Spring Valley, NY - Orthodox Rabbi Wants Metzitzah B’peh Regulated in Rockland County
Spring Valley, NY - Just days after the New York City Department of Health voted to require parents to sign a consent form notifying them of the risks of metzitzah b’peh during a circumcision, Rabbi Moshe David Tendler of Monsey, an internationally renowned expert on Jewish law and medical ethics, is urging Rockland officials to do the same, unless Rockland rabbis who endorse metzitzah b’peh tell their followers to stop the practice.
“They should use the carrot-and-stick approach,” Rabbi Tendler told The Journal News (http://lohud.us/RuiNl7). “If you don’t stop, we will do what New York City did and pass a law.”
Rabbi Tendler, who holds a degree in microbiology, maintains that oral suction of the incision is not required by halacha in the performance of a circumcision. “It’s a hoax perpetuated by some of the rabbis. It’s a prefabricated lie. . . they don’t appreciate the fact that this exposes the child to danger, danger that the child is being exposed to for no reason.”
Agudath Israel spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran countered Rabbi Tendler’s remarks saying, “There are many rabbis who consider metzitzah b’peh to be unnecessary. But (there are) many rabbis, including in Rockland County, I assure you, who feel quite strongly otherwise. ” Rabbi Shafran added that this issue is “a fundamental First Amendment issue, not one that Rabbi Tendler’s point of view on the particular practice here can be allowed to obscure.”
Agudath Israel has said it plans to sue the City of New York over its ruling on metzitzah b’peh.
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