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July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
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Informed Consent

Brit Milah

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And yet this community is threatening mass civil disobedience. So up in arms are they that the 2 feuding Satmar Rebbe brothers are sitting at the same table. And they are coordinating with the Agudah – an organization they normally have nothing to do with.

I suppose it is a matter of pride for them.  Signing a form that implies a danger to what you believe to be a fundamental aspect of your beliefs is an offensive insult to them – and to Judaism itself as they understand it.

They fully deny that there is any danger at all to MbP since they believe it to be a required element of Bris Milah. How can they say – by signing that form -that God required them to put the lives of their children in even the slightest amount of danger?!  Can’t be.

They will say that the evidence of it must be wrong. They will point to the fact that there was no direct link shown between a Mohel who performed that procedure and the 11 cases of herpes infected infants. They firmly believe that there is absolutely no danger of infection by a Mohel putting his mouth on the open wound of an 8 day old infant is as safe as eating apple pie.  Safer even!  And they are going to fight it by either defeating the proposal or not complying with a law if it is passed.

I understand their umbrage. But I repeat the opening line: “There’s nothing about filing a consent form that is inherently in conflict with [Jewish law]”.  I see the benefits of passing this law outweighing their umbrage. Especially to that one child “in a million” in the future that will be spared from contracting Herpes because an informed parent decided against it.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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