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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
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Satmar Getting Ready for Metzitah B’peh Court Fight

At center, the Satmar Rebbe R. Aaron Teitelbaum.

At center, the Satmar Rebbe R. Aaron Teitelbaum.
Photo Credit: T.O.T.

The Satmar Rebbe R. Aaron Teitelbaum instructed his followers to each give $100 towards legal cost of the Metzitzah B’peh (oral suction of the cut following the circumcision) lawsuit, Jacob Kornbluh tweeted.

The Satmar Live tweet confirms this, asserting (over several twets which we condense here) that “every Rosh Mishpucha (head of household) has to give $100 – Koifer Nefesh (lit=ransom, fig=atonement). The money will go for the legal cost of Metzitzeh B’Peh. For those who fast the price will be $72, which has to be paid till Y”T Shvies (Shavuot). Yoim HaTanis: This last Thursday of Shovevem Truma-Tetzaveh. L’Hikuhel V’Lamoid Al Nafshieny! (to gather and defend our souls).

Mind you, this entire uproar on the part of Satmar, complete with war images and fasting, is not over the banning of Metzitzah B’peh, rather it is about the mohel-ritual circumciser informing the parents of the procedure and having them sign a consent form.

The Mishnah (Shabbat 19:2) mentions two steps in the Bris Milah, following the actual circumcision: P’riah-the exposure of the crown and the severing of the membrane under the foreskin, and, Metzitzah-suction. The Gemorah teaches (Shab. 133b) that a “Mohel who does not suck, should be dismissed from practice.” Rashi explains that this step is in order to squeeze some blood from deep inside the wound to prevent danger to the baby.

Mordechai Halperin, writing for the OU Jewish Action (Winter 2006), explains: “Immediately after incising or injuring an artery, the arterial walls contract and obstruct, or at least reduce, the flow of blood. Since the arterioles of the orlah-foreskin branch off from the dorsal arteries (the arteries of the upper side of the organ), cutting away the foreskin can result in a temporary obstruction in these dorsal arteries. This temporary obstruction, caused by arterial muscle contraction, continues to develop into a more enduring blockage as the stationary blood begins to clot. The tragic result can be severe hypoxia (deprivation of the supply of blood and oxygen) of the glans penis.

However, this third procedure in the Bris Milah need not necessarily be done orally, with direct contact. Many mohalim have long since adopted Metzitzah with an instrument, which is just as effective.

Read also:

Consent Forms For Metzitzah B’Peh: Empowering Parents Or Interfering In Religious Practice?

In Defense of Parental Consent fo Metzitzah B’peh

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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