August 26, 2005

'Oral Suction, Or In Hebrew, Metzitzah B'peh'

Remember that Orthodox mohel who got in trouble with the 'oral suction' phase of that circumcision, not because he developed his bris pictures at Eckerd's, but because the kid got herpes and died? Yeah, well that's still going on, apparently, except for the herpes part. Maybe.

Some of the more traditionalist Orthodox Jewish groups like Hasids are resisting city health officials' calls to curtail the practice of mohel suck-, er, suctioning the blood from a circumcision with his mouth.

Possible government regulation of religious practices, even controversial ones? An unknown but small number of infants at risk of infection and even death? Occasionally shocked parents who didn't quite know what that trationalist bris entailed.

The Understatement of The Summer Award goes to NYC Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden: "This is a very delicate area, so to speak."

City Questions Circumcision Ritual After Baby Dies [nyt]


By-the-way, that metzitza b'pe ritual has been going on for oh about 2000 years now, so let's not be too hasty in condemning it over one (albeit dubiously unfounded) incident.

[tell it to the rabbis, Joe. Everyone else in the NYT story's bending over backwards to not judge the traditional practice.

I'm still undecided, but if we ever do decide to have a son circumcized, I, for one, will go to a mohel who doesn't suck the blood off the tip of my son's penis with his mouth. Call me a crazy Gentile if you must. -ed.]

I'm jewish but christ ... crazy jews, it's the 21st century

Crazy Gentile.

Poor boy. It's the 21st century.

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