New York Wants To Stop Jewish Circumcision Ritual, Claims It Causes Fatal Herpes In Babies

New York Wants To Stop Jewish Circumcision Ritual, Claims It Causes Fatal Herpes In Babies
World
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

After the deaths of two infants, a highly controversial Jewish circumcision practice in which the blood of a baby’s cut penis is sucked by a religious leader has been condemned .

The ‘metzitzah b’peh’–performed by ultra Orthodox Jews–is a practice in which an eight-day old baby is given a traditional circumcision, followed by the ‘mohel’ then placing his mouth around the wound and sucking up the blood.

The practice, while intended to prevent infection, has sparked controversy after the death of two infants and the contraction of herpes in at least 11 others between November 2000 and December 2011.

Heath chiefs in New York are now pushing for regulation forcing anybody wishing to have the procedure carried out on their babies to sign a consent waiver.

But some Orthodox Jews have complained about the measures claiming that they infringe on their ‘religious freedom’.

Professor of Talmudic Law and Bioethics at Yeshiva University Rabbi Moshe Tendler told KTLA that the practice was ‘primitive nonsense’.

‘The ritual has nothing to do with religion. It’s only their customs. But they’ve managed to convince the city that it’s a violation of their religious freedoms,’ he added.

Circumcision rituals originate from Scriptures, in which God tells Abraham that all men must be circumcised eight days after they are born.

Primitive Jews believed that blood was the ‘life-giving element’ and thought sucking it from the baby’s penis prevented infection.

But medical advances over the last hundred years have made clear that this practice increases the risk of infection. It is practiced widely in Israel and among Hasidic Jews.

After a death in Brooklyn last September, the city’s health department launched an investigation. A criminal investigation is still ongoing.

There was also an earlier death in November 2004, when a twin caught herpes after undergoing the procedure. The other survived.

Almost 20,500 baby boys had the procedure carried out in New York in June this year.

According to the findings of the investigation, infants who were circumcise with suction between April 2006 and December 2012 had a risk of catching neonatal herpes (HSV-1) infection of 24.4 per 100,000 cases.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement: ‘There is no safe way to perform oral suction on any open wound in a newborn.

‘Parents considering ritual circumcision need to know that circumcision should only be performed under sterile conditions, like any other procedures that create open cuts, whether by mohelim or medical professionals.’

Jeffrey Mazlin, a certified mohel and physician in New York who regularly practices circumcision procedures, said Orthodox Jews look view the religion as ‘more important than individuals’.

‘Because blood is the life-giving element, they believe that it’s supposed to be part of the whole procedure,’ he said, adding that there were ‘no known medical benefits’.

Despite common knowledge that placing a penis–especially one with an open wound–in the oral cavity can spread disease, infectious diseases specialist Dr. Daniel S. Berman defended the practice in a paper published in the Jewish journal Dialogue. He claimed there is no evidence that the ‘metzitzah b’peh’ procedures caused the infant deaths.

Dr Berman accused New York government chiefs of ‘racial bias’.

Elite.

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Julian Sonny

From the sandy beaches of Hawaii, to the streets of New York: Julian has seen it all. His lifetime of travels has given him a broad scope of knowledge and an eclectic taste unlike any other in the tri-state area. Julian has often been compared to cultural icon, The Rock, because of his unequivocal work ethic and warrior-like stature.

More In World

World Adam Matula

Woman Miraculously Escapes Death After Flying Axe Crashes Through Her Windshield (Photo)

Many drivers have experienced cracked windshields due to rocks or debris falling from commercial vehicles. But two Topsfield, MA, motorists were caught unaware when an axe flew from the back of a dump truck into their windshield. The driver and passenger, only identified by the Massachusetts State Police as an anonymous male and female, were understandably shaken […]

World Alexia LaFata

Artist Depicts Cartoon Characters As Hamas Militants, And It’s So Wrong (Photos)

The conflict between Israel and Palestine shows no signs of stopping — and one artist has crafted his own shocking take on the issue. Italian artist and graphic designer aleXsandro Palombo released illustrations featuring Aladdin, Jasmine and other cartoon characters depicted as members of Hamas. Palombo introduces the illustrations in a blog post and condemns the organization […]

Also On Elite

Ladies

10 Ways To Actually Lose A Guy In 10 Days

We’ve all seen the movie, in which Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) manages to attract, repel and then attract Benjamin Barry aka Benny Boo Boo aka Matthew McConaughey, all over again. Had there not been an elaborate double-bet plot line, it’s highly unlikely that she would ever have been able to get the guy, after suffocating […]

News

These Anonymous Confessions About Unemployment Will Break Your Heart

It can be really difficult to land a job in this economy. Many people in recent years have been getting college degrees and racking up their experiences, but lots of these educated, talented graduates end up settling for jobs for which they’re vastly overqualified. There simply isn’t much available to choose from. Being unemployed can […]