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April 05, 2013

NYC Metzitzah B'Peh Circumcision Law Toothless

Metzitzah b'peh Chabad closeup"We developed this law…to balance the right of people to practice religion with the requirements of a health agency to protect everybody, especially the most vulnerable. We require their cooperation and it's a challenge." The health department took no action against the mohel who performed the circumcision and allegedly gave the baby herpes because the baby's parents would not reveal his identity, and it took no action against those parents – who told the health department that they had not been given an informed consent to sign before the circumcision.

  Metzitzah b'peh Chabad closeup

ABC News reports:

…Last year, the New York City Board of Health voted to require parents to sign a written consent that warns them of the risks of this practice. None of the parents of the two boys who were recently infected signed the form, according Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Varma said it was "too early to tell" if the babies will suffer long-term health consequences from the infection.

Since 2000, there have been 13 cases of herpes associated with the ritual, including two deaths and two other babies with brain damage.

Neonatal herpes infections can cause death or disability among infants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"First, these are serious infections in newborns and second, there is no safe way an individual can perform oral suction on an open wound," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. "Third, these terrible infections are completely preventable. They should not occur in the 21st century with our scientific knowledge.…

“Social health policy is art of the possible and [New York City's] Bloomberg administration and the department of health worked with the [ultra-Orthodox] community to develop a policy that it hoped was both acceptable and effective," said infectious disease expert Schaffner. "That was the hope.

"It's clear the implementation of policy is not completely effective and that it resulted in serious, but preventable infections," he said. "Perhaps the policy needs to be revisited."

Varma said changing traditional practices in New York's ultra-Orthodox community will take time.

"We developed this law ... to balance the right of people to practice religion with the requirements of a health agency to protect everybody, especially the most vulnerable.

"We require their cooperation and it's a challenge," said Varma.

The health department could take no action against the rabbi who performed the circumcision because the parents would not reveal his identity.


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To reinforce theese anthopoud chassidims ego that they are the one and only true jews they sacrifice their own helpless babies to satisfy their own ego, their concrete thick skulls cannot take in others oppinions they are always right and everyone is always wrong,they are the sickest among all jews and getting sicker by the day.

The haredi rabbis, the mohels and the parents all value their cultural norms more than they do the safety of their children. The are prisoners of their culture. This is not a Jewish value. Shame on them.

"The health department could take no action against the rabbi who performed the circumcision because the parents would not reveal his identity."

Fine; put the parents in jail. How's that for "revisiting the policy"?

I highly agree. At the very least the parents are guilty of child endangerment. To our Haredi brethren, I do not say this as I am against circumcision, I am not! I am against a practice which turns a mitzvah into a potentially dangerous situation. One mohel performing this barbaric practice may sever many bloodlines.

Until the Hasidic community begins to cost the public at large some serious money, I don't think the political class is going to care one way or another about the health of a few Hasidic babies.

Alter Kocker,

I'm sick to death of the "wagons in a circle" mentality that characterizes the frum world. It's beyond time to break through the barricades. When you tell us one of your stories about confrontational methods employed by you or one of your clients, I find myself very much in agreement.

By the way, some weeks back I asked Shmarya to ask you to get in touch with me, or to give him your email so I could get in touch with you. Something I wanted to ask you.

The law is toothless-but are the rabbis? I certainly hope so.

As long as it's just frumma sucking on frumma penises, the politicians will let it go on. No need to upset the frumma voting bloc, and the rest of the public doesn't give a crap about primitive disgusting frumma rituals. The public already knows the frumma are creepy, disgusting, sleazy crooks.

It's only a matter of time before a frumma mohel is found to have HIV and is spreading it around. Then the frumma will complain about why the government did not do anything to prevent the spread of disease in their community.

This practice is representative of severe child abuse. Yes, the parents MUST be reported to authorities, facing charges, loss of parental rights and/or jail.

Best headline ever.

law - I agree that the parents are to blame for this as well as the mohel. They should be threatened with losing all of their children since they purposely exposed their baby to a dangerous disease.

Your article is very good

@Dov: "Best headline ever."



@Norm: "The law is toothless-but are the rabbis?"


It's about time we all stand up to calling these stupid religions what they are... Superstition and mass hysteria at their worst. I can't fault anyone for believing in God because I can't prove he doesn't exist any more than they can prove he does. But religion is a complete sham made up by sick (mostly) old men-with-beards and the idiots who follow them deserve everything bad that happens. Unfortunately the babies and children who have no choice in the matter pay the ultimate price.

It's time we made our laws come first and quit promoting religion. In fact maybe that's the argument against God. If he did exist and actually cared, he wouldn't let evil old men do these things to children and other innocent people.

In other news, thousands of former Catholic priests are converting to Judaism!

The parents were not provided with a consent form, as required by law. If they will not cooperate with the investigation of this violation, they should be charged with child endangerment. No other religion would be afforded such deferential treatment.

Forgetting the authorities for the moment, will the name of the infected mohel at least be circulated within the ultra orthodox community to protect other children?

Will the religious leadership take any action to prevent the mohel performing MBP in the future?

Isn't this obstruction of justice? I thought that's a crime?

wait, this guy cuts of the foreskin then sucks on the penis of the child? WTF? Really? He sucks on the penis of this child? Really?

Freonpsandoz: "In other news, thousands of former Catholic priests are converting to Judaism!"

Who's listening to Michael Savage? He's hopping mad about this!! Go get 'em Mike!!!

I find it insane that a Rastafarian is not allowed to smoke Marijuana in accordance with his religion but an orthodox Jew is allowed to cut up a baby's penis and suck on it in accordance with his religion. The world is insane.

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