:

Download vol_3_sprecher.pdf

Letters in response to Dr. Sprecher's article:

Download mbp_letters.pdf

All three sources are from Hakira: The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought, vol. 3. (You can subscribe or purchase individual issues, either at a very cost-effective price.)

Comments

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"That would still fulfill the biblical commandment and it would eliminate many, but not all, of the complaints of the anti-circumcision activists"

No, the anti-circ activists have every right to demand the end of routine neo-natal circumcision, but as a ritual, it would still be a better option because it would:

1) allow some degree of the sliding mechanism that is useful in intercourse

2) protect the corona to some limited degree.

3) Circumcision is often compared to color blindness. A moderate circ would allow some degree of certain colors.

Additionally, no less than the Rambam signals that the extra "periah" mandate is a Rabbinic add-on.

If we are going to be taking stands in favor of sexual pleasure, then we should be considering the halachic consequences on the American ban on marijuana consumption. Ample evidence, both anecdotal and scientific, shows that cannabis can enhance sexual pleasure. Of halachic significance is the prospect of enabling men to fulfill the mitzvah of ona'ah in circumstances where they had previously been unable to do so. I dont understand why the OU, which claims to promote halachic observance and Jewish family values, is not at the forefront of the legalization movement.

--and without bringing in the many diseases contracted over the centuries from metzitza b'peh . . . or the many children who died or were maimed from infections or loss of blood--

Rabbi Tendler made statements similar to the above when the metzitza b'peh controversy arose. I believe those statements were almost uniformly riduculed by halachic and medical authorities. At a minimum, there certainly is no reliable medical data that would support these accusations.

--(I don't have the source for this readily available so reader beware until I can come up with it.)--

do you plan on providing sources?

Shmarya, maybe you should start promoting the Reform Brit Shalom ceremony which allows you to skip the snipping part of the ceremony and go straight to the bagle and lox.

>http://www.cirp.org/library/history/peron2/
Posted by: DK | July 31, 2007 at 06:03 PM

These "facts" have been cited by anti-circumcision groups for ages. I don't believe there are many facts to back them up (other than a naked statue created by Michelangelo).

In contrast, there are substantial facts and support to those that claim that metzitza b'peh was not part of the milah and only instituted for perceived medical reasons.

We know from our own source that extreme Hellenists would reverse their circumcision. We also know that with the current style of cir, this wasn't possible until the invention of tape.

Hence, we know circ became more radical, as they were able to do so once.

I believe those statements were almost uniformly riduculed by halachic and medical authorities. At a minimum, there certainly is no reliable medical data that would support these accusations.

I linked to that data. Try following the links and then reading the article linked.

Both metziza b' peh and brit periah are called by different names, and associated with different aspects, than milah itself. They both are different than milah, which is what the Torah references. Not periah or metzizah.

Start criticizing tzadikim, then you laud expellers of 9,000 jews and crticize them, then you bash all observant jews, then you defend SS officcers, and now OBLITERATING BRISS BIVSARCHEM!! If anyone wanted proof about the danger of oshon HOrah and listening to Torah Scotty provides you with ample evidence!

>I linked to that data. Try following the links and then reading the article linked.

I am already familiar with Dr. Sprecher's article. While there certainly are events where infections were contracted and are highly likely are attributable to metzizah b'peh, much of it is specualation as Dr. Sprecher acknowledges. Rabbi Tendler made statements to the effect that there are 100s of documented case of infections transmitted through metzizah b'peh and a number of similar comments which are absolute false. Neither do you have any proof that "many diseases contracted over the centuries from metzitza b'peh" or support for the statment relating to "the many children who died." If you were to argue that metzizah b'peh should be discontinued even for a remote risk, I might agree with you. As I noted in a prior comment the source of metzizah b'peh is almost certainly not biblical (there is a view that it is - but it is a super minority view) and it seems logical that it was impelemented for perceived medical reasons. Can't recall the source, but I once saw an article addressing metziah b'peh where a number of doctors - if I think it was pediatric urologists on staff in hospitals with emergency rooms located in areas with large orthodox communities - were polled and all said that they had never had a case of an infection that may have been transmitted through a milah. Again, it may happen and it may be appropriate to eliminate metzizah b'peh, but anyone saying it is prevalent is lying.

I still waiting for supporting information for your statement that the ritual of milah has changed over the years and originaly only a smaller portion of the foreskin was removed.

I'm sticking by traditional circumcision.

Have you ever SEEN an uncircumcised one? Ick.

I think DK is on the right track. For those of us who are traditionalists (but not rabbinic fundies), we want to stick with the miqra if the rabbinic interpretation is harmful. I would not want to abolish milah, because I believe Yahweh wants it (okay- I am a fundaminimalist). Also, there are some medical benefits, and relatively few drawbacks, as the article itself claims. Dk's solution would preserve the pshat, minimize the drawbacks of circ, while still allowing for the medical benefits.

"Dk's solution would preserve the pshat, minimize the drawbacks of circ, while still allowing for the medical benefits."

Please note that pretty much all poskim rule that the result of periah (i.e. the total amount of foreskin removed) is part of the biblical requirement, only it need not be two separate acts.

Granted, Anon, but sometimes I am bit of a Karaite.

Everybody sing: "It's the end of circumcision as we know it..."

What the article in the Forward does not even touch on is that circumcision is VERY PAINFUL.

My evidence is anecdotal. My mother heard how my brother screamed when he was circumcized and how long it took to calm him down again. She did not know then that my brother has a VERY HIGH pain threshhold which meant that if it made him that upset, it must have really hurt. This was a generation ago and back then in the 1960's no one thought neonates felt pain.

We know differently now. Go to Medline (or PubMed which is the free version) at your favorite library and search "pain control" AND circumcision AND (infan* or neonate*)

A baby circumcized in the hospital can have local anaesthesia. Put another way, would you want someone to perform minor surgery on you on the dining room table with no pain control during or after the procedure?

I know mohels make good money but medical science advances.

I am already familiar with Dr. Sprecher's article. While there certainly are events where infections were contracted and are highly likely are attributable to metzizah b'peh, much of it is specualation…

No, it is informed analysis based on germ transmission and other information not available at the time of those outbreaks.

And, as Dr. Sprecher notes, major poskim urged the stopping of metzitza b'peh, not because it looked bad but because, in the best medical opinion they had available, it was bad. And that medical opinion was and remains correct.

"And, as Dr. Sprecher notes, major poskim urged the stopping of metzitza b'peh, not because it looked bad but because, in the best medical opinion they had available, it was bad. And that medical opinion was and remains correct"

Please list all poskim.
A
nd look in Sdei Chemed on milah, he brings everyone and says that any serious posek belives it must be done.

I linked the source. Go learn it.

The Sdei Hemed is not exactly the be all and end of halakha.

http://dhengah.org/metzitzah4dummies/metzitzah4dummies.htm
Recommended for all those who want to see how foolish and moronic Shmarya is.

I linked the source. Go learn it.

The Sdei Hemed is not exactly the be all and end of halakha.

http://dhengah.org/metzitzah4dummies/metzitzah4dummies.htm
Recommended for all those who want to see how foolish and moronic Shmarya is.

Spoken like a true hasid.

The rest of you can look at the ample sources – accepted by almost the entire yeshiva world, BTW and all of Modern Orthodoxy – that say that Metzitza b'peh is not a halakha, it is not part of the mitzvah, and can be done away with or done differently – AKA using a sponge or a glass tube.


“The Sdei Hemed is not exactly the be all and end of halakha” By Shmarya

Rav Chaim Chizkiya HaLevi Medini was born in 1833 . His Sdei Chemed is an encyclopedia of halachic and Talmudic issues, which draw heavily off of responsa of Acharonim. He passed away in Chevron in 1885.
Sedei Chemed - his chief work, a 12 volume encyclopedic collection of laws and decisions in alphabetical order.

Shmarya read that ten times and tell me what’s wrong with your statement.
Hint: encyclopedia (he includes everyone)

Hit: You don't have a clue.

Try reading Sprecher's article, for a start. You could also ask youself why the entire MO world and almost all of the Yeshiva world (i.e., everybody but the hasidim) did away with metzitza b'peh many years ago. But to do that would require both knowledge of various communities' practices and the willingness to learn. You're down at least one count there.

Give me a reliable source don't tell me to read your garbage!
Did you read the Sedei Chemed?
When you do, ill read your article deal?
Can we test each other?

Ill blow your idiotic mind out of the water.

Right. Try reading the sources I mentioned. You'll learn something.

If you do not want to do that, go away.

Afraid of the challenge? Cant read Hebrew? I thought you were brilliant in halcha this should be a cake walk for you! Common read it all, it’s quite long but a breeze for you.
I would like to have a serious conversation, but since you obviously don’t know all the details which I assume you are saying you don’t know what the Sdei Chemed says and therefore you don’t even know all the opinions, so in summary don’t know what you’re talking about.

I am ever mindful of Hashem’s presence (Psalms 16:8), Pressburg, Evening before Thursday, 20th Shevat [5 ]597 (=1837).

Peace, goodness, long days and years of life to my friend, my student, the Rav etc., R. Eleazar S.G.L. Horowitz, may his light shine, Head of Beit Din in the capital city Vienna.

Your valuable [letter] has reached me. You write correctly that we find no requirement to do meẓiẓah specifically with the mouth. Only the mekubalim require this for they say that Divine judgment is softened through mouth and lips. We do not reckon, however, with the “hidden” when there is even a minute danger. The root ץימor ץצמare the same as i n (Proverbs 30:32): [So] patience under pressure [produces strife] and in Judges (6:38) regarding Gideon: and w rung out the dew from the fleece. Rashi explains these as “squeezing out,” to remove force fully. So also do Radak and R. Ibn Ezra explain, ibid. If so, we need to draw the blood from the distant points by whatever method, and one may trust the experts regarding which method is as effective as drawing with the lips. Furthermore, I declare that even if it had been stated explicitly in the Gemara “Draw with the mouth, ” nevertheless this is not part of what validates the circumcision, it is rather for the purpose of medical danger. If one circumcised and uncovered the corona but did not squeeze out the blood, he has already completed performing the commandment; the child may eat Terumah, and his father may arrange the Pascal sacrifice. It is just that the child remain s in danger until one takes measures to extract the blood from distant points. In the Chapter R. Eliezer de-Milah (Shabbat 134b) R. Pappa deduces similarly that a bandage and cumin are necessary to prevent danger . This applies to meẓizah as well. Now as to the bandage and the cumin—we do not use cumin at all, nor the particular bandage mentioned in the Gemara by Abaya and Rava . Thus we see that since it is only for therapeutic purposes we need not be concerned if doctors devise other methods in their stead . The same applies to meziẓah. Even if the Mishnah had mentioned that meẓizah is performed with the mouth we would still be able to substitute something similar. However, they should exhort the expert doctors to testify truthfully whether the sponge has the same effect as meziẓah with the mouth. More than this, according to my humble opinion, we need not be concerned. May Hashem heal you and strengthen you —in accordance with the wishes of your precious soul and the wishes of your devoted friend who desires your constant well- being.

Moshe ha -Katan Sofer of Frankfort-on- the- Main

Go drei a kop with the Hatam Sofer.

Here is some more stuff for you to comment on

Isi Leibler's article in todays JPost about the looming haredi disaster and see

http://www.nrg.co.il/online/11/ART1/616/219.html


R. Elyashiv has banned an Avraham Fried concert.

and of course, there is R. Ovadiah Yosef's comments last Sat. night about women.

"You could also ask youself why the entire MO world and almost all of the Yeshiva world (i.e., everybody but the hasidim) did away with metzitza b'peh many years ago."

Shmarya, I don't disagree with you about metzitza b'peh, as I stated earlier it seems logical to me that it was institued for medicinal, not halachic, purposes. However, the statement you made is not accurate. You may disagree, but most rabbis in the yeshiva world do rule that metziza b'peh should be continued. These include the leading Lithuanian rabbis in Israel.

btw, I discussed Dr. Sprecher's article with him a couple of weeks after he wrote it. In short his view is that metzizah b'peh is a real medical concern, there are a few documented cases of transmittal of infection that led to medical problems and logic (based on medical knowledge) leads to the conclusion that in a small minority of cases some infection is transmitted that leads to a medical problem - though in the vast majority of instances no lasting problems. In Dr. Sprecher's view (which I don't disagree with) that is sufficient cause to eliminate metzizah b'peh. However, Dr. Sprecher was very emphatic in his discussions with me that statements that there are widespread transmissions of infection by metzizah b'peh are at best far fetched speculation. Statements, such as Rabbi Tender's, that there are 100s of documented cases are just outright false. One disclaimer, for all those that may seek to insult Dr. Sprecher, he is very emphatic that what he wrote is his personal views, that he is not a posek, that anyone looking for a recommendation should consult with a qualified posek. He is not looking to influence what people do or don't do and just wrote a scholarly article so there is no need to insult him for trying to undermine mila as you believe it should be.

Putting aside metzitza b'peh, could you elaborate on your statement that the "ritual itself has dramatically changed" and that "originally, only a small piece of the foreskin was removed." It is my understanding that this is contrary to the unanimous (or close to it) opinion of all poskim that have addressed this throughout the ages. (Poskim disagree on whether periah is a required second act or if it could be combined, but I don't believe there is much dispute on what is the required end result of the mila.

Can someone on this blog please help me translate the Sdei Chemed?
Shmarya wanna help do something productive?
instead of quoting people who don't know what their talking about?

A message to everyone who may get offended by this...

A great radio personality (a non Jew who respected the Jewish religion) once told a self hating Jew who constantly called the talk show to rant on and on about the Jews (and boasted to even having been circumcised) "Go back to the Rabbi he probably did not cut enough..."

Edious:

The S'dei Chemed is certainly persuasive, but he is not dispositive. In other words, just because he says it doesn't make it theonly valid shita in halacha. The Chazon Ish had no problem with the fact that metzitza be'peh was abandoned in Lithuania in the 19th and early 20th centuries. By the way, when my son was circumsized, the mohel did metzitza be'peh.

Dispositive?

Again Lawrence he is a encyclopedia meaning if he thought there was a valid enough opinion that reject he’s notion he would have stated obviously in he’s very knowledgeable database he didn’t see anyone who disagrees.
I’m sorry but the Chozen Ish said not to do it? Weather he had a problem or not is not relevant did he say you don’t need it?
I have newfound respect for you that you did something that every major Posek in the past 3 thousand years said to do, may we have more Jews like you!

could you elaborate on your statement
that the "ritual itself has dramatically changed" and that "originally,
only a small piece of the foreskin was removed." It is my
understanding that this is contrary to the unanimous (or close to it)
opinion of all poskim that have addressed this throughout the ages.
(Poskim disagree on whether periah is a required second act or if it
could be combined, but I don't believe there is much dispute on what is
the required end result of the mila.

The first question to be asked is, How did Jews reverse their circumcisions? This is exactly what haza"l say happened. But there was no tape in those days. How would it have been done?

The only answer I've seen that the brit was less severe than what we now do, and there was enough of the foreskin left to enable stretching by other means. This would also fit with the brit done by Moshe's wife in the desert. How else would a brit be done with a "sharp stone" on the spur of the moment in a wilderness? Certainly not a bris that removes all the foreskin and more.

What do you mean, Shmarya? Maybe we when it said "sharp stone," it really meant a 20th century Mogen Clamp. And certainly they all performed Metziza b'peh on each other, as dictated in the Talmud!

Edious:

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the S'dei Chemed is not the posek acharon of k'lal Yisroel. And in any case, his work is an encyclopedia of the literature, not a definitive legal code. Now, how do you square your insistance on everyone following the S'dei Chemed's sources with the Ch'sam Sofer as quoted by Shmarya? Or you are saying Shmarya's misquoting?

The Chazon Ish told the father-in-law of a close friend that metzitza be'peh had been abandoned in 19th century Lithuania, and that there were good reasons for having done so. The listener was a bit incredulous, because being Chasidic, he believed it to be an essential part of the milah.

I was at bris performed by Rabbi Mordechai "supermohel" Zimmerman, in which he very clearly did not do metzitzah be'peh. (I was also at brisim where he did). If mohel of his stature could omit the procedure, then there had to be a heter for it, even if I don't hold to it.

Edious, while the Sdei Chemed is certainly an influential source, the fact is that many accepted poskim allowed people to not do metzizah b'peh over the ages for various reasons. Poskim disagree with respect to the circumstances which warrant not doing metzizah b'peh and you should follow the advice of your rabbi, however claiming that the opposing view doesn't exist among accepted halachic sources is just not true.

Shmarya, the belief that periah or the amount removed was first instituted during the second bet hamikdash is I believe only accepted by anti-circumcision groups. I believe that every halachic source that considered this issue took the view that periah is a biblical requirement or that it was instituted in the times of Joshua. According to the talmud, "mal v'lo para k'ilu lo mal". It is difficult to undertand that statement if periah was first institued during the 2nd temple. I suspect you've been taken for a ride on this one.

Could you publicize the source of the position that jews would try to stretch the foreskin during the 2nd temple. I believe there is once jewish source for this (not the naked statute of David by Michaelangelo) that many understand to mean this but can't recall where it is.

Not sure how the story of Moshe's wife supports this view. If the stone was sharp enough you can do whatever you could do with a knife. if it wasn't sharp enough even an abbreviated brit would be a problem.

I believe that every halachic source that considered this issue took the view that periah is a biblical requirement or that it was instituted in the times of Joshua.

"Instituted in the times of Joshua" is a Talmudic way of saying, It is very old, we're not sure where it is from, but it is not d'orita (biblical)."

Could you publicize the source of the position that jews would try to stretch the foreskin during the 2nd temple.

It's discussed in various rabbinic sources regarding Hanukka. Take a look and see if you can find an exact cite.

On the laws of circumcision I have been asked two questions:
Is it possible to abolish circumcision due to the fact that there are doctors who claim that it is harmful to the child?

The reply to this would be, that it is obvious we are not allowed to listen to these so called doctors regarding this matter and G-D forbid to move a iota from what our teachers stated in the Mishnah and Talmud and Poskim, all the Winds of the world cannot move one sliver from what out oral torah transmitted and that which is accepted by all Jews. And if any says to remove even one detail of a letter that was accepted from our oral and true heritage, he is very mistaken and is filling you up with stupidity.

On to the second matter:
That we should judge is its possible not to abolish metzitza b'peh entirely just to modify it slightly, we would like to use modern day medical equipment for the procedure (tube and the like).

At first glance this it does not seem to be an issue. And my humble mind was working on this matter since time I received this query in the year 1892, as I will write the reply to this with god help. I did not respond to the inquirer at the time even though I had a clear permissible ruling regarding this matter. I must admit without shame that I erred in this inquiry, as I will with gods help write down.

Regarding abolishing this completely it is obvious that this is prohibited and I don’t need to write about this. Nevertheless it is proper in my eyes to write a bit about this matter, to take away the reasoning and heart from all those in the world who err in this matter, and although there are many Seforim from Rabbonim Achronim who already dealt with this matter, but as a tail to a lion I will follow in their ways, repeating and editing what they wrote. Should there be one reader who has these Seforim in front of them and it would have been enough to mark and study in these Seforim alone, nevertheless in the light of my heavenly work, although I do not favor my work, nevertheless my work has a major advantage in that it is set out for you like a table, and out of fear that there are cities which these Seforim are not available.

It is very helpful to publicize this matter and may blessings come to those who strengthen the orthodox religion, and so that those who hear this, will fear from breaking down the walls God forbid. There was already an incident in one town that did not know what was written in the Seforim and they wanted to abolish metzitza b'peh entirely because of supposed medical reasoning, being there at the time I strictly protested to this and gave over a few tidbits that were stated in these holy Seforim and thank God I was successful.

I will write the words of the Seforim in small paragraphs so that it should easy to learn.

1) Regarding abolishing metzitza b'peh entirely, the Goan Tiferes Yisrael (commentary on the Mishnah) writes in Perek R’ Eliezer D’Milah Mishnah Beis the Mishnah states as follows: you can do all things needed for circmustion, you cut, you tear the foreskin, and you suck the blood out, he write on this (letter 15)”you suck to blood from the wound and even though you are dislodging the blood causing a wound on shabbos nevertheless if you do not to this it can lead to the danger of the blood of the wound which is in the skin and is hot will heat up the limb encircling it and cause the limb to swell. (Although the doctors say now otherwise, that by sucking the blood out you are causing the wound to expand and causing the blood to flow after the procedure like taking out wine from a barrel with a pump, as soon as you finish pumping the tube, the suction will pull the wine and will refill the tube even after you stopped pumping so to the blood will refill the wound and cause it to open up and drip blood long after. To not wonder why we don’t listen to this medical statement even though its against the Talmud since we see that out nature does change (Like the Magen Avrohom 173:2, 179:8, YD 316:3 EH 156) and you would think that we should listen to the doctors is such a case as we do regarding Kerisos (heavenly punishments) And Execution by court, we listen to the doctors (Shabbos 129 A, Yuma 82 A, Nidah 22 B) even when lenient, and all the more so when there is danger involved and they are knowledgably in matters of possible dangers more then we are and we are lenient when it comes to shabbos to suck the wound because of the dangers nevertheless when it comes to modern advice we should not discard the ruling of the earlier Rabbis, it is not comparable to washing of that baby (as I will state in chapter 32)which we don’t do now because of the change of nature , because there in the case of washing since our natured changed to the point where we don’t need it whatsoever but in our case all doctors agree that by sucking the wound the limp wont swell and even though in the northern countries it is not as dangerous as in the middle east where the weather is hotter , but it is still possible in the northern countries for the limp to swell. Although the doctors say you can help the swelling by putting a towel of fluid (???) or a towel soaked of cold water but since they say sucking the wound also helps we only have to words of out sages, for even in the words of torah which It did not make a difference which way you did such and such they would be stringent and do as the sages did like we see Rava used beets and rice since it left the mouth of Rav Huna; that is, Rava wished to demonstrate that the Halachah followed the opinion of Rav Huna, and therefore went out of his way to use a beet and rice as the two cooked foods on his Seder plate. It seems to me that you should not suck hard on shabbos for in the Talmud it says” this Mohel who does not suck” its possible we don’t suck at all, but since we do then you should spit a little vinegar? Alcohol? That is in your mouth on the wound to close and gather the blood vessels to seal the wound which you opened through sucking” end quote from the Tiferes Yisrael.
2) In the Responsa of the Goan Mahram Shiff (Student of the master Chasam Sofer) Yoreh Deah Chapter 244 he writes at length in a response to he’s student Rav Moshe Shutashka question. I will extract a bit of text as it was given to Moshe (referring to Moshe Sofer the author) on Mount Sinai as follows” on your question regarding the congregation they set the takanah of not sucking the wound and the previous Mohel didn’t either and until now you didn’t protest to suck to wound and you ask if you should you do so now and/or reject being the Mohel from now on or continue and not suck as is the takanah there. It is a wonder as to the words in you letter, which you write that it is the takanah, how could something like this be called a takanah? Some people come along and raise their hand and go against the words of the sages that are explicit in the Talmud, Rishonim, Achronim that the sucking must be done, these people come along and say it is dangerous as if they are wiser the sages of the Talmud and Poskim and to nullify the words of the Sages and Poskim because of the vanity that comes from the vapor of their mouths from so called doctors in our times that say you don’t need the sucking, that there is no danger if you don’t do this procedure, which is only a trick and tactic that they leech on the weak minded to teach and abolish all the words of out sages, can such a thing be called a takanah? This is only to crook and nullify to break Peretz “Because he is called Peretz Stubborn” we wise should realize and think about it for even if most doctors say that it is not dangerous- ever tough we already know that we don’t follow to majority when it comes to matters of danger- but they say even further that the odds of danger are one in a billion and zero chance of danger, which they cant possibly know this and our sages were careful even in the slight chance of danger and we don’t go according to the majority of doctors in matter of life and death and we are already allowed to desecrate the shabbos and one much suck the blood due to pikuach nefesh and the Torah says “you shall live with them” so we don’t go according the major medical opinion, and the medical opinions are based on past cases and streaming information that can arise at any moment through test hypotheses and studying the information, since there are possible exclusion to these test we must be careful for if not that case we would follow to majority in all medical cases.
3) Most of the words of the sages are based from the laws Moshe received on mount Sinai which was handed down from generation to generation and all those laws are everlasting and how can we nullify the holy words from God? And it could be that the laws of Moshe are based on some of a minority that believes there is danger and there is a journal ??? That says it is good for the wound as one Mohel testifies that in one case they didn’t to metzitza and the kid got very sick, it also states in many Responsa that one must to metzitza.
4) Back to the matter at hand don’t accept the Mohel who does not to metzitza for three reasons………(im getting tired no one wants to help out?)

“” the Ch'sam Sofer as quoted by Shmarya? Or you are saying Shmarya's misquoting?””

Yes that’s exactly what I saying cause he’s main disciple said that the case the Chasam Sofer was talking about is a anomaly and possibly a forgery.

Almost no one besides the Maharam Shiff holds that way. It was considered authentic by many other disciples and by most other rabbis and is considered authentic by scholars.

And you have many, many poskim who do and did hold the MBP is NOT a part of mila and can be dropped.

>And you have many, many poskim who do and did hold the MBP is NOT a part of mila and can be dropped.

Shmarya, I suspect this is what you meant, but for the sake of clarity - many of the poskim who hold MBP can be dropped only hold that the "b'peh" part can be dropped not the entire metziza.

>It's discussed in various rabbinic sources regarding Hanukka. Take a look and see if you can find an exact cite.

Not very helpful. If anone knows where it is please post.

He was he’s main disciple and a genius. Are you really serious?
And the Sdei Chemed says it is not aunthetic and he is a serious scholar.
Give me Poskim! I want a list.

And the Sdei Chemed says it is not aunthetic and he is a serious
scholar.

And so were those who opposed him.

I'd also point out the ther Sdei Hemed has ZERO evidence or proof that it is a "forgery." He just did not like the ruling and could not imagine the Hatam Sofer writing it.

As for your sources, I linked them several times already. Perhaps you should try reading them.

>"Instituted in the times of Joshua" is a Talmudic way of saying, It is very old, we're not sure where it is from, but it is not d'orita (biblical).

My understanding is that it was undisputed that periah was performed in the times of Joshua when they reinstituted mila (which was not observed by many/most/all [?] in the midbar). The dispute is just whether it is part of the mila guideliness as set out by halaca l'moshe m'sinai or if Joshua instituted it.

>"Instituted in the times of Joshua" is a Talmudic way of saying, It is very old, we're not sure where it is from, but it is not d'orita (biblical).

My understanding is that it was undisputed that periah was performed in the times of Joshua when they reinstituted mila (which was not observed by many/most/all [?] in the midbar). The dispute is just whether it is part of the mila guideliness as set out by halaca l'moshe m'sinai or if Joshua instituted it.

Sdei Chemed
11) you should know that there are people who justify their claim by stating that there is a letter from the Chasam Sofer that was written in he’s name which he wrote to he’s student and he write that sucking is not mandatory. I swear that the person who heard this read this is reading this wrong and the story was such that someone had protested to the court that through the sucking it brings illness to the child in a case where the Mohel has some disease (herpes,aids, God forbid we should accuse this of the Mohel) which he transmits to the child during sucking of the wound, and they bring proof to this until the rouling in the court was such that one cannot legally do metzitza and milah, but will do only as the doctors state. So the student sent hes master what he should do in this case and asked he be granted permission not to do metzitza the procedure should no be taught to those that are not careful and who knows what dangers for the nation can cause out of one isolated case where it was done, so the Chasam Sofer gave him permission. As soon as this letter was shown to the people who were protesting in the court, they got very happy because they now had a letter from the Chasam Sofer saying it does not have to be done, they printed it straight away to cause problems and stumbling blocks in the Jewish nation God forbid.
I heard this from many righteous rabbis that were involved in the heat of the debate, at the time of the printing of this letter. I myself are undecided if this letter even came from the Master R’ Chasam Sofer, and even if true he took it back since he did not print it in he’s Responsa."""

As for your sources, I linked them several times already. Perhaps you should try reading them.

Go ahead five them to me now.

I want a person who says that this is authentic.
I want the link and the quote anything less Is a embarrassment

And not modern day, I want a major Posek who lived at least 60 years ago, now a days these people don’t know how to read and they claim its authentic.

Read the Sprecher article. Lots of quotes for you.

Link please.
Second he brings proof that it is authentic? Shmarya I don’t want to catch you twisting the truth again.

It's linked above in the comments and then in the post as well.

""did not receive any direct information on this issue from his revered
teacher,77 for if he had, he most certainly would have mentioned
it at some point in the two Responsa that he composed
regarding MBP"

He did. This guy is twisting truth, shmarya did you learn from him?

I think you're having some reading comprehension issues.

I read it ten times and all he says Is logical but does not quote one posek who says its authentic, I repeat not one posek in the past 80 years says it was authentic and a general ruling.

In other words, QUOTE and CITE exactly where the Magharam Shiff writes that the Hatam Soferr told him a)Never to stop MBP, b) That the teshuva circulated in the Hatam Sofer's name is false, and c) that MBP is an ESSENTIAL PART of the mitzva of mila.

Can't do that, can you?

T"herefore, reports that the original
manuscript copy of the Responsum, currently in the possession of a
London-based descendant of the Ḥatam Sofer, bears a notation—
hora’at sha’ah—purportedly emanating from the Hatam Sofer’s son or a
disciple of his, do not add one iota of credence"

Why not analyze it to see if Is authentic?

Here's a brief list from Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Halperin, a defender of MBP and a leading haredi authority on medical halakha:

http://www.ou.org/jewish_action/article/8987
Metzitzah as a religious obligation is mentioned in the mystical portions of the Torah.12 In the last two centuries, as well, a number of famous posekim have declared that an attack on the tradition of metzitzah is tantamount to an attack on the mitzvah of brit milah itself.13 Nevertheless, many posekim, including the Chatam Sofer, the Ketzot Hachoshen, the Netziv of Volozhin,14 the Avnei Nezer15 and more recently, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and the Tzitz Eliezer, have ruled that the purpose of metzitzah is solely medical.

T"herefore, reports that the original
manuscript copy of the Responsum, currently in the possession of a
London-based descendant of the Ḥatam Sofer, bears a notation—
hora’at sha’ah—purportedly emanating from the Hatam Sofer’s son or a
disciple of his, do not add one iota of credence"

Why not analyze it to see if Is authentic?


Because the handwriting is NOT the handwriting of the Hatam Sofer and does NOT match the handwriting of the teshuva itself.

“I heard this from many righteous rabbis that were involved in the heat of the debate, at the time of the printing of this letter. I myself, am undecided if this letter even came from the Master R’ Chasam Sofer, and even if true, he took it back since he did not print it in he’s Responsa”

The Sdei Chemed was present at the time and gives first hand testimony of Rabbis that said that it was a rare case.

Secondly you said there are disciples that say it is authentic and you did not quote one.

You want me to quite I cant translate the whole think so download the PDF and read chapter 13 where he says that its mandatory and he says the letter the Chasam Sofer is wrong, Rabbi Moshe Schick, the Maharam Shik, one of the most prominent students of the Chasam Sofer, states in his book of Responsa, She’eilos U’teshuvos Maharam Shik (Orach Chaim 152,) that the Chasam Sofer gave the ruling in that specific instance only and that it may not be applied elsewhere.

I also found someone who translates the Aruch HaShulchan:

From Aruch HaShulchan 244:19 [my translation]:
After peri'ah is metzitzah and this is for the betterment of the baby that he draws the milah orally in order to extract the blood from distant locations in order that the baby should not be endagered. Chazal said a professional who does not perform metzitzah is removed since it is a danger to the baby. [There's a typo in the AH. It's R. Papa in Shabbat 133b]. One draws very well until the bleeding stops. Be aware that there are those today who contend it is better to not do metzitzah directly with one's mouth rather with some sponge that absorbs the blood. We are not agreeable with them and we do not listen to them. Our rabbis, the wise ones of Shas, were experts and were wiser than these. However, this is surely that he who does the metzitzah has a clean mouth without any disease and clean teeth.

And knock down the Avnei Neizer:
Other Acharonim (Teshuvot Maharam Schick Y.D. 338 and Teshuvot Avnei Neizer Y.D. 338) insist that Metzitza constitutes an integral component of the Milah process and is not merely a health concern. The Avnei Neizer emphasizes the significance of Metzitza from the perspective of the Kabbalah.

The sefer Mitzvas Hametzitzah by Rabbi Sinai Schiffer of Baden, Germany, states that he is possession of letters from 36 major Russian (Lithuanian) Rabbis that categorically prohibit Metzitzah with a sponge and require it to be done orally. Among them is Rabbi Chaim Halevi Soloveitchik of Brisk. It is interesting that of all the students of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik and the many times he was asked to be sandek, only Rabbi Schachter seems to remember this prohibition

The book was originally published in German, Die Ausübung der Mezizo, Frankfurt a.M. 1906; It was subsequently translated into Hebrew, reprinted in Jerusalem in 1966 under

I'm not sure what you are quoting but you obviously do not understand how halakha is paskined,

Further, you do not understand who Rabbi Halperin is.

Again, those who insist on MBP do so either for kabbalistic or political reasons.

The issue is how much risk to life or risk of injury is necessary to void the kabbalistic demand.

This you do not address.

The political demand is moot and has no bearing on halakhot of refuah.

Obviously there were cases that one was allowed to use a tube, in a hospital or a in a reform community where it would be hard to do just the bris and so on, but everyone agreed to when you can you should do it orally, but to abolish it completely no one hold this.

Sorry but you cant even skim through a Sdei Chemed so don’t get on me that I don’t know how Halcha works, I do and as far as I learn there is no one that say that now when you can you should do it with a tube, I haven’t found one respectable Posek that says this.

You don't know nearly as much as you think:

1. The entire RCA.

2, The Netziv.

3. Rabbi Hildisheimer.

4. Most non-hasidic American haredi poskim.

And, again, you fail to address the issue of what MBP is.

It is NOT a part of the mila, not a biblical mitzvah or any mitzva. It falls under the halachot of refuah.

I cannot find the ketzos hachoshen so please can you quote from him? It seems that I can not find one posek who says its medical besides the Chasham Sofer which was a rare case.

Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

Tzitz Eliezer.

RCA? They just might know how to read hebew. RCA or Sdei Chemed, Mahram Shik, Avnei Nezer, Aruch Hashluchan? Chaim Noah? Do you know how to Pasken? Cause if you did you would pasken like the above people
Most non-hasidic American haredi Poskim? Haredi? Non Hasidic? Im confused but please give me a posek earlier then 60 years ago please! Read above post.
Third The Netziv I don’t have so if you can get it for me I would be happy but till I see his words it seems its one big hoax like the ketzoz.

You arrogance and your ignorance is astounding.

Your is too.
Tziz elizer? Shamrya be honest do you even know who these people are? your a big joke quoting without even realizing that they quote these people out of context and your left with the bag of crap. its quite funny.
Please give me exact places to look up.
I could not find the Ketzot and the other people the mention obviously disagree so you need more sources.

The ketzot does state that it is for Helath but he says its a mitzvha.

Again, your arrogance and your ignorance is astounding.

You do not understand the sources you have seen, and you are not skilled enough to follow the links you've been given and see the cited sources.
Do you even know who Rabbi Mordechai Halperin is?

A mitzva of refuah, not a mitzva of mila.

Lawrence,

I initially thought not to make a big deal from the whole mbp debacle and i thought that it enegenders ill feeling, so live and let live. But when scotty comes down with his antibris song aligning with antisemites gives me the hunch that we should put the foot down whenever they want to mess with a finger of minhag yisroel.

I know that many of you think that the chumros bring more resistance andmore antisemtic feelings...but i start seeing the opposite: were it not for the staunch opposition to the scotties of the world bris as we know would of long ago be forgotten.

while i was traveling today i heard a sheiur from R Rakkefet he mentionedthat once he heard someone saying to the Rov: had the Chassam Sofer not be so staunch with the chadash assur min haotrah the reform would not be so bold in becoming soreformed. THe Rov replied: maybe had the CS not fought so hard against them they would gain everything...

From the scotties of the blogosphere we see the need to stand strong against any change in tradition...let yiddishe kinderlech be given the temimut thatplain emunoah pshutuoh offers to a yidishe taste in yiddishkeyt andnot the animal loverand the SSdefenders overnight take away Hashem Elokey Yisroel from Am Yisroel andTOrat YIsroel

Yisroel Veorayto VEKudsha BRich HU kuloh chad!!!!!!!

Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor (cited in the aforementioned Sdei Chemed) and Rav Zvi Pesach Frank (Teshuvot Har Zvi Y.D. 214) adopt a compromise approach. These authorities permit performing Metzitza orally by using a glass tube. Rav Zvi Pesach, though, cautions that this technique is not simple and requires training to perform properly. On the other hand, the Avnei Neizer objects to using a glass tube. He notes that the Rambam (Hilchot Milah 2:2) and Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 264:3) write that Metzitza must extract the blood from the "furthest places." The Avnei Neizer contends that this cannot be accomplished when using a glass tube. Nevertheless, many Mohelim perform Metzitza using a glass tube because of health concerns. Indeed, Dr. Abraham (Nishmat Avraham 4:123) reports that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach permits performing Metzitza with a glass to avoid concern for AIDS.
It does not mean that the tube is “lechatchila”. It means that if you are in a situation where you cannot do it orally you may use a tube, or if your are paranoid with AIDS (The Lubavitch Rebbe says the same thing as do ALL POSKIM THAT THERE ARE CASES WHERE YOU CAN USE THE TUBE)
All Poskim agree that best case is to do it orally, all also agree that there are cases you can use the tube.
Where they argue is what is the reason and HOW MUCH BETTER IT IS TO DO IT ORALLY, meaning HOW strict shall you be with it, of course it is better but the degree is in question.
Shmarya do you understand now?

From the forged letter and/or rare case it would seem that orally is not superior what so ever to the tube or at all, and Metzitza is not at all mandatory period, that’s why everyone (meaning Pokim and people who follow halcha)holds it’s a rare case and or forgery, that metzitza is not essential.

Normal, educated rabbis do not hold the Hatam Sofer's teshuva to be a forgery. All available evidence points to it being real.

The issue is whether metzitza is done for health reasons or is part of the mitzva of mila. Most poskim hold it is done for health reasons.

Once that is established, we must ask what possible health reasons come from this? The answer is none do. MBP only adds risk. There are no health benefits.

It is wrong – criminally wrong – to rely on Talmudic medicine.

Do we put cumin on the circumcision wound?

Had any blood let recently?

Use any leeches?

Wave any pigeons?

Need I keep listing these discredited procedures?

MBP is no different than blood letting, etc.

Another simple point you miss is that people like the Sdei Hemed had no secular education, no knowledge of even simple medicine of his day. And they certainly knew nothing of disease transmission, germs, and infection control.

In short, you cannot assume they would insist on MBP if they had the facts we have today. In fact, most clearly would not. The Tiferet Israel is a good example of the latter.

The problem is that people like you who know zero about disease transmission and infection control make decisions based on 1500 year old folk medicine.

Every baby that dies, every baby that is maimed is on you head.

Shmarya, this is tangential to the discussion, but a stone flake can be extremely sharp.

I know. The question is how you make the cut w/o a clamp, etc.

The only answer I see is that less was cut off.

"Had any blood let recently?"

Bloodletting was not discredited. It has proven effect for certain conditions, including hypertension - though it many of its historical uses were discredited. It is simply that the effect of bloodletting is simply by far inferior modern medicine so it is no longer used. Incidentally, bloodletting is still used in modern day hospitals in some very rare circumstances.

"Wave any pigeons?"

How can you say the pigeon procedure was discredited. Don't you know that the pigeon died in the process so obviously the procedure effectively transferred the disease from the homan to the pigeon? (I don't suppose the fact that pressure was applied to the pigeon which would cause its heart to stop beating had anything to do with the pigeon dying?)

"I know. The question is how you make the cut w/o a clamp, etc.

The only answer I see is that less was cut off."

While all mohels use a clamp today, that was not true pre-WWII. I understand that even as recently as 20 years ago in the U.S. a number of the old school mohels did not use clamps. Some would justify their decision not to use a clamp on the notion that the clamp causes pain and that they did not want to cause pain to the baby before it was actually necessary as part of the mila.

Shmarya,

The problem is that people like you who know zero about G-d and Halacha
want to destroy Judaism and create a new religion called Shmaryism with Shmarya
as the god we all worship.

As I've said all along you have a Lubavitcher Rebbe complex. The problem is that your only chassidim are the misfits on this blog.

BTW, Thanks Edious for presenting and translating the S'dei Chemed. Also thanks for citing and presenting the various views and sources for this complicated and sensitive subject.

Shmarya, your statement that it is "wise for some to consider returning to Jewish
ritual circumcision as it was practiced before the rabbinically mandated change" trashes all the rabbis you call to your defense.

Every one of those rabbis was surely aware of the directive to safeguard health and Chamira sakanta m'Isurah. They consulted the prominant doctors of the day and were aware of STD's and infectious diseases that many times threatened whole communities.

This will always be a personal matter that will have adherants on both sides.

BTW, while not advocating Talmudic healing procedures:

pigeon:
I personally know someone who to this day swears that the "pigeon" cured his hepatitus.

leech:
The leech has long been used in medicine, although today its use is mainly
limited to limb reattachment procedures instead of the wide-ranging medical
use in the past. Leeches have proven highly effective at preventing venous
congestion after the surgical re-attachment of fingers, toes, ears and other
parts of the body. ( wiki)

Cumin:
The Cumin herbal plant has a long history. Since ancient times, it has been used as an herbal medicine and spice.

The cumin herbal plant can also be used as a medicine. It has healing properties that, when combined with other drugs, can cure wounds. The stimulating ointment will then be applied externally as a form of plaster on the stitches and wounds. With these applications of the cumin herbal plant, it is no wonder why it is still in use today.

With its rich history proving its effectiveness, there is no doubt that this herbal plant is the best herbal medicine there is.

http://herbal-future.com/news/news/cumin-plant-as-herbal-medicine.html


Regards,

Avi

Every one of those rabbis was surely aware of the directive to
safeguard health and Chamira sakanta m'Isurah. They consulted the
prominant doctors of the day and were aware of STD's and infectious
diseases that many times threatened whole communities.

1. Many did NOT contact the "prominent doctors of the day" because many, like the Sdei Hemed, lived in areas where there were NO prominent doctors.

2. The "prominent doctors of the day" had no real knowledge of disease transmission, germs, and infection control.

The rst of what you write is, charitably, crap.

Using a glass tube for the metzitzah is not the same as eliminating metzitzah b'pheh. It is doing it in a different way.

As for your proof that they used to cut off less, otherwise they couldn't have "reversed" it until they invented tape is ridiculous. Anyone who wanted to look good for the games could have done a couple of stitches. It could be that your mohel cut off more than required. This is more likely to happen with a nontraditional mohel trying to eliminate the p'riah as a separate act, by cutting everything off at once.

The amount required to be removes is the amount which leaves the entire atara free of foreskin when the penis is in the erect state.

If that is the amount that was removed, then one can easily make it appear uncircumcised. There may be difficulties during an erection, but I can't really see any kind of a reversal after removing part of the foreskin except by narrowing the opening in the surrounding skin in order to keep the glans covered. This will inevitably cause difficulties at the time of an erection.

Sorry for being a bit graphic, but really stop the nonsense.

I am very Hareidi. I trained as a mohel though I have only done about 40 brtitot. My teacher z"l, one of the very big hareidi mohelim in jerusalem always used the tube on nonhareidi kids because he did not want to get disease.

How do you think those mohelim got herpes? You think from messing around? i think they got it from some kid.

You Shmarya have shown time after time that you reject the Torah. Why is it important to you that others reject it also? If the Torah is not from Hashem (r"l) or there is no Hashem (r"l), then none of this stuff matters, and everyone should do exactly what he likes, as long as he is willing to accept the consequences. Perhaps you are a bit insecure in your cephirah, and so you want company?

Shmarya, spoke to a mohel last night and he told me that even under current practice there is sufficient skin left to pull down and to make it look like a person is uncircumcised. He said that the much of the lack of flexibility (for lack of a better term) that is common today is because after the mila the mohel wraps something tightly around the wounded area which causes the skin to heal in that position. It is rare but not unheard of that the wrapper falls off to soon and if that happens it can look as though the person is uncircumcised. In short it is quite possible that it was easier to "reverse" a mila in those days because of the post mila care that was different.

Shmarya,
Are you so stupid that you diont even read the English translation I did?
He actually mentioned the chance of medical issues in his letter. Read 11 which I translated and get back to me. Also The Tiferes Yisrael says you should do it orally.

The following is from Tiferes Yisrael:

“which we don’t do now because of the change of nature , because there in the case of washing since our natured changed to the point where we don’t need it whatsoever, but in our case all doctors agree that by sucking the wound the limp wont swell and even though in the northern countries it is not as dangerous as in the middle east where the weather is hotter , but it is still possible in the northern countries for the limp to swell. Although the doctors say you can help the swelling by putting a towel of fluid (???) or a towel soaked of cold water but since they say sucking the wound also helps we only have to words of out sages, for even in the words of torah which It did not make a difference which way you did such and such they would be stringent and do as the sages did like we see Rava used beets and rice since it left the mouth of Rav Huna; that is, Rava wished to demonstrate that the Halachah followed the opinion of Rav Huna, and therefore went out of his way to use a beet and rice as the two cooked foods on his Seder plate. It seems to me that you should not suck hard on shabbos for in the Talmud it says” this Mohel who does not suck” its possible we don’t suck at all, but since we do then you should spit a little vinegar? Alcohol? That is in your mouth on the wound to close and gather the blood vessels to seal the wound which you opened through sucking” end quote from the Tiferes Yisrael”

Shmarya please read the English!

Sdei Chemed showing knowledge of possible illness:
“I swear that the person who heard this read this is reading this wrong and the story was such that someone had protested to the court that through the sucking it brings illness to the child in a case where the Mohel has some disease (herpes, aids, God forbid we should accuse this of the Mohel) which he transmits to the child during sucking of the wound”

They still use leeches for frozen limbs, the leeches’ sucks out the clotted blood.

after the mila the mohel wraps something tightly around the wounded area which causes the skin to heal in that position. It is rare but not unheard of that the wrapper falls off to soon and if that happens it can look as though the person is uncircumcised. In short it is quite possible that it was easier to "reverse" a mila in those days because of the post mila care that was different.

That makes sense, unlike what emeslyakov posted.

Are you so stupid that you diont even read the English translation I did?
He actually mentioned the chance of medical issues in his letter.

And here your lack of a secular education shows again, Edious.

He wrote that letter BEFORE germ transmission, infectious disease, etc. were understood.

Were understood? They are still being understood.
But they were known, as he clearly mentioned.
Besides what secular knowledge they had, is unknown, they didn’t have to prove anything to you.

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is an illness caused by an infectious pathogen that has a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. Increasingly, the term sexually transmitted infection (STI) is used, as it has a broader range of meaning; a person may be infected, and may potentially infect others, without showing signs of disease. In addition, "disease" seems to have much more of a negative connotation than "infection." Some STIs can also be transmitted via the needles used in IV drug use, as well as through childbirth or breastfeeding. Sexually transmitted diseases have been well-known for hundreds of years.

HUNDREDS OF YEARS

Girolamo Fracastoro proposed in 1546 that epidemic diseases are caused by transferable seedlike entities that could transmit infection by direct or indirect contact or even without contact over long distances.

Microorganisms were first observed by Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who is considered the father of microbiology.

The Italian Agostino Bassi is often credited with having stated the germ theory of disease for the first time, based on his observations on the lethal and epidemic muscardine disease of silkworms. In 1835 he specifically blamed the deaths of the insects on a contagious, living agent, that was visible to the naked eye as powdery spore masses; this microscopic fungus was subsequently called Beauveria bassiana in his honor.

Again 200 years ago or more!

Robert Koch was the first scientist to devise a series of proofs used to verify the Germ Theory of Disease. Koch's Postulates were first used in 1875 to demonstrate anthrax was caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthrasis. These postulates are still used today to help determine if a newly discovered disease is caused by a microorganism.

Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895) was a French chemist best known for his remarkable breakthroughs in microbiology. His experiments confirmed the germ theory of disease, also reducing mortality from puerperal fever (childbed), and he created the first vaccine for rabies. He is best known to the general public for showing how to stop milk and wine from going sour - this process came to be called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology, together with Martinus Beijerinck, Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch. He also made many discoveries in the field of chemistry, most notably the asymmetry of crystals.


Anyhow you see that around 1875-1900 there was a great awarness of these type of things-may God protect us- that most people knew about and was well published, excepilly sexally and/or oral issues that arise, but its obvious that our sages choose what the torah says in the face of science.

Edious –

Like much else of what you write, you have a fact corect but not the entire picture.

Disease transmission was not well understood until the end of the 19th century, and that understanding was found ONLY in western Europe, the US, etc. – NOT in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

You confuse scientific theory in its earliest stages with medical teaching and practice.

And none of this would matter anyway. The Sdeai Hemed had no medical or scientific training and was therefore not qualified to pasken sakan nefashot with regard to it.

http://www.uic.edu/classes/osci/osci590/4_1%20Famour%20Diseases%20in%20History.htm


They knew more they you think, again the cure was hard to come by, but the hazards were well known.

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