Circumcisers Who Vow to Ignore Parents' Wishes Make Religious Ritual Even Scarier

Rant 48

bootiesAfter hearing about the unnecessary and tragic deaths of two infants who contracted herpes after undergoing a circumcision ritual in New York, I couldn't help but be appalled and heartbroken for those poor parents who trusted their mohels to perform the procedure safely. The mohels used a circumcision method called metzitzah b'peh, in which the mohel uses his mouth to stop the bleeding after the baby's foreskin is removed. In addition to the two babies who died after contracting herpes from their mohel, two others were left with devastating brain damage from the disease.

And now that there are Ultra-Orthodox rabbis who say they will defy a law (if it goes into act) that requires parental consent when this particular method of circumcision is going to be used, I'm absolutely outraged. Because those parents have every right to know exactly how their baby sons are going to be circumcised before allowing the ritual to take place.

I've attended a briss before, so I know just how important the circumcision ceremony is to Jewish parents. And even though the Ultra-Orthodox sector may have used the oral-suction circumcision method safely in the past, due to the recent deaths, parents should be the ones to decide how the mohel will perform the ritual on their son.

There have already been several complaints from parents who were unaware that oral-suction was going to be used during their sons' circumcisions. And if this new law goes into effect, they will be required to sign a consent form before allowing the method to take place.

And according to Rabbi David Neiderman, "This is the government forcing a rabbi practicing a religious ritual to tell his congregants it could hurt their child." He insists that the practice is safe, and also feels that the consent form forces parents to go against their belief system. He said, "Don’t force parents to sign something that is against their religious beliefs."

Ok, I'm a little bit confused. I'm no genius, but don't you think the parents who decide to sign the consent form are probably ok with the mohel using the oral-suction method of circumcision? The proposed law isn't being suggested to force anyone to go against their beliefs -- it's an effort to protect parents who are understandably worried about the health and safety of their infant and do not under any means want oral-suction used during their baby's circumcision.

It's not like this law would make the ritual illegal, it would simply make having the parents' consent a prerequisite. Since when is having the parents' permission before performing any sort of surgery a foreign thing? If anything, having the consent form will only protect the mohels should anything go wrong during the circumcision. The law is a win-win for everyone involved, especially for parents who want to honor their religion, yet protect their babies at the same time.

Do you think there should be a law requiring parental consent for this method of circumcision?


Image via handmaidenbymaria/Flickr



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Ballina Hubbard

I don't know anything about the Jewish faith,and I'm probably going to offend someone by saying this,but I think it's just gross for ANYONE to put ther mouth on a baby's penis.Not only is it sick,it's also obviuosly very dangerous seeing how babies are contracting herpes & who knows what else!! Wake up people,no religious belief or ritual is worth putting your childs health at risk!!

jessi... jessicasmom1

I do not know anything about Jewish faith , and I only have a daughter so Not into all this but I don't ever want to see a child at risk

nonmember avatar jenna

I agree with Ballina. I don't know much about it, but's your child's health! Perhaps back in the day before modern technology came about when you had no choice but to do it that way to stop the bleeding, it might have been okay, but these days, there is no excuse for that kind of action towards an innocent baby. And it is a bit disturbing however that someone would put their mouth on a baby's penis. It's actually really disturbing. I don't care what your beliefs's wrong on so many levels.

ethan... ethans_momma06

I think the issue is that it's the government putting a stipulation on a religious practice. That would be like ensuring that every Christian parent signed a waiver and form alerting them that their child could die from baptism. First it's the risk of metzitzah b'peh and then it's a government form before circumcision altogether (and be sure the anti-circ crowd is about to be all up in here decrying the horrors of circumcision that parents need to be aware of) and THEN it's the government intruision on how it's performed at all, and then they'll have to be licensed by the state, and then it'll be tougher and tougher.

And slowly, slowly their right to religious practise is infringed by a nanny state. Because nanny states can be bought and paid for by interested parties. Not that that WILL happen- but why start the motions for that to happen?

It's the parents responsibility to make sure that they know what's going on with the procedure. That they know the risks. Why are they waiting until the procedure to understand it? To know that? If people want to protect their families, then they need to make it a priority to educate themselves and not expect other people to.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Ignoring the fact that I believe circumcision should be illegal, HOW IS THIS NOT SEXUAL ABUSE?!?! If a 'religion' put their mouths anywhere near a baby girls genitals they would get shut down. Why on earth don't we protect presious baby boys?!? Repulsive.

lasombrs lasombrs

:( I don't know how to respond to this really. I am sure that members of the Jewish faith must know that the mouth is used to stop the bleeding. I do not. It gives me a bad vibe, but its also not  my faith. That being said I think they should require some form of std testing every 6 months inorder to preform the ritual in this manner so that they are awear they could be harming children in the process :(

jagam... jagamama0710

First, how incredibly unnecessary those deaths were. Those poor boys. :( First to go through a needless circumcision, then to be essentially molested, and then dying from a disease given to them by the perv who insists on placing his mouth on a newborn's penis in the name of religion. 

That is disgusting and there SHOULD be a law against that. 

 FarmersWife - Exactly.


jagam... jagamama0710

And yes, I am aware it's "to stop the bleeding". But guess what, there are other ways to stop that these days. It's unnecessary and sick. 

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I cannot get past the idea of a grown man wanting to put his mouth on an infant's penis, nor the idea of parents consenting to it! I'm not on one side of the circ debate or the other (and I'm not pretending to know much about the Jewish faith) but for goodness sake, the human mouth is just racked with ick! Its disgusting and unncessary..

Mom24... Mom24munchkins

This is just awful. I'm pretty sure I'd punch any man who put his mouth on my sons penis.

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