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February 21, 2013

Chabad Rabbi-Mohel Threatens To Sue Blogger Over Dangerous Circumcision Sucking Ritual

Metzitzah b'peh Chabad closeup"Over the past few months the New York City Mayor Michel Bloomberg (a Jew), has been combating  Metzitzah Ba'peh - a very important procedure of the Brit Milah ritual [sic]. A tenet in the Jewish religion. Historically we have found many harsh rulers which have also tried to outlaw Metzitzah Ba'peh starting from the times of the Chasam Sofer in the 18th century, making many false libels against it. We will discuss the Torah perspective and medical benefits of metzitzah bapeh. We will also discuss the different things a mohel must insure before performing Metzitza Ba'peh."

Metzitzah b'peh Chabad closeup

Metziztah b'peh being performed by a Chabad mohel in Brooklyn in late August 2012

A Chabadnik, Rabbi Dovid Bressman of the Knesset Israel Synagogue in the Beverlywood area of LA, wrote a breathtakingly stupid email about metzitzah b'peh (MBP) – the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking (please see the above photo) done by mohels like Bressman to infants who cannot consent to the risky procedure – and sent it to KI's mailing list in early November.

The email was forwarded to me by an exasperated reader, and I posted it along with commentary that called for Bressman to be fired because he was clearly too ignorant to lead.

As you know, NYC passed a law requiring an informed consent be signed by parents before MBP is done on their child.

Haredim and a Chabad-led mohels group has filed suit the city to stop enforcement of the law. The haredim also tried to get a stay to stop enforcement of the law until the trial is over and verdict rendered. That attempt was strongly rejected by a federal judge last month. It was appealed and, earlier today the appeal was also rejected, and the law remains in force.

In a bit of serendipitous timing, Bressman chose last night and today to threaten to sue me for defamation, and his arguments to support that potential lawsuit are even dumber than his original email.

To show you how truly incompetent Bressman is, here is Bressman's email exchange with me followed by my original post on him. That post includes his original emailed remarks on MBP:

On Feb 20, 2013, at 1:11 PM, Dovid Bressman wrote:

B"H
2/20/2013
Mr. Rosenberg,

Someone sent me your slanderous false article against me.
I only will respond shortly.

You quoted me: "Historically we have found many harsh rulers which have also tried to outlaw Metzitzah Ba'peh starting from the times of the Chasam Sofer in the 18th century, making many false libels against it.."
This is a true statement, I also did not go into the details of what the Chassam Sofer holds, nor did I quote the Sedei Chemed (in his Kuntres Metzitzah) where he quotes 200 prominent Rabbis from his time (after the times of the Chasam Sofer) which hold that Metzitzah must be done be'peh. I also did not mention that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel demands all of their certified Mohelim to sign on a document that they will do Metzitzah bapeh unless there is a medical concern. I also alluded in my email (which I was writing in short):  "We will also discuss the different things a mohel must insure before performing Metzitza Ba'peh". It is understood from there that when there is a medical concern in which Metzitzah would be done in a different way.

b)You conclude:  "Congregations, I think, need to evaluate rabbis like Bressman carefully.
What else are they telling you that is objectively false?

What else are they in essence paskening about that they don't actually have the knowledge or ability to pasken on?

In many cases, if a rabbi is as ignorant or as cavallier with the facts as Rabbi Dovid Bressman clearly is, he shouldn't be serving as a rabbi at all.

And I would think that is case here, as well".

This is an oral defamation and if you do not take down your article within 5 days I will check my halachaik and legal rights and decide what I will do.

 
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/11/haredi-rabbi-compares-nyc-mayor-michael-bloomberg-to-harsh-rulers-who-made-many-false-libels-against-metzitzah-b-peh-567.html


Sincerely,

Rabbi Dovid Bressman


On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM, Shmarya Rosenberg wrote:

I see you are as ignorant of secular law as you are of Jewish history, medical ethics, and science. No one defamed you, rabbi. What you wrote was accurately reported, and the stupidity of it is yours and yours alone. You are not misrepresented at all. In libel law, truth is an absolute defense.  And this emal is continued proof that you are unquestionably an idiot. So sue me. I look forward to a court of law affirming it.

 

On Feb 21, 2013, at 1:59 PM, Dovid Bressman wrote:

Mr. Scott Rosenberg

You wrote in your email: "You are not misrepresented at all"...

You also wrote:" and that the Hatam Sofer actually stopped the practice because of the danger it posed to babies, are two things this rabbi isn't honest enough to tell his congregants – or isn't smart enough and educated enough to even know.

The Hatam Sofer also held that metzitzah b'peh was not a part of the mitzvah of circumcision – a position echoed by dozens of other rabbis after him.

You also wrote:"What else are they telling you that is objectively false?"

Scott,  you misrepresented not only myself but also the Chasam Sofer as well. The Chasam Sofer did not stop metzitzah bapeh  as you falsely wrote, he allowed the usage of sponges in place of metzitzah for a specific case. The source of the Chasam Sofer which I am sure you never even read from  the original, was written by him in 1837 (which the only mistake I made  was that I said from the 18th century instead of the 19th century) to his student the Baal Yad Eliezer later published in the Cochavei Yitzchak vol. 1 p. 40. In that letter he allowed them to use a sponge because apparently the mohel of the area had some contagious sickness. The Chasam Sofer did not urge anyone to stop doing  Metzitzah bapeh as was done from the times of Moshe Rabeinu rather he allowed them to use a sponge for their specific case.

The Chasam Sofer also did not write that  "metzitzah b'peh was not a part of the mitzvah of circumcision" - as you falsely write, he said that it was not openly mentioned in the Talmud rather only by the Kabbilists, and that if there is a medical concern one can use something else that will withdraw  the blood. Which I am in agreement and is simple to see from my email that I sent out in November.

I did not misrepresent the Chasam Sofer, you did. So the only objectively false facts are from you alone.

What should I expect  from a hate site written by an apikorus that you are, trying to promote your prejudice propaganda.
 Hate is not the way to make your self feel good, it is through helping people and doing mitzvoth and learning Torah. May Hashem have mercy on you.

Rabbi Dovid Bressman


From: Shmarya Rosenberg
Date: February 21, 2013 4:31:18 PM CST
To: Dovid Bressman
Subject: Re:

You're a fool. Call your attorney and try to sue me and you'll quickly find out not only how foolish you are, but the consequences to you of that foolishness. Your shul should have fired you. Maybe now they will.

From: Shmarya Rosenberg <[email protected]>
Date: February 21, 2013 4:46:30 PM CST
To: Dovid Bressman
Subject: Fwd:

Let me also add that you clearly don't know how to learn. The Hatam Sofer makes the point that because MBP is not a part of the mitzvah of milah itself, therefore metzitzah can be done other than b'peh. His entire point is based on the fact that MBP is not part of the mitzvah of miliah:

"…we do not find the metzitzah (suction) is specifically with the mouth, except for the position of the Kabbalists who say that [using the mouth] enacts a neutralization of strict judgment through the lips and the mouth. We are not engaged in the hidden matters [of Torah – i.e., Kabbalah] when there is some concern for physical danger. Now, the roots mitz and matzat are the same, c.f., Proverbs 30[:31] mitz apayim and Judges 6:38 "and wrung dew out of the fleece." In all these places Rashi explains them in terms of squeezing, compressing, and suctioning something with force. Radak and Ibn Ezra similarly explain them. If so, we only need to draw the blood from the 'far places' though whichever method we are able, and we can rely on experts who assure us that some method accomplishes it. I further say that even if it was explicit in the Talmud that the suction is meant to be oral, nevertheless since this is not an integral part of the circumcision, but only adjoined because of a health measure, so if one circumcised and did not suction the blood, he has already performed the commandment, and the baby is permitted to eat terumah, and the father may make a Passover sacrifice.…"

You are an ignoramus, rabbi, and a fool of the highest order who risks the lives of infants for nothing. And now the world will know that again, because I'm going to post your ignorant, moronic drivel right now. I hope your shul fires you because you truly lack the knowledge and the understanding to teach or to lead.

Here is my original post on Bressman dated November 8, 2012:

Rabbi Compares NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg To "Harsh Rulers" Who Made "Many False Libels" Against Metzitzah B'Peh

Metzitzah b'peh Chabad closeupOver the past few months the New York City Mayor Michel Bloomberg (a Jew), has been combating  Metzitzah Ba'peh - a very important procedure of the Brit Milah ritual [sic]. A tenet in the Jewish religion. Historically we have found many harsh rulers which have also tried to outlaw Metzitzah Ba'peh starting from the times of the Chasam Sofer in the 18th century, making many false libels against it.

 

From Rabbi Dovid Bressman's (of Knesset Israel in the Beverlywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California) weekly email. Bressman is a Chabad follower:

The Shabbos afternoon Class will be at  4:15 pm.
Over the past few months the New York City Mayor Michel Bloomberg (a Jew), has been combating  Metzitzah Ba'peh - a very important procedure of the Brit Milah ritual [sic]. A tenet in the Jewish religion.
 Historically we have found many harsh rulers which have also tried to outlaw Metzitzah Ba'peh starting from the times of the Chasam Sofer in the 18th century, making many false libels against it. We will discuss the Torah perspective and medical benefits of metzitzah bapeh. We will also discuss the different things a mohel must insure before performing Metzitza Ba'peh.

That thousands of children died from metzitzah b'peh in the 19th century alone, and that the Hatam Sofer actually stopped the practice because of the danger it posed to babies, are two things this rabbi isn't honest enough to tell his congregants – or isn't smart enough and educated enough to even know.

The Hatam Sofer also held that metzitzah b'peh was not a part of the mitzvah of circumcision – a position echoed by dozens of other rabbis after him.

There are no "medical benefits" to metzitzah b'peh, either – metzitzah b'peh kills and maims babies.

The supposed "benefits" Bressman refers to only exist if you accept Greek medicine circa 300 BCE as accurate, while you ignore all the scientific and medical developments of the past 250 years. And even under the Greeks and their evangelist, Galen, who lived just before the codification of the Mishna in 200 CE, the type of epidemiological evidence against metziztah b'peh available by the era of the Hatam Sofer would have caused them to stop metziztah b'peh anyway – which is why so many doctors who still relied on Galen at that time urged governments to ban metziztah b'peh.

Congregations, I think, need to evaluate rabbis like Bressman carefully.

What else are they telling you that is objectively false?

What else are they in essence paskening about that they don't actually have the knowledge or ability to pasken on?

In many cases, if a rabbi is as ignorant or as cavallier with the facts as Rabbi Dovid Bressman clearly is, he shouldn't be serving as a rabbi at all.

And I would think that is case here, as well.

Related Posts:

A History Metzitzah B'Peh Disease Transmission.

The Halakhic History Of Metzitzah B'Peh.

Why Haredi Rabbis Lie About Metzitzah B'Peh.

Related Post: Haredi Request For Emergency Stay Blocking NYC's Informed Consent For Metzitzah B'Peh Denied.


Comments

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You're going to see continued and expanded violence used by this criminal element in the Chareidshi community. It is inevitable, as
more and more people speak out against the injustice, and anti_Torah, of their ways.

WOW! Here come the fireworks. :)

Wow Bressman is really stupid. A disgrace! It stuns me that there are people who address him as "rabbi".

B"H

It would be funny if Rabbi Bressman gets heter and sues Shmarya for everything he is worth.

Even some of shmryas "supporters" would be happy if Bresman wins.

Shmarya comes off (to me) as conceited egotistical etc

Posted by: simple jew | February 21, 2013 at 06:10 PM

Simple man, he has to be right to win, and his own words prove that he is not.

"This is an oral defamation and if you do not take down your article within 5 days I will check my halachaik and legal rights and decide what I will do."

1) it is not oral
2) it is not defamatory
3) it is not an article
4) Dovid will be checking his computer on Shabbat
5) his rights were never violated (unlike the 8 day old infants he, uh, sucks)
6) if he consults an experienced attorney, he will do nothing

and medical benefits of metzitzah bapeh.

maybe we should give the rabbi the benefit of the doubt. perhaps there are medical/scientific studies that only he is aware of which show the benefits of introducing human saliva to open wounds. when they are published the entire medical establishment will be turned on its head. henceforth all surgeries will be concluded with human saliva coating the as yet unclosed wounds. alcohol and antibacterial ointments will be banished.
for someone who has a very large area needing coverage, or multiple incisions, saliva donors will be needed. donation centers will spring up everywhere. and like mohels, no testing is required of donors.
i think he's on to something. why would you call him stupid or ignorant?

It was appealed and, earlier today the appeal was also rejected, and the law remains in force

how could judges demand consent for such a medically beneficial part of circumcision?

I did not misrepresent the Chasam Sofer, you did

uh oh...he might have the chasam sofer might sue you too.

We are in a gigantic lunatic asylem where the lunatics run the place,the lunatics are the rabbis.

Metzitzah Ba'peh since Moshe Rabbenu's times?????
Is this schmuck Bressman joking,right?
Everybody knows circumcision in Moses' days was way different from what it became after the 2nd century,when rabbis made it more massive and introduced periah.

I'd love to see Bressman defend MBP on a show like Bill Maher...lolz!! But seriously, do Haredim have to focus so much on this? Why THIS?? Of all aspects of Judaism to trumpet!

Abu Jihad, you can't use historical facts to argue against haredi logic. They'll stick to a midrash, a rogue opinion or obscure ruling and present it as the status quo. They'll ignore the fact that priah is a rabbinic injunction and that the tanaim, amoraim, gaonim, rishonim and acharonim all spoke of metzitzah b'peh as a health practice.
As far as I know, wasn't the first rabbi to call it Mosaic law one of the Chatam Sofer's students who tried to construe his teacher's ruling?

Oh well, I guess I can't expect more from Chabad; the group which would publish on their website that candle lighting on Shabbat was done as far back as Abraham and Sarah.

*Misconstrue, not construe.
Autocorrect.

Rabbi Bressman (I almost wrote Breastman!) is really into sucking, because that is what Chabad rabbis like him do best.

Shamarya should represent himself, I believe he would personally make mincemeat out anyone stupid enough to represent Breasman. I hope he tells him, "Bring it on!"

Seriously, could he go to a Beit Din? I don't know anything about that. It would be a scream riot. How do those things work? Could Shmarya have representation there? Perhaps by a blond hooker...

That would be so cool. We could take up a collection to have the final proclamation of death, or whatever they issue, framed in gold. Then, go see, everyone will want one!

I wish R Bressman sues Shmarya. I'm pretty sure he would lose, but anything that forces Shmarya to suffer a loss, in this case legal fees and possibly some lost sleep, is a blessing.

Is there any connection between MBP and pedophiles?

I wish R Bressman sues Shmarya. I'm pretty sure he would lose, but anything that forces Shmarya to suffer a loss, in this case legal fees and possibly some lost sleep, is a blessing.

Posted by: DBSesq | February 21, 2013 at 08:25 PM

I just forwarded your comment to my attorney, Danny Boy, so a complaint can be made to the NY State Bar Association's ethics committee.

A reprimand on your public record is long overdue, and your comment is a violation of your profession's ethics.

Oh for God's sake, DB, do you want your daughter to see that? Say something constructive, like explain to me about the Beit Din.

Shmarya @ 8:32

In New York State, authority over the conduct of attorneys rests with the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court and the discipline and grievance committees (the "committees") appointed by that court.

A law suit and its reporting here would probably spike ratings and accordingly help financially.

The reporting on the grievance will be interesting as well. IMHO, I can't see a formal reprimand being issued for that comment, but lawyers hate being grieved regardless of the results.

What, he would sue in secular courts? This so-called Rabbi should be put in cherem. But what else would one expect from an apikorus meshichist?


Would it be possible to post his email address along with his emails? He had to have known you would publish the emails. Of all the stupidity he spouts, I am most interested in contacting him directly about the MEDICAL benefits to MBP. Wonder why he didnt elaborate on that one. Maybe he's saving that for Lancet?

Rabbi Bressman sure ain't no herpetologist.

when a rabbi gets offended he can sue in secular court when a child gets molested one is not permitted to go to the secular authorities. Something is wrong with that.

Seymour, 1. Many if not most Rabbi's agree or are now agreeing that you go directly to the authorities in abuse cases. 2. He says he will check his halachic and legal rights. He would first go to a Rav for an opinion before going to a secular court.

"Would it be possible to post his email address along with his emails? He had to have known you would publish the emails."

Posted by: smile! | February 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM

When you send someone an email, you actually expect them to post an email sent to them personally in a public forum? I doubt he would have thought that. And do you think it would actually be ethical for Shmarya do share his email address? If your so concerned why don't you write him a letter at the shul? I think (based on a Google search) this is the address 2364 South Robertson Boulevard. BTW, the view on Google shows a tiny synagogue. I doubt the rabbi gets paid much or that others are lining up for the position.
Los Angeles, CA 90034.

@Barry: Rabbi Bressman sure ain't no herpetologist.

Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a herpetologist someone that studies reptiles & amphibians?

Don't you mean a herpes virologist instead of a herpetologist?

This is the new tactic being used. The Daas Torah blog got the same threat over a different issue and had to pull some posts.
Technically yes, the truth is a defense in libel. However, it'll cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to prove it and that's probably how he's hoping to intimidate you.

Before when someone would Google the rabbi's name " Rabbi Dovid Bressman " not much came up.
NOW! All sort of stuff comes up like he is a 'certified' Mohel [and this blog har har har]
I wonder if he sucks little baby's penises?
I wonder if he knows about how herpes gets transmitted like it did to baby's out East?

Isn't it risky to get into an argument with someone who carries a sharp knife?

Garnel " However, it'll cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to prove it and that's probably how he's hoping to intimidate you."

Intimidate Shmarya? You have got to be kidding.

If this is the basis of a lawsuit and it didn't get tossed, the resultant suit for malicious prosecution would be a slam dunk and the new name of the Beverlywood shul would be Starbucks.

Wow, can you imagine the amount of documents they wouldn't want exposed and people they wouldn't want deposed.

Shmarya, you should email him back and tell him that in light of his threats of litigation, he and the rest of the "organization" are on notice that destruction of any potentially relevant documents, clients lists, records (including financial) and communications will give rise to an action for spoliation of evidence.

What a sunny beautiful day it is.

California has a law against S.L.A.P.P.
Strategic lawsuit Against Public Participation

That is a lawsuit to [e.g.] shut bloggers up
which is illegal in California

This rabbi does not know the 'heads that Shmarya has on his wall' Oh well, one more 'head on the wall'

Can you imagine deposing this rabbi? and asking all sorts of tough questions Ho ho ho

" Ho ho ho" Hey, no need for name calling.

???
""Ho ho ho""
is like a hearty laugh I did NOT mean the ghetto 'ho'

I know, Isa. I'm sorry, I was joking.

that the Hatam Sofer actually stopped the practice because of the danger it posed to babies, are two things this rabbi isn't honest enough to tell his congregants – or isn't smart enough and educated enough to even know.

Most likely the latter. Lubavitchers don't pay much attention to rabbis who aren't Chabad. Why should they? If it ain't from the Rebbe, it ain't Yiddishkeit.

They also memorize a few passages of Talmud, and badda bing, they're rabbis - and they frei yidden who populate their shuls aren't well-versed enough to know these clowns don't know what they're talking about.

I know him personally, and frankly not surprised. His email is [email protected]

Shmarya, you better not spend a penny defending a claim against this schmuck. I would hope that there are enough supporting lawyers out here that we could help with a defense and/or find an excellent lawyer to take this on pro bono.

dh, I'm still laughing at your posts. giving the benefit of the doubt, however, the rabbi's use of "oral defamation" may have meant saying something bad about his oral penis sucking.

Thank you, Eli. I crack myself up. One learns to amuse oneself when one spends lunch with Captcha.

Someone else that appears to have alone time, a LOT of it, is Rabbi Bressman. I 'search engined' him and laid an eye on his blog. He asks himself questions and then he answers himself...as though he is talking to someone else. It was like an I Love Lucy where the idiot lawyer stands in the well and asks a question, then runs up and gets on the stand and answers himself. Any more hijinx from him and I'm dubbing him Rabbi Basil Bressman.

you can't make these things up....I'll go take a look.

Having thought some of your posts above, I've started to wonder whether Shmarya is trying to bait the loopiest of these rabbis into suing him over MBP so he can get discovery on what they know or should know about its harmfulness. If so, pretty crafty and bold. (Shmarya, if I'm giving up your secret strategy, please delete this...) Still, you have to figure that if Bressman or any of his ilk talks to a lawyer, they'll explain how a suit will open them up to a full-blown inquiry on the truth, and they want the truth to come out about as much as cockroaches want bright lights turned on while they are scurrying around in the dark.

If Shmarya were taken to court for any blog related issue, I would donate for his legal expenses.

(I missed out on donating for Rubbishcan, so I have to make up for it. Ha!)

"whether Shmarya is trying to bait "

Nah, he's too ethical.

Well said, Shmarya. Please continue fighting for these defenseless children.

"Covenant" begins with "co," meaning "two," an agreement, a contract between two people.

By what perversion of logic can a third person enter into a contract on behalf of an unwilling participant who proceeds to demonstrate total feelings of betrayal by the two people he trusted most... by living a life pretending to honor parents while always secretly hating them... as demonstrated by the hateful, angry way they live their lives. Keep it up, Shmarya, you are the best!

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