Israel Doctors Blast Blood-Sucking Circumcision Rite

Pediatric Group Declares War on Metitza B'Peh

haaretz

By Haaretz

Published August 10, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Israel Pediatric Association has declared war on metzitza b’peh, a portion of the ritual that doctors deem medically harmful but ultra-Orthodox rabbis deem obligatory.

Metzitza, the final stage of the circumcision, involves extracting blood from the incision. Today, it is usually done with a sterile tube. But some Haredi (ultra-Orthodox ) communities still use metzitza b’peh, in which the mohel, or ritual circumciser, uses his mouth to suck out the blood.

The practice was originally mandated by the rabbinic authorities because medical science at that time thought it helped prevent infection. But doctors today believe metzitza b’peh can actually cause infection, as diseases can be transmitted in this way from the mohel to the baby.

The pediatric association is therefore urging the Health Ministry to instruct hospital maternity wards and well-baby clinics to inform parents that metzitza b’peh isn’t necessary. The Chief Rabbinate responded that even now, mohels are careful to inform parents of the risks and let them choose. And most choose the tube rather than metzitza b’peh, said Rabbi Moshe Marciano, director of the rabbinate’s brit department.

“It’s true that Haredi mohels refuse to abolish [metzitza b’peh], but they don’t refuse to ask,” he stressed.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.