"It's very unfortunate that people are not taking this matter seriously. The City's meddling in our rituals reminds many of Communist Russia. What's most ironic is that in Russia today Jews are more free to practice this mitzvah than in Brooklyn."
The Chabad news blog COLLive reports:
A new commercial for the New York Lottery, using humor and exaggeration to portray what money can buy a lucky Powerball winner, might have pushed the line. The TV spot, [was] created by DDB New York ad agency…
…The City's Board of Health [along with hundreds of the top infectious disease specialists and other public health specialists, including the US Centers for Disease Control and two major Israeli studies, one released in the past few days – but COLLive tells readers none of that] says metzitzah b'peh (oral suction during the bris) can lead to fatal herpes infection. Rabbis and mohelim say there is no evidence to support that claim.
"This is no laughing matter and it's even frightening that the government is trying to regulate religious practice," Rabbi Levi Heber, the director of the International Bris Association [a party to the haredi lawsuit against the city and its new informed consent requirement for metzitzah b'peh], said in response to the Lottery commercial.
Speaking to COLlive, Heber said: "It's very unfortunate that people are not taking this matter seriously. The City's meddling in our rituals reminds many of Communist Russia. What's most ironic is that in Russia today Jews are more free to practice this mitzvah than in Brooklyn."
But what might be even more ironic is that the ad agency has mistakenly used the term 'herpetologist' which is the occupation of a zoologist that specializes in reptiles, amphibians, crocodiles and turtles, with no connection to the herpes disease.
When asked for a comment on Thursday morning, a representative of DDB New York told COLlive.com they will be responding by email. None has been received.