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Mayor Says Reviewing Metzitzah B’peh Deal

by Sandy Eller – VIN News

Just days after the New York City Department of Health issued a warning to the medical community to be on the lookout for babies who contracted neonatal herpes via metzitzah b’peh, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that he intends to reconsider whether or a 2015 deal that removed a requirement for parental consent is working as planned.

In 2012 Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed for a citywide law that would regulate metzitzah b’eh by requiring parents to sign a consent form saying that they understood the associated risks. In 2015, the law was repealed in an agreement that would require the mohel of any baby who contracted neonatal herpes to be identified and tested for the virus as previously reported by VIN News.

But according to the New York Post, officials with the New York City Department of Health have said that of six mohels linked to cases of babies with neonatal herpes, only two have been identified.  In both of those cases, the mohels were told to discontinue metzitzah b’peh and were not tested.

“We’ve made it very clear what we expect from the community,” said the mayor, when asked about the issue at a press conference.

de Blasio said that City Hall is evaluating the situation and that the results of that review will be released within “a matter of weeks.”

The most recent case of a baby contracting neonatal herpes via metzitzah b’peh was announced last week by the Department of Health.

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11 Comments

  • 1. Milhouse wrote:

    In both of those cases, the mohels were told to discontinue metzitzah b’peh and were not tested.

    “Were told”? Who told them, exactly, and why were they not tested? Did they refuse, or were they not asked?

    The most recent case of a baby contracting neonatal herpes via metzitzah b’peh was announced last week by the Department of Health.

    This is a blatant lie by VIN. The announcement merely said the virus was detected in the baby after his bris; it did not say that the baby had contracted the virus as a result of the bris, because that is not known to be true.

    Reply
  • 2. Anonymous wrote:

    I don’t understand .. Jewish law was never ever fr putting a Jew and especially a fragile Jew a baby of 8 days in Danger!!!

    Can the rabonnim please look into this???

    The youth are asking a lot of good questions .. this is one of them.

    Concerned

    Reply
    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      What are you talking about? Jewish law has always required putting babies in danger at this tender age. Milah carries a known risk even today, and until the modern age it was even riskier. For three days after the bris a baby is considered choleh sheyesh bo sakonoh, for whom we may break Shabbos. Throughout the millennia babies have died as a result of milah. And yet we are commanded to subject every baby boy to this risk.

      What’s more, we’ve known for more than 2000 years that there exist genetic conditions that make milah especially dangerous for some babies, and yet we still circumcised every baby without knowing whether he had these conditions. More than that, even if a baby died from milah, we are still commanded to circumcise his next brother, disregarding the real possibility that he might have died of a genetic condition that will kill the brother too. Only after a family has r”l lost two children do we finally decide the risk is too high and let the rest of that couple’s sons remain areilim.

      So it’s absolutely false that Jewish law is against putting Jewish children in danger. There is a normal risk level that is acceptable and must be assumed for the sake of this commandment, and only abnormally heightened risk is ruled out.

      and yet now we are talking about a risk that even according to the most fanatical activists against it is minuscule. Even if their numbers were valid (which they’re not) the baby is at far greater risk being driven to and from the bris than from anything that happens during the bris

  • 4. Amused Observer wrote:

    If only there was *some* way to avoid this risk. There must be *some* way, right? Some really, really easy way. I’m just having trouble thinking of it.

    Reply
  • 5. Thousands of Years of Tradition wrote:

    Amalek came along to the Jews and said “you must be tired, take a rest” what he meant was to try and prevent the jews from reaching their destination by all sorts of tricks rather then outright saying “forget Judaism and come with me” he tried to weaken their resolve.

    You (number 2 and 3) are the very definition of amalek. or worse.

    Thousands of years of tradition will not be uprooted because of your misplaced political correctness – or “jewish lite’ness”. There isnt a single death or case of herpes simplex that was directly associated with a mohel and metzitzah. not a single one.

    Reply
  • 6. Blame the Mohel wrote:

    I got sick last year. This was after my bris (so what if it was 50 years ago) so I was thinking it must be the mohel’s fault.

    Reply
    • 7. Richard Roe wrote:

      That’s nothing. I had a bris too, and I couldn’t walk for a year afterwards!

  • 8. Why Are the "Frum" Doctor's Silent? wrote:

    maybe their not so “frum” afterall

    or maybe that’s what makes them “frum”: be inDocterated by the Goyim and become convinced of all their mach’les and then solicit the goyishkeit to us ignorent under a half-bearded mask called “frum”

    what ever happened to
    כל המחלה אשר שמתי במצרים לא אשים עליך
    אני ה’ רפאך

    Reply
  • 9. Avi wrote:

    If a mohel has the herpes virus then it is present in his saliva. If his saliva has contact with an open wound then the virus is likely to be transmitted. Those posters who deny that the virus is transmitted during the bris need to explain why they think this way.

    As I understand it metzitzah bepeh is a chumra which is not required for a halachic bris. It should therefore be discontinued as preventing the death of babies is clearly of more prime importance.

    Reply
    • 10. Milhouse wrote:

      You understand wrong. Metzitzah is a basic halachic requirement, and while some poskim in the 19th century gave a heter to use a straw, others held it was forbidden. The medical establishment is against it even with a straw, but even if they were right we would have to accept the risk ad keep on doing it. But in fact the risk is minuscule, as evidenced by the fact that despite the number of babies to whom this is done there are so few cases of transmission, perhaps even as low as none at all. If it were a significant risk then there would be no dispute over how many cases there are. There would be too many to dispute. The fact that not a single case has yet been proven, and that at most we’re talking about one case in 2500, proves how rare this is.

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