In 1952, the leading Orthodox and haredi rabbis of Morocco – including known kabbalists – unanimously banned metzitzah b'peh (MBP), the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis suction done by some mohels after cutting off the baby's foreskin, because protecting babies' lives was more important than doing MBP – a lesson today's haredi rabbis (and NYC's corrupt mayor) have not yet learned.
The city was notified of the infection in April but hushed it up until after it, at the urging of Mayor Bill de Blasio and health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, voted to end its weak informed consent requirement for MBP and move to an even less restrictive protocol based almost entirely on voluntary cooperation from haredim – cooperation that does not appear to be forthcoming.
A new review of more than 200 studies appears to show that herpes may be a cause of late-onset Alzheimer's Disease. And that would mean the dangerous haredi circumcision practice metzitzah b'peh (MBP), in which haredi mohels use direct oral-to-bleeding-penis suction on babies after cutting off the foreskin, may therefore doom haredi babies who survive initial herpes infections transmitted to them through MBP to suffering from Alzheimer's Disease in later life. Studies done last year already showed that having herpes doubles the risk of getting Alzheimer's. Despite these and many other dangers caused by MBP, including the deaths of babies, haredi rabbis refuse to stop the practice.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has issued a new brochure on metzitzah b'peh (MBP), the dangerous direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking done primarily by haredi mohels after removing the baby's foreskin. MBP transmits disease to babies, including Herpes Simplex 1, which can kill or maim them. But haredi rabbis refuse to stop MBP, even though some important haredi rabbis in previous generations banned it, and the city and state refuse to ban it, supposedly because they fear it will just continue to be done underground. So instead of a ban, we have a brochure. Here it is, in both Yiddish and English.
Rockland County's former commissioner of health, Dr. Oscar Alleyne, claims that by using DNA testing he was able to discount mohels as the source of two neonatal herpes infections (in male haredi babies who were circumcised with metzitzah b'peh [MBP], the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis suction done by haredi mohels after cutting off the foreskin) in Rockland County in 2014. He said that epidemiological evidence points to a different source for these herpes infections. But even though he has made this claim in various forms for more than a year, Alleyne won't release the data he says backs it up.
The Education Department said it was finalizing requests that the superintendents would send to the yeshivas mentioned in the letter. If, based on the responses, a superintendent determines that a yeshiva is not providing instruction substantially equivalent to that in public schools, the superintendent will work with the yeshiva to develop a remediation plan. In the worst case, if the department determines that a school’s instruction was not equivalent, ultimately, children who attend the school would be considered truant.
Allowing some babies to suffer the consequences of Herpes Simplex Virus infection before taking any action against the offending mohel, who must be proven to be the culprit by DNA testing, is not a preventive public health measure. It is too little, too late. Metzitzah b'peh [direct oral suction; MBP] violates a baby’s right to be protected from an obvious impending harm. The government has an overriding interest in protecting infants who cannot speak for themselves.…Behavior by mohelim and local politicians that ignores fundamental principles of hygiene, and abrogates their responsibility to protect innocent children, is shameful and simply wrong…
"…In desperation, my friend tried a different tactic. He proposed to his opponents that he and they go to the Gadol B'Torah [top haredi rabbi] of their choice, that they both present their arguments, and that they both agree to go by whatever he says. Personally, I thought that this was very foolhardy. Any Gadol B'Torah remotely recognized as such by his opponents would probably insist on metzitza b'peh! But it was irrelevant. One of his opponents stood up, and announced:'"Even if Moshe Rabeinu himself were to come and rule that we shouldn't do it, we would not listen to him!'"
The pamphlet, created by the de Blasio administration, is a glossy but blunt warning about the dangers of metzitzah b’peh, an Orthodox circumcision ritual linked to herpes infections in infants. “Some babies can get sick with herpes, which can lead to death,” the form reads in bold type. “There is no way to avoid the risk.” “Serious misstatements,” Rabbi Niederman said, looking pained, as he read the brochure for the first time. But the rabbi declined to elaborate, telling a reporter that, for now, he wanted only to praise the city for trying to work with Orthodox leaders on the matter.
New York City's Board of Health has now voted to consider a plan proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio that would scrap the city’s informed consent requirement for metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the dangerous direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis suction performed, predominantly by haredi mohels, after first cutting off the baby’s foreskin.
The brains of babies light up in a very similar way to adults when exposed to the same painful stimulus, a pioneering Oxford University brain scanning study has discovered. It suggests that babies experience pain much like adults and that infants are more sensitive to pain than adults, not less sensitive – calling into question claims made by some haredi rabbis and mohels that babies do not feel circumcision pain.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has the ability to fill a majority of the seats on the New York City Board of Health with his own appointees before he asks that board to repeal the city’s informed consent requirement for all circumcisions involving metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the dangerous mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking done by haredi mohels after cutting off the baby’s foreskin. And so de Blasio delayed asking the board to toss the existing informed consent requirement and has allegedly set out to fill the board with his own appointees, who will then likely rubber-stamp whatever the mayor wants done, even if it goes against what a majority of pediatric infectious disease specialists and public health experts believe is safe.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has delayed plans to repeal the city’s informed consent requirement for metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the dangerous direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking done by many haredi mohels after cutting off the baby’s foreskin – likely because it did not have the votes on the Board of Health to pass the repeal.
Avi Schick, the frequently dishonest haredi political insider, has written a very deceptive article on NYC's deal with haredim on metzitzah b'peh, (MBP), the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking done by most haredi mohels after cutting off a baby's foreskin. That deal allows haredim to continue to do MBP, despite the fact that MBP has transmitted herpes to babies, sickening at least 17 babies over the past decade or so, leaving two with serious brain damage and killing two others, and despite the fact that MBP has a long history of killing babies – a history documented in part in haredi rabbinic literature itself.
"…de Blasio, who has pleased the potent [ultra-]Orthodox voting bloc by ridiculing the [Bloomberg's informed consent] policy as unenforceable while making no visible effort to enforce it, has decided simply to let the mohels do their thing….The [new] plan needs Board of Health approval. The board should say no and take a stand for basic hygiene and common sense. Otherwise, this will be a city that requires tattoo artists to take infection-control courses and use sterile tools but tolerates an amateur surgery in which infection is fought with no more than perhaps a swig of Listerine."
Under the new deal with haredim, de Blasio administration officials said it is unlikely New York City would release the name of any mohel who was banned after testing positive for infecting an infant with herpes – meaning Bill de Blasio has opted to further his own political career while endangering haredi children.
The de Blasio administration's rationale for the new policy, which its own health department says could put infants at risk, is that this is the only way it can receive cooperation from the community. In the two-plus years since the health department has required consent forms, it has collected only one, an administration official said. “They won't stop practicing no matter what we say,” the de Blasio official said. “If we ban it, it will go underground.”
The deal scrapping the metzitzah b'peh (MBP, the direct mouth-to-bleeding penis sucking done by many haredi mohels after cutting off a baby's foreskin) informed consent requirement depends completely on haredim cooperating. There are apparently no penalties at all for haredi rabbis and others who fail to comply. MBP has killed hundreds if not thousands of children, and some of these deaths are actually documented in rabbinic sources.
"…The Jewish community in Denmark is a microcosm of what is happening to Jewish communities across the continent. On the one hand they are under attack from extremist Muslims who see every Jew as a legitimate target, on the other hand, freedom of religion is curtailed by the government, religious slaughter has been forbidden and the parliament is in discussions about the future of religious circumcision.…"
The administration of New York City’s hapless mayor, Bill de Blasio, wants to scrap the city’s informed consent forms mohels who do metzitzah b’peh (MBP, direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis sucking) after cutting off the baby’s foreskin, and replace the written informed consent with a verbal warning about MBP's dangers. But haredim, who are suing the city to try to force it to scuttle the informed consent, also refuse to agree to the verbal warning.
A Rockland community member who has been involved with the issue said the two mohels did test positive for the virus. They both continue to perform MBP. “They are continuing to practice and use whatever safety practices they were using before, which is why they have never been sources of infection in the past,” the community member said, referring to the mohels disinfecting their mouths before performing MBP.
A. Romi Cohn, an Orthodox Jew who is the head of the American Board of Ritual Circumcision and estimates he has conducted about 25,000 circumcisions in his lifetime, said he had never used the consent form. He added that he did not believe the roughly 80 other mohelim affiliated with the association had either.
The protocol is essentially the protocol haredi leaders broke in New York City a decade ago. It relies heavily on cooperation from and truth-telling by haredi leaders who have repeatedly promoted lies about the safety of MBP. It also relies on Rockland County officials telling the truth – something lots of people find dubious at best.
The study of more than 340,000 boys in Denmark found that circumcision raised the overall chances of an autism spectrum disorder before the age of 10 by 46 per cent. But if circumcision took place before the age of five it doubled the risk. Circumcision also appeared to increase the likelihood of boys from non-Muslim families developing hyperactivity disorder [ADHD].
In what appeared to be yet another paid (but undeclared) infomercial, Zev Brenner went to the American Board of Ritual Circumcision's annual gathering for mohels and doctors held at the house of the board's founder, Rabbi Romi Cohn. Cohn and his compatriots are largely uneducated in science and medical issues, and Brenner asked no tough questions and made no attempt to correct or call out their mistakes or lies. Here's what they said, and why most of these 'professionals' should probably be banned from circumcising anyone ever again.
Metzitzah b' peh (MBP), the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis-sucking done by haredi mohels after cutting off the baby's foreskin is a dangerous practice that can transmit disease, like Herpes Simplex 1. to the infants. Because neonates have very immature immune systems, herpes can – and has – killed some of them, and maimed and sickened others. Haredi rabbis refuse to stop this dangerous practice, however. But now there is more evidence of the extreme damage herpes can do to the mind – evidence that may support Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler's decade-old contention that herpes transmitted to infants through MBP may be causing learning disabilities.
Avi Schick, a former deputy attorney general of New York State, has published a deceptive op-ed about metzitzah b' peh (MBP), the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis-sucking done by haredi mohels after cutting off a baby's foreskin. How many babies must be killed through MBP before haredim stop insisting they have the right to do it?
"…What belief is being burdened by the requirement that the mohel tell the parents the practice is dangerous to infants? Do they have a belief that parents must be ignorant of potential medical harm to their infant? Are they saying that rabbis have a right to impose religious practices without full disclosure where the potential result is the death of a child? Really?…Informed consent is always required when a doctor performs a circumcision. Why should rabbis be absolved of the same obligation during the same procedure that involves creating a wound on an infant?…"
Earlier today, a federal appeals court unanimously ruled that a motion by Agudath Israel of America, the Satmar-dominated Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada, the International Bris Association, and several haredi mohels to have an injunction issued against enforcement of NYC’s informed consent requirement for Jewish ritual circumcisions involving metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the dangerous direct mouth-to-bleeding penis sucking done by many haredi mohels after removing a baby’s foreskin, must be heard.
“There is an unwillingness on the community’s part to buy into the regulation,” said lawyer Akiva Shapiro, who helped defend the new policy when Orthodox groups filed a federal lawsuit challenging it as an infringement on religious practice. “The city doesn't have the resources to be at every (circumcision), so if the mohel is against the form because he objects on religious grounds, the parents aren't signing the form."
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