Thursday, June 14, 2012 | return to: news & features, national


NYC health chief seeks end to risky brit rite

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The New York City Health Commissioner called for an end to a controversial circumcision-related rite.

In a strongly worded statement, Dr. Thomas Farley said that direct oral-genital suction, known as metzitzah b’peh, should not be performed during Jewish ritual circumcision. He said that several hospitals, including those serving the haredi Orthodox community, have agreed to distribute a brochure that describes the risk of contracting the herpes virus from the practice.

The controversy over metzitzah b’peh was reignited in March after it came to light that an unidentified infant died Sept. 28 at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center from “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction,” according to the death certificate. — jta


Posted by MisterEquality
06/14/2012  at  06:35 PM

It’s really, really sad that we have to tell, much less write health mandates to tell supposed rational adults to NOT put their mouths on a child’s genitals. What’s worse is that it’s after they cut said genitals, so we can officially say that they are infringing on a childs religious freedom, first amendment, as well as their security of person, and then, sexually assault them by putting their mouths on their newly cut genitals.

How is this not considered sick and perverted and HOW is this still legal? I can’t cut my daughter in the name of religion, yet there are still some people so blind to common sense that you still defend this!! Are there any other logical reasons one would even THINK of doing this unless they had a mental disease or were a pedophile?

I don’t care what religion you belong to or what your beliefs are, if you put your mouth on a baby’s penis you are a pedophile plain and simple.

It’s great stories like this that let us all know that change against this sick barbaric practice is finally upon us, and one day soon, regardless of what you’ve been brainwashed to believe, if you cut your sons penis, you’ll wind up in prison with a bullseye on your chest for sexual abuse.

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Posted by Hugh7
06/14/2012  at  06:45 PM
And now - a waiver!

And now, for greatest protection - the parents will have to sign a waiver. How does that protect a baby from anything?

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Posted by rocky
06/16/2012  at  06:25 PM

“How is this legal”? A combination of the freedom of religion clause of the constitution plus good old fashioned hard ball politics.

Assuming the little boy survives the ordeal (and death because of this ritual is actually quite rare), he is very likely to receive a very limited secular education, will marry at a young age and will father many children. The odds are pretty good that he will qualify for food stamps, Medicaid and Section 8 housing vouchers. For more information on life in the Hasidic world, Google Chaim Levin and read his blog. Another good source of ongoing Hasidic information is at

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Posted by MisterEquality
06/17/2012  at  05:33 AM

thank you for clarifying that for me.

now I can use that as my argument for circumcising my daugter, which is scheduled for later today. I want her to be marked for God too.

plus, I have the 14th amendment on my side, so they can’t do anything. Now she too can share this blessed covenant with God, and be protected from HIV, as stated here

Mazel tov for being able to circumcise my daughter! She will have her bris shortly!

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