Metziza B’Peh, A Ritual that Should be ILLEGAL – This is Not Religion, its Politically Endorsed Child Abuse

A photo of a man holding a "Blood Libel" sign during a heated circumcision hearing in 2013

A man holding a “Blood Libel” sign during a heated Board of Health circumcision hearing in 2013. ALEC TABAK/GOTHAMIST

Multiple Babies Infected With Herpes From Ritual Circumcisions In Recent Months

At least four babies in NYC have been infected with herpes from mohels performing the metzitzah b’peh ritual since September 2019. According to a report from the CDC, three of those babies have been infected since December; all three have been admitted to the hospital and are reportedly recovering now. Herpes can cause severe infection in babies resulting in brain damage and death.

The “metzitzah b’peh” ritual is the circumcision practice in which a mohel sucks the blood from a freshly snipped foreskin of a baby boy. Outside of the ultra-Orthodox community, the ritual is shunned by Jews, and is considered by many to be an ancient tradition based on “a long-discredited medical theory from the Iron Age before the dawn of the Common Era.”
“Protecting the health and wellbeing of infants is always the city’s first priority,” said Department Of Health spokesperson Patrick Gallahue. “The spread of neonatal herpes through ritual circumcision is a public health risk. To address this risk, we will continue to work with providers and families across our city to keep our youngest New Yorkers safe.”

The DOH added they have started doing outreach to medical providers in the orthodox Jewish community on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of herpes in newborns, and warn families about the risks of this particular ritual. At least one of the babies recently diagnosed was not immediately hospitalized because health care providers did not recognize the signs of infection.

The Health Department also noted that there have been no reported cases of herpes from the ritual in the city since 2017, when it came out that at least six babies had been infected with herpes since Mayor de Blasio came into office. At the time, two of the six mohels who infected the babies were identified and ordered to stop performing the ritual. De Blasio acknowledged that the policy at the time was not working.

Under the Bloomberg administration, the Board of Health ruled that “parents need to be aware of the opinion of experts,” and introduced circumcision consent forms that required parents to sign a waiver before their infant could undergo the procedure. The city was immediately sued by ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups, who claimed their First Amendment rights were violated.

When he was first running for office, de Blasio criticized the Bloomberg administration for not doing enough community outreach, but stopped short of promising to dispose of the consent forms. His subsequent criticism of the consent forms helped him win over ultra-Orthodox Jewish voters and further distinguish himself from Bloomberg, saying, “I would start over and change the policy to find a way to protect all of our children but also respect religious tradition.” As Failed Messiah put it at the time, “Bill De Blasio Promises Satmar That In Exchange For Votes, He Will Repeal Informed Consent For Dangerous Haredi Circumcision Practice.”

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ADDITIONAL READING:

WPIX News 11

Several infants contract herpes during Jewish circumcision ritual

“Protecting the health and wellbeing of infants is always the city’s first priority,” a Health Department spokesman said. “The spread of neonatal herpes through ritual circumcision is a public health risk. To address this risk, we will continue to work with providers and families across our city to keep our youngest New Yorkers safe.”

Infants have died after contracting herpes.

To read article in entirety click here.

The Wall Street Journal

City Flags Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Circumcision Ritual Following New Herpes Cases

Four recent cases of neonatal herpes infection following a Jewish circumcision ritual have health officials once again urging parents in New York City’s ultra-Orthodox population to avoid the practice or at least limit its risks.

Health officials on Sunday said there have been three cases of herpes simplex virus 1 infections in infant boys reported to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since Dec. 1, 2019. The fourth case was reported in September 2019.

To read article in entirety click here.

Times of Israel

4 NY babies get herpes from Jewish circumcision rite in past 6 months

The custom is rarely practiced outside the haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, community. Other mohels use a sterile pipette for the practice.

It has been a political football in New York City with its large haredi population. In February 2015, the city eliminated a parental consent form mandated by former mayor Michael Bloomberg. The form was replaced with an educational brochure in 2015.

Six families in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, had children contract herpes between 2015 and mid-2017 from metzitzah b’pehNone of the families would give the name of the mohel to the Health Department.

At least 11 boys contracted herpes from the practice between 2004 and 2011. Two died and two suffered brain damage.

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Rabbi Hillel Handler, a Dangerous anti-vaxxer, pro-Metziza b’Peh, anti-Zionist, anti-Women, Pro-Sex-Abuse Cover-up Rabbi on Stage in Rockland

Brooklyn’s kooky anti-vaxxer rabbi is extremist on sex abuse, circumcision — even opposes Israel

Brooklyn’s kooky anti-vaxxer rabbi is extremist on sex abuse, circumcision — even opposes Israel

Rabbi Hillel Handler enjoyed a rare moment in the glare of mainstream media this week when he addressed an anti-vaccination crowd in a heavily Hasidic town in suburban Rockland County.

The member of the Satmar Hasidic sect riled up the crowd of a couple of hundreds of people with a diatribe that accused liberals in and out of government of using a still-spreading measles outbreak to target observant Jews.

Handler called Mayor de Blasio a “nasty German” and claimed it was “in his DNA” to hate Jews.

”Like the Fuhrer, he says: ‘Blame the Jews. They’re contaminating the whole city,’ ” Handler told the Daily News Wednesday.

De Blasio shot back that Handler was spouting “dangerous and irresponsible lies.”

“Rabbi Handler is putting at risk the lives he claims he’s trying to save,” said Miranda Marcy, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

At the rally in Monsey, Handler focused mostly on measles, although he did veer off into an anti-immigrant diatribe claiming that undocumented immigrants pose a more serious health threat.

Little did the crowd or the reporters covering the event know that Handler has a long history of supporting radical causes on the far right-wing fringes of Jewish opinion.

Handler has fiercely attacked observant Jews for reporting child sex abuse to police, claiming such accusations should be handled by rabbinic authorities. He once even defended a rabbi who was convicted of raping his own daughter, saying the girl was lying about the abuse.

Handler also opposed efforts to regulate metzizah b’pei, a controversial circumcision rite that health officials say can spread deadly herpes to newborn boys.

He even opposes Israel’s existence.

“There’s a lot of half-crazies like him in America,” said Alexander Rapaport, who runs a network of kosher soup kitchens and recently recorded a pro-vaccination public service video. “It’s the price of freedom in America.”

Rapaport, who happens to be a neighbor of Handler, shrugs him off as a phony who has no pulpit and no real following.

Others see him as a powerful danger in his ability to link different hateful causes. Shmarya Rosenberg spent several years chronicling abuse and corruption in the ultra-Orthodox world but has since left the blog called Failed Messiah.

“He’s an extremist, and he’s amoral,” said Shmarya Rosenberg. “He’s appears to be a gun for hire in the ultra-Orthodox community.”

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