web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


The Proper Performance of Bris Milah

A brit mila ceremony.

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

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”

About the Author:

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Proper Performance of Bris Milah”

Comments are closed.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Pro-Israel Group: Tell Chuck Schumer Not to Cave [video]
Latest Blogs Stories
Rethink UN bias against Israel

It’s time to stand up against the bias & no longer accept the constant UN prejudice against Israel.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, one of four injured in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, has died (HYD)

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, injured in a terror attack in Samaria, has died (HYD)

A wounded Israeli victim of a drive-by shooting terror attack near Shvut Rachel is brought to the Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem.

Allah is NOT merciful: Stabbing, beheading, shooting innocents is barbaric & cowardly acts of terror

Terror Attack near Shvut Rachel

How could the Jerusalem Post think the attack could have been other than a terrorist act?

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

Hanan Porat z”l, teary-eyed said ” We returned to the Gush(Etzion)we shall return to the Gush(Katif)

“Mispachology”: Theory you share a common link with someone you’ve never met or been in contact with

It seems that Pres. Rivlin has joined all other so-called Right politicians and now is trending Left

Dear Muslims, Happy Ramadan. It’s clear from the news that your people are having a “bang-up” month

The President was right, every Jew should have a gun. He just asked the wrong person about it.

Everybody knows that during Ramadan Arab Muslim terror attacks increase.

UN says Hamas tried to warn us of rocket attacks? I was here. Not once did those…I want to scream

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} The inevitable finally happened. Rabbi Avi Weiss has dispensed with his prior refusal to call his female ordainees ‘rabbis’.  I challenged him to stop dancing around that title with made up titles  (like Raba and Maharat) and he finally rose to the challenge. His motivation in not […]

How can you transform thinking to action? What are the mountains you need to climb to reach goals?

Let’s make these flotilla activists useful, by sending them to Syria.

It’s clear by all the Arabs that work&shop in Jewish stores they’re very happy to be part of Israel

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.

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: