One Type of Circumcision That Should Be Illegal

circumcisionThere are a lot of things I don't understand about other people's parenting choices. And even more things I don't understand about various religious practices. As long as it's not hurting anyone, however, I could care less whether you're attachment, intactivist, elective c-section, or a Scientologist. Yet sometimes a story about a religious and parenting practice comes along where I cannot imagine there is anyone out there, anywhere, defending this absolutely heinous act that has left a baby boy dead after his bris.

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It's not the circumcision that I have an issue with, or the tradition of a bris -- my home is half Jewish, after all -- it's this weird twist on the end that has a grown man sucking the blood off a baby boy's penis after removing the foreskin. I could hardly even write that, honestly. It's beyond disturbing. Even though I'm totally unclear as to why this is seen as a crucial part of the bris ritual in some homes (not any Jewish homes I've been in, by the way), it is totally clear that this is a pretty disgusting thing to do, for any reason.

Not only disgusting, but deadly. The mohel apparently had herpes, and gave it to the infant who later died. This has happened before in the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn, and apparently the city has tried to explain the health dangers to the community, but clearly to no avail. But how about adult oral contact with a baby's genitals? How is that not illegal?

As a parent, any ritual that could compromise my child's health while having the vibe of sexual abuse would be a no-no. And I have an incredibly difficult time understanding how any mom could not feel the same. I can't imagine how the parents of this baby are coping now, after his death. I just hope someone in this Brooklyn neighborhood sees this as a great reason to reconsider this practice.

After all, this isn't the first case of a mohel transferring disease to a baby this way, but it should be the last.

Do you know anyone who had a bris like this?

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