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New York - Civil Disobedience Seen As A Viable Option In Metzitzah B’Peh Battle

Published on: August 14, 2012 11:12 AM
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EPA FILE - Arranging medical tools prior to the traditional Jewish circumcision ceremonyEPA FILE - Arranging medical tools prior to the traditional Jewish circumcision ceremony

New York - With the New York City Department of Health’s vote on metzitzah b’peh just weeks away, advocates and religious groups are taking measures to prevent the proposal’s passage, including the threat of civil disobedience.

On September 13th, the Department of Health will decide whether parents will be forced to sign an “informed consent” document before the religious practice can be performed on their infant sons. Metzitza b’peh, the final step in a bris mila, involves using oral suction to remove blood from the baby’s wound. Although modern-Orthodox rabbis allow the use of a tube as an alternative to direct contact with the infant’s incision, Haredi rabbis have maintained that metzitza b’peh must be performed in order for a bris to be valid.

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The Forward reports (http://bit.ly/OgnF94) that groups such as Agudath Israel and assorted Hasidic sects have come together to fight the Department of Health’s proposed directive, and have met regularly to develop and implement plans to garner support both inside and outside the community.

Michael Tobman, a political consultant working for these groups, said, “Unless the city is ready to subpoena mohels or break the doors in of synagogues around the city, I don’t really think they understand what they’re trying to do. This is a community absolutely committed to resisting this ill-considered effort, up to and including civil disobedience.”

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, the executive vice president of Agudah, said he was not certain that the rabbinical leadership would urge civil disobedience, but did say, “Will there be compliance with the regulation? I’m not sure.” He noted that, “There’s nothing about filing a consent form that is inherently in conflict with [Jewish law],” but added that Agudah’s rabbinical leadership may not want their adherents to sign a form saying that the metzitzah b’peh practice may be hazardous.

The Forward notes that the opposition to the Health Department’s measure is so great that even “famously feuding brothers” Rabbis Zalman and Aron Teitelbaum of Satmar both attended a meeting where strategies to counter the Health Department were discussed.

Rabbi David Neiderman of Satmar’s United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg remarked, “What we’re saying is, allow us to conduct our religious activities the way we’ve been doing that.”

On this issue, Mayor Bloomberg recently said, “There are certain practices that doctors say are not safe and we will not permit those practices to the extent that we can stop them. You don’t have a right to put any child’s life in danger, and this clearly does.”

Between 2000 and 2011, 11 babies contracted herpes following their circumcision. Of the 11, two babies died. Proponents of metzitzah b’peh claim that “the rate of infections are low” considering how many times the ritual is performed each year by ultra-Orthodox mohelim. Approximately 10 to 15 babies in Canada, Israel, and the United States have been hospitalized with the herpes virus in the last ten years.


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1

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM Yonason_Herschlag Says:

I think a more practical solution to the problem would be requiring mohelim to have blood tests every couple of years or so, to insure that they aren't carrying any contagious diseases that could be passed on via matzitza. That would protect the infants, while not inhibiting the continuation of the religious custom.

2

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM yosher Says:

Civil disobedience is not threatening; what if government choses to pursue criminal charges (muder, attempted muder, etc) in the event of infectious transmission?

3

 Aug 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM Pro Lifer Says:

the article says "between 2000 and 2011, 11 babies contracted herpes following their circumcision. Of the 11, two babies died''
Yeah! Let's fight in the streets for MBP so that more babies can die, become sick, or suffer brain damage.

4

 Aug 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM NotSoFrum Says:

“There’s nothing about filing a consent form that is inherently in conflict with [Jewish law],” but added that Agudah’s rabbinical leadership may not want their adherents to sign a form saying that the metzitzah b’peh practice may be hazardous."

So, no one is saying the procedure can't be done, only that there is increased risk involved. I don't see this 'form' as anything different than what a medical doctor requires a patient to sign before a medical. If the parents wish to put their babies at risk, let them do it....but then don't complain when, chas v'shalom, something happens!

5

 Aug 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM DovidT Says:

Hashem is doing this for the achdus it's generating. May we be truly united to bring moshiach now!

6

 Aug 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM DovidTheK Says:

They should just make sure the mohel does not have the herpes. They can make it a law for every mohel to be tested. If he has herpes he can do the milah but not the metzitza. Who could argue with that?

7

 Aug 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM Kim Li Says:

Let me get this straight. They want us to engage in civil disobedience (which is forbidden under halachah and which could land you in jail) in order to protect a practice that possibly endangers the life and health of our babies. This is insane!

Many if not most Litvish-Yeshivish poskim ruled that alternative methods without direct oral contact should be used in cases of danger (the Chasam Sofer, the Aruch HaShulchan, R' Chaim Soloveitchik, R' Chaim Ozer and others). The Mishnah Berurah cites a dispute (which he is not machria) whether alternative methods are acceptable - even where there is no danger!

We should be thanking the medical establishment for pointing out the dangers of mbp. Instead we are being encouraged to violate the halachah and risk going to jail in order to stop them.

As Chazal say, עולם הפוך הוא.

9

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:04 PM awacs Says:

Reply to #7  
Kim Li Says:

Let me get this straight. They want us to engage in civil disobedience (which is forbidden under halachah and which could land you in jail) in order to protect a practice that possibly endangers the life and health of our babies. This is insane!

Many if not most Litvish-Yeshivish poskim ruled that alternative methods without direct oral contact should be used in cases of danger (the Chasam Sofer, the Aruch HaShulchan, R' Chaim Soloveitchik, R' Chaim Ozer and others). The Mishnah Berurah cites a dispute (which he is not machria) whether alternative methods are acceptable - even where there is no danger!

We should be thanking the medical establishment for pointing out the dangers of mbp. Instead we are being encouraged to violate the halachah and risk going to jail in order to stop them.

As Chazal say, עולם הפוך הוא.

"They want us to engage in civil disobedience (which is forbidden under halachah ...)"

Where, exactly, in halachah does it say this, or did you just make it up?

10

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM moishe Says:

Can someone explain why. If 100 doctors were to say that MB is safe
and only one doctor were to disagree and say that it is dangerous, You
would need to refrain from MB. Now that the case is reversed and 100 doctors
claim that it is dangerous and one doctor claims that it is safe you are required
to do MB. Is MB one of the three cardinal sins and need to do it even if your
life is in danger?

11

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM Mark Levin Says:

Mayor Bloomberg recently said, “There are certain practices that doctors say are not safe and we will not permit those practices to the extent that we can stop them. You don’t have a right to put any child’s life in danger, and this clearly does.”


Nanny State Bloomberg is such a tipish he doesn't want to understand that MBP has been done for THOUSANDS of years but now, all of a sudden, its a problem.

I think the real reason Nanny Boonberg has a problem with this is for another reason which can't be put in a family site.

12

 Aug 14, 2012 at 01:45 PM OccupyAgudah Says:

Reply to #6  
DovidTheK Says:

They should just make sure the mohel does not have the herpes. They can make it a law for every mohel to be tested. If he has herpes he can do the milah but not the metzitza. Who could argue with that?

You would allow a mohel who has tested positive for herpes to perform a bris milah on your child? Wow!

13

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:24 PM benalt Says:

Reply to #7  
Kim Li Says:

Let me get this straight. They want us to engage in civil disobedience (which is forbidden under halachah and which could land you in jail) in order to protect a practice that possibly endangers the life and health of our babies. This is insane!

Many if not most Litvish-Yeshivish poskim ruled that alternative methods without direct oral contact should be used in cases of danger (the Chasam Sofer, the Aruch HaShulchan, R' Chaim Soloveitchik, R' Chaim Ozer and others). The Mishnah Berurah cites a dispute (which he is not machria) whether alternative methods are acceptable - even where there is no danger!

We should be thanking the medical establishment for pointing out the dangers of mbp. Instead we are being encouraged to violate the halachah and risk going to jail in order to stop them.

As Chazal say, עולם הפוך הוא.

For those who hold it is a Torah requirement, I assume the halacha would be that Torah law of mila has priority over dina d'malchusa. What would you say if a government decided to make a law against doing mila at all? Would it still be wrong to do mila then al pi Torah?

14

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:24 PM grandpajoe Says:

I don't umderstand - if there is a way to have the Mohel be tested and verified 'kosher' what is the halachachic negativity to that.

15

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:32 PM Ben Avrohom Says:

What hypocrisy. I would hope the day the DOH tries to implement this consent document Agudah and / or Satmar will file a lawsuit against the NY state which now allows alternative marriages. Do they sign a consent informing them that their lifestyle is a prime cause of AIDS.

16

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:43 PM StevenWright Says:

The best solution is to have every mohel without exception, rinse his mouth before every bris with 32 ounces of Coke. If it can kill a human it can definitely wipe out any virus!

17

 Aug 14, 2012 at 03:07 PM 5TResident Says:

Civil disobedience is for behaimas like Al Sharpton. Jews are supposed to be the People of the Book. Imagine the chilul Hashem civil disobedience would bring.

18

 Aug 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM Kim Li Says:

Reply to #9  
awacs Says:

"They want us to engage in civil disobedience (which is forbidden under halachah ...)"

Where, exactly, in halachah does it say this, or did you just make it up?

Civil disobedience is clearly forbidden under dina demalchus dina.

19

 Aug 14, 2012 at 02:02 PM Yipyap Says:

Reply to #1  
Yonason_Herschlag Says:

I think a more practical solution to the problem would be requiring mohelim to have blood tests every couple of years or so, to insure that they aren't carrying any contagious diseases that could be passed on via matzitza. That would protect the infants, while not inhibiting the continuation of the religious custom.

Every couple of years wont help. What if he does get somthing in between tests and has done countless circumcisions? But I think this is all a bunch of hokum to try and get us frum yidden to deviate from out beliefs and emunah that HK'B will protect from all this

20

 Aug 14, 2012 at 03:38 PM hobble Says:

Going forward all children and parents should be tested as 2 children contracted the virus from family members one from a sibling who licked his pacifer and another from his very own Mother yet DOH and CDC will not recognize that even though its documented in the newborn's record

So lets start a new foster care such families that chas v'shalom should have a child at home with the virus

Sounds like we are going back in the dark ages
MOSHIACH must be very close PLEASE COME ALREADY

21

 Aug 14, 2012 at 03:54 PM Nirah-Lee Says:

The World Health Organization estimates that 90% of the world population currently carry this extremely contagious virus... so what is testing gonna help?

22

 Aug 14, 2012 at 03:24 PM J-R-S Says:

Reply to #1  
Yonason_Herschlag Says:

I think a more practical solution to the problem would be requiring mohelim to have blood tests every couple of years or so, to insure that they aren't carrying any contagious diseases that could be passed on via matzitza. That would protect the infants, while not inhibiting the continuation of the religious custom.

Very wise solution!
Just don't expect anyone to pick up on it. It's much more fun for everyone to see themselves as heroic fighters in a battle for religious freedom, and they'll therefore resist the slightest innovation that might look like compromise.

Have our chashuva moheilm take blood tastes---how degrading! It's like admitting that, in some cases, they just might have been the cause of the problem.

23

 Aug 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM Yonason_Herschlag Says:

Reply to #19  
Yipyap Says:

Every couple of years wont help. What if he does get somthing in between tests and has done countless circumcisions? But I think this is all a bunch of hokum to try and get us frum yidden to deviate from out beliefs and emunah that HK'B will protect from all this

I think that's for the doctors to decide. I mean obviously it's not practical to require a test five minutes before every bris. On the other hand, some people are carriers that don't exhibit any symptoms, and a simple blood test would reveal that and prevent a tragedy. The lifestyle of most mohels who do MBP is such that if they are clean, it's quite unlikely that they are going to pick up these sort of diseases. The very minimum would be to require one blood test before being licsensed to work as a mohel, and that would suffice for a lifetime. Perhaps that would be enough, I haven't studied these medical issues to know. The experts need to figure out if the blood tests need to be repeated, and if so how often. Perhaps they could make their recommendations, and then parents could choose their mohel in a more informed way. For example, if the experts recommend testing every thirty days, parents could choose a mohel who sticks to those recommendations.

The bottom line is this - to outright prohibit MBP unnecessarily attacks the most ancient of all Jewish traditions - the foundation of our covenant with Hashem. There is probably more than one solution to the problem.

24

 Aug 14, 2012 at 04:25 PM wsbrgh Says:

All of shas and Shulchan Aruch mention "metzitza". NOWHERE do they mention "b'peh". All "halacha l'Moshe m'Sinai" is mentioned in Shas. This is a MINHAG not kept by all frum groups and it does not possel the mila EVEN l'chatchila. All authorities SHAS and POSKIM say that metzitza is for HEALTH reasons. So, if there is a BETTER way to avoid disease, then other methods of metzitza are PREFERED.

25

 Aug 14, 2012 at 05:01 PM georgewashingtonbridge Says:

Aren't the mohelim supposed to be using filters?

26

 Aug 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
awacs Says:

"They want us to engage in civil disobedience (which is forbidden under halachah ...)"

Where, exactly, in halachah does it say this, or did you just make it up?

dine d'malchisa dine

27

 Aug 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM hobble Says:

Reply to #20  
hobble Says:

Going forward all children and parents should be tested as 2 children contracted the virus from family members one from a sibling who licked his pacifer and another from his very own Mother yet DOH and CDC will not recognize that even though its documented in the newborn's record

So lets start a new foster care such families that chas v'shalom should have a child at home with the virus

Sounds like we are going back in the dark ages
MOSHIACH must be very close PLEASE COME ALREADY

The poor mother of one of these babies has been interagated by the DOH and begged to be left alone as she herself had the virus and passed it on to her precious
baby

28

 Aug 14, 2012 at 05:48 PM 90% have HIV? - How Interesting! - How did they get it? ? ? ? Says:

Reply to #21  
Nirah-Lee Says:

The World Health Organization estimates that 90% of the world population currently carry this extremely contagious virus... so what is testing gonna help?

How do 90% of the population (that is 90% of the GOYISHE and non-frum) world, who never had Metzitza bePeh and they all have Herpes?

How did they all get Herpes it without Metzitza bePeh?

Obviously the vast majority of the transmission method has nothing to do with Metzitza bePeh.

The vast majority of the non-frum and Goyishe world has a different type "oral contact", which we will not spell out here but everyone knows what it is, which is the easiest and most common and most assured way of how it is most commonly transmitted.

If anyone wants to start the silly practice (under law) of signing a consent form, the law should first and foremost require the non-from and Goishe world to sign a consent form before they engage their usual every day immoral behavior, which 99% of them do every day, which is their illicit immoral relationships which causes not only herpes but also Aids and other STDs

In the Goyishe world 99% of the population engages in immoral relationships outside of marriage. Let the law require a consent form by them first

In addition The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby before during or after birth or Hospital caused

30

 Aug 14, 2012 at 07:08 PM Anon Ibid Opcit Says:

Reply to #6  
DovidTheK Says:

They should just make sure the mohel does not have the herpes. They can make it a law for every mohel to be tested. If he has herpes he can do the milah but not the metzitza. Who could argue with that?

That is easier said than done. Most adults have the virus. But it retreats and stays dormant for varying periods of time. It is contagious long before sores form. And herpes isn't the only pathogen found in the mouth. In terms of bacteria and viruses the mouth is the filthiest place in the human body except.

My father, who is both a mohel and a urologist believed the practice had died out centuries ago. When I asked him for his professional opinion he responded (and I quote) "Yuck! Horrible!"

This custom was mandated explicitly as a health measure at a time when we didn't know any better. We now know that it is dangerous. When there is a chance of the brit millah killing the child halacha is clear. You forgo it even if this means no bris at all.

Of all the battles Jews could fight one that is filthy, dangerous, unnecessary and creates an enormous chillul hashem is the last we should engage in.

31

 Aug 14, 2012 at 07:22 PM Mocher2011 Says:

Reply to #3  
Pro Lifer Says:

the article says "between 2000 and 2011, 11 babies contracted herpes following their circumcision. Of the 11, two babies died''
Yeah! Let's fight in the streets for MBP so that more babies can die, become sick, or suffer brain damage.

Sorry. Both parents from both baby's claim that there baby dot NOT die from the Bris!
In fact the second mother says that the baby's 2 y/o had herpes, and he licked a few times the baby's pacifier. And the baby's doctor even testified a few times that the herpes was on the baby's foot! So there is no possible way that it should come from Mtzitza!
And guess what, the health department never even tested if that Mohel bechlal had any infection!

32

 Aug 14, 2012 at 08:15 PM Kzler Says:

I am sure if someone lands in a closed facility for civil disobidience he will receive glatt kosher prison food.

33

 Aug 14, 2012 at 08:23 PM Kim Li Says:

Reply to #13  
benalt Says:

For those who hold it is a Torah requirement, I assume the halacha would be that Torah law of mila has priority over dina d'malchusa. What would you say if a government decided to make a law against doing mila at all? Would it still be wrong to do mila then al pi Torah?

The obligation to observe the law of the land is Rabbinic. So of course it would not override the mitzvah d'Oraisa of milah.
My point was only that civil disobedience is assur al pi halachah. It therefore has no place among the tactics that Jews may use in campaigning against goverment regulations. There are many legal alternatives that are a lot more effective (e.g. voting, petitions, letters to elected officials, etc.). For any askan to propose civil disobedience, as opposed to these alternatives, is morally and halachically reprehensible.

34

 Aug 14, 2012 at 08:26 PM Pro Lifer Says:

This issue has been addressed in scientific studies. Although almost all children are born in a hospital, a child that had mbp is THREE times more likely to get herpes than a child who did not have mbp.

35

 Aug 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM honestmodox Says:

Can someone please tell me why it is bad to have parents sign forms? This is no different than any other medical procedure. It is not infringing on anybody's liberties.

36

 Aug 15, 2012 at 12:55 AM hershel Says:

Prostitution when you have HIV is manslaughter,
we should push the health department to mandate blood tests

37

 Aug 15, 2012 at 01:25 AM Realistic Says:

Reply to #3  
Pro Lifer Says:

the article says "between 2000 and 2011, 11 babies contracted herpes following their circumcision. Of the 11, two babies died''
Yeah! Let's fight in the streets for MBP so that more babies can die, become sick, or suffer brain damage.

It didn't say that they were infected through metzitza bpah. I would like to see a study showing how many infants catch it in that time period and if it is more than usual. (Don't forget that the problem with herpes don't exist solely by chareidy children.)

38

 Aug 15, 2012 at 06:28 AM Eli Says:

Reply to #28  
90% have HIV? - How Interesting! - How did they get it? ? ? ? Says:

How do 90% of the population (that is 90% of the GOYISHE and non-frum) world, who never had Metzitza bePeh and they all have Herpes?

How did they all get Herpes it without Metzitza bePeh?

Obviously the vast majority of the transmission method has nothing to do with Metzitza bePeh.

The vast majority of the non-frum and Goyishe world has a different type "oral contact", which we will not spell out here but everyone knows what it is, which is the easiest and most common and most assured way of how it is most commonly transmitted.

If anyone wants to start the silly practice (under law) of signing a consent form, the law should first and foremost require the non-from and Goishe world to sign a consent form before they engage their usual every day immoral behavior, which 99% of them do every day, which is their illicit immoral relationships which causes not only herpes but also Aids and other STDs

In the Goyishe world 99% of the population engages in immoral relationships outside of marriage. Let the law require a consent form by them first

In addition The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby before during or after birth or Hospital caused

You wrote: "In the Goyishe world 99% of the population engages in immoral relationships outside of marriage." Folks, here's why the education one gets in heimishe yeshivas is such a joke. Is that what your rebbi told you -- 99 percent? And you believe it? I know the right-wing yeshiva velt has a lot invested in making its members believe that goyim are somehow less than human and that nothing a goy does is good (I know this because I pulled my son out of two well-known yeshivos that were poisoning the minds of their talmidim this way), but don't you feel stupid making such a dumb and totally baseless statement? The generally accepted statistic is that about half of married men have one extramarital affair in their lives, and that goes for Jews as well as non-Jews. (The number who have more than one is even smaller.) But if you need to think the worst about non-Jews in order to be a frum Jew, go ahead and live in your ignorant little shtetl of the mind.

39

 Aug 15, 2012 at 12:47 AM shmiell Says:

"Civil Disobedience" doesn't necessarily mean demonstrating, chanting, chaining yourself to a building etc.; it could be as simple as politely refusing to sign a form. Sharpton's demonstrations are not very civil, nor is he.
Signing a form would be agreeing that MBP is dangerous, which is baloney. Staying in a hospital is much more risky (infections, incompetent or negligent nursing,etc) , and no one is trying to stop that. If the DOH would interview the major Mohalim in NYC they would see that their sterile techniques are way above par and that there is really almost no chashash; there's a bigger risk riding the subway with the baby. Having the Mohalim take a blood test once a year like other medical personnel or therapists is probably agood idea; rinsing and gargling for 60 secs with "zeks-und-ninetziger" b4 a bris is another one(just make sure to spit not swallow).
Comment#s 28&29; really hit the nail on the head.
The VIN "poskim" commenting here really don't know what they're talikng about; ask a real poseik.
The real issue is not MBP; it's the govt interfering in religious practice. Moslem circs are much more risky (the kids are older) and no one is trying to regulate them.

40

 Aug 15, 2012 at 06:38 AM Selsdon Says:

Reply to #28  
90% have HIV? - How Interesting! - How did they get it? ? ? ? Says:

How do 90% of the population (that is 90% of the GOYISHE and non-frum) world, who never had Metzitza bePeh and they all have Herpes?

How did they all get Herpes it without Metzitza bePeh?

Obviously the vast majority of the transmission method has nothing to do with Metzitza bePeh.

The vast majority of the non-frum and Goyishe world has a different type "oral contact", which we will not spell out here but everyone knows what it is, which is the easiest and most common and most assured way of how it is most commonly transmitted.

If anyone wants to start the silly practice (under law) of signing a consent form, the law should first and foremost require the non-from and Goishe world to sign a consent form before they engage their usual every day immoral behavior, which 99% of them do every day, which is their illicit immoral relationships which causes not only herpes but also Aids and other STDs

In the Goyishe world 99% of the population engages in immoral relationships outside of marriage. Let the law require a consent form by them first

In addition The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby before during or after birth or Hospital caused

"The vast majority of the non-frum and Goyishe world has a different type "oral contact", which we will not spell out "

Since when has kissing been an unmentionable activity? Really, you are taking Jewish prudishness and ignorance to depths heretofore unplumbed.

41

 Aug 15, 2012 at 08:38 AM J-R-S Says:

Reply to #30  
Anon Ibid Opcit Says:

That is easier said than done. Most adults have the virus. But it retreats and stays dormant for varying periods of time. It is contagious long before sores form. And herpes isn't the only pathogen found in the mouth. In terms of bacteria and viruses the mouth is the filthiest place in the human body except.

My father, who is both a mohel and a urologist believed the practice had died out centuries ago. When I asked him for his professional opinion he responded (and I quote) "Yuck! Horrible!"

This custom was mandated explicitly as a health measure at a time when we didn't know any better. We now know that it is dangerous. When there is a chance of the brit millah killing the child halacha is clear. You forgo it even if this means no bris at all.

Of all the battles Jews could fight one that is filthy, dangerous, unnecessary and creates an enormous chillul hashem is the last we should engage in.

Well said. People seem to be getting all riled up, mindlessly thrilled to be part of a fight for religious freedom---an experience most American Jews have been "deprived of." This is nothing more than a mob mentality at work.

42

 Aug 15, 2012 at 09:47 AM benalt Says:

Reply to #38  
Eli Says:

You wrote: "In the Goyishe world 99% of the population engages in immoral relationships outside of marriage." Folks, here's why the education one gets in heimishe yeshivas is such a joke. Is that what your rebbi told you -- 99 percent? And you believe it? I know the right-wing yeshiva velt has a lot invested in making its members believe that goyim are somehow less than human and that nothing a goy does is good (I know this because I pulled my son out of two well-known yeshivos that were poisoning the minds of their talmidim this way), but don't you feel stupid making such a dumb and totally baseless statement? The generally accepted statistic is that about half of married men have one extramarital affair in their lives, and that goes for Jews as well as non-Jews. (The number who have more than one is even smaller.) But if you need to think the worst about non-Jews in order to be a frum Jew, go ahead and live in your ignorant little shtetl of the mind.

That is an unbelievable statistic. You are saying that one in every 2 married men you meet have been or will be unfaithful to their wives? Where do you find a source for such a thing?

43

 Aug 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM Eli Says:

Reply to #42  
benalt Says:

That is an unbelievable statistic. You are saying that one in every 2 married men you meet have been or will be unfaithful to their wives? Where do you find a source for such a thing?

I didn't say it -- comment 28 did, and I was telling him how asinine he sounded. Of course it's a completely made-up number; but this is how some frum Jews think of non-Jews, i.e., that 99 percent of them are no good. It's a sickening attitude increasingly found in the yeshivish/chassidiah oilam and it has caused many sensitive people to go off the derech.

44

 Aug 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM J-R-S Says:

Reply to #11  
Mark Levin Says:

Mayor Bloomberg recently said, “There are certain practices that doctors say are not safe and we will not permit those practices to the extent that we can stop them. You don’t have a right to put any child’s life in danger, and this clearly does.”


Nanny State Bloomberg is such a tipish he doesn't want to understand that MBP has been done for THOUSANDS of years but now, all of a sudden, its a problem.

I think the real reason Nanny Boonberg has a problem with this is for another reason which can't be put in a family site.

a tipish is someone who uses the old "it's been done for thousands of years" response in the face of science, evidence, facts & rational thought.

Whether MBP is statistically a serious health hazard is not yet settled---but the fact that something's been done for a long time is utterly irrelevant. In various eras past, people had multiple wives, showered once a month, drank from the same rivers used for dumping sewage, hit children & wives for small infractions, did not brush their teeth and thought the earth was flat. Boruch Hashem, the world progresses in many ways, even as certain aspects of society seem to deteriorate). The only ones who don't progress are the ones who think "it's always been done" is the only rationale ever required.

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 Aug 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM Kim Li Says:

Reply to #23  
Yonason_Herschlag Says:

I think that's for the doctors to decide. I mean obviously it's not practical to require a test five minutes before every bris. On the other hand, some people are carriers that don't exhibit any symptoms, and a simple blood test would reveal that and prevent a tragedy. The lifestyle of most mohels who do MBP is such that if they are clean, it's quite unlikely that they are going to pick up these sort of diseases. The very minimum would be to require one blood test before being licsensed to work as a mohel, and that would suffice for a lifetime. Perhaps that would be enough, I haven't studied these medical issues to know. The experts need to figure out if the blood tests need to be repeated, and if so how often. Perhaps they could make their recommendations, and then parents could choose their mohel in a more informed way. For example, if the experts recommend testing every thirty days, parents could choose a mohel who sticks to those recommendations.

The bottom line is this - to outright prohibit MBP unnecessarily attacks the most ancient of all Jewish traditions - the foundation of our covenant with Hashem. There is probably more than one solution to the problem.

"... to outright prohibit MBP unnecessarily attacks the most ancient of all Jewish traditions"

Wow! This is really going a bit far.
MBP is certainly not the most ancient of all Jewish traditions. In fact, the Gemara mentions only metzitzah (it does not say anything about using the mouth) and the only reason it gives for metzitzah is that it protects the health of the child. In our generation, when it has been shown that MBP does more harm than good, it must be stopped and an alternative method adopted. Lets not have any more tragedies c"v.

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 Aug 21, 2012 at 02:19 PM awacs Says:

Reply to #18  
Kim Li Says:

Civil disobedience is clearly forbidden under dina demalchus dina.

Uh, source?

No? I thought so.

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