web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



The Proper Performance of Bris Milah

A brit mila ceremony.

A brit mila ceremony.
Photo Credit: Serge Attal/Flash90

Share Button

But as intelligent human beings we must always weigh the pros and the cons. Many medical doctors claim that there is a danger of delivering the Herpes virus to an infant. As of now, one out of six Americans bears in his body the latent virus of Herpes. True the potential risk of life endangerment to an infant from Metzitzah B’Peh is exceedingly low. However, for the particular parents that this tragedy occurs to their child it is a tremendous torture. Must not every parent do his best not to enter this potential risk?

If we are dealing with a Torah law, or at least a Rabbinical enactment, certainly it is Chassidus to be stringent and rely on “Shomer Mitzva Lo Ye-da Davar Ra”. But we are referring here not to religious law but to medical advice tendered by our sages, calculated to save the child from danger. This is not a “mitzvah” per se. If as per modern medical advice we are doing the opposite, we are exposing the child to danger, how is this in any way Chassidus? True we should perform Metzizah, but why by direct contact with the mouth?

Beyond the life or death question, there is another moral problem. Five out of six of Americans do not bear in their bodies this painful Herpes virus. How are we justified to expose this infant to that one-sixth of the population who will eventually suffer painful skin eruptions, twice thrice or four times during their life? True religiosity is to be extra careful not to cause chagrin unnecessarily to any fellow creature.

I am aware that knowledgeable doctors have claimed that without absolute verification, such as DNA tests, we cannot be certain that it is the Mohel who has transmitted the virus to the infant. Especially so since there are varied types of the Herpes virus. However this does not mean that we cannot take into probability, into plausible consideration, that immediately following the circumcision these infants came out with the disease. The doubt is still there.

I would suggest that every conscientious father or mother take every true consideration for the benefit of the newborn infant, and ask the Mohel in advance to use the tube. And if he denies or objects, they should find another Mohel willing to accede to the psak of the Chasam Sofer, Rabbi Kook, of Rabbi Herzog, or Rabbi Frank. True Chassidus is not to be belligerent but to be intelligent and thoughtful, to be precautious within the limits of Torah Law.

Why is it that when taking blood samples to be tested in the medical laboratory, the nurses don nylon gloves so not to be endangered; why is it that dentists before treating another patient take off the previous gloves and exchange for a new pair of nylon gloves? Why be backwards? What is the religiosity involved to make a creed of being against anything that is modern, to stand stubbornly against any medical advances? How is it that when someone needs medical attention he chooses the best medical advice, price being no object.

However, when it comes to metzizah, which according to Chazal was only enacted due to worry for medical health, there he will stand with fierce antagonism and wish to remain as we were years ago, using a “no-no” exclamation as a standard way of life?

The paramount question is, is that what G-d wants?

It must be emphasized that the resolution of this controversy will not be achieved by government involvement or regulation. Any government entanglement with the manner in which Bris Milah is performed, would be a severe blow to the foundation of religious rights and freedom which is a cornerstone of the magnificent beacon of liberty, The United States of America. The arguments and facts cited above are directed to the parents of the infants to be able to decide for themselves, and to explain why they should not be concerned on a halachic level to use a tube (if done with a proper suction), since for 180 years, the greatest Torah authorities [from the time of the Chasam Sofer] have already permitted it.

Visit the Emes Ve-Emunah Blog.

Sources (in Hebrew):

[1] )שבת קלג,ב): “אמר רב פפא האי אומנא דלא מייץ סכנה הוא ועברינן ליה”

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “The Proper Performance of Bris Milah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest Blogs Stories
Church of the Nativity, beseiged and desecrated by Arab Palestinian terrorists in the spring of 2002.

World Council of Churches expresses solidarity with “Palestinians” ‘languishing’ in Israeli prisons.

Haggadah for the Passover Seder.

The Seder: We starve (during the sometimes endless recitations and discussions) and we feast.

Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.

The unique skills of people on the autistic spectrum adds great breadth to IDF intelligence work.

Jews are no longer slaves, but many are still plagued with a slave mentality.

Passover is a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

In Iran, 131 offenses are punishable by death, including blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality.

Women must eat Matzah on Pesach too but that is also a time bound positive commandment.

Pro-Israel leaders on campus are as important as the troops in the IDF and professional hasbaraniks.

The seder reminds us of our freedom now that we are home again in the land of the Nation of Israel

IDF helicopters are ready to act on a moment’s notice to defend the State of Israel.

The Samson Super Hercules aircraft ensures the IDF can safeguard Israel from far beyond her shores.

Rudoren and the Times are determined to go the extra mile to humanize Barghouti.

Gazans are among the principal victims of the terror-addicted Hamas Islamists.

Factors that you need to take into account when deciding whether to rent or buy a home.

Intelligence organizations seek enemy’s secrets; for the past 35 years, all secrets are on computers.

Guest Blogger Robert proves that one must not eat any Matzah on Pesach based on an article in Vosizneias.

More Articles from Rabbi Moshe Zuriel
A brit mila ceremony.

When it comes to Metzitza B’Peh, we are not discussing a Biblical Commandment, nor are we referring to a Rabbinical enactment from the Gemarah’s time. We are referring to a hallowed Minhag from days of yore to use the mouth only.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/the-proper-performance-of-bris-milah/2012/09/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: