Aguda Rabbi: Metzitza B’peh Safe Because Of “Daas Torah”

The Agudath Israel of America rabbi of a midwestern town told his congregation today that metzitza b’peh, the controversial circumcision rite that has the mohel suck blood out of the open circumcision wound, is safe and its practice comes under fealty to Torah. When challenged about its safety, the rabbi responded that the practice is safe, because “daas Torah” (the rulings of haredi “gedolim,” which have the status of near-prophecy) says it is.

The rabbi in question plays a national role with Agudath Israel of America.



Filed under Circumcision Controversy

19 responses to “Aguda Rabbi: Metzitza B’peh Safe Because Of “Daas Torah”

  1. hashfanatic

    It’s child molestation, pure and simple.

  2. Shmuel

    Look, you have to love his thorough legal and medical analysis of all the tough issues involved in this. With that kind of depth of “clarity” we’ll go real far.

  3. Shmuel

    Oh, yes, one more thing: Daas Torah? Infallible. Right up there with the Pope. Rabbis never err, ever.

  4. red

    Ask these “GEDOLIM”one simple question.When you have your bypass ,prostate or any other surgery,do you want the surgeon to clean the wound with mettzitza b’peh?

  5. Yochanan Lavie

    I thought only God was infallible.

  6. Modern Jew

    I think all haredi boys should have the procedure–using the infamous herpes rabbi-theyn maybe we’ll rid ourselves of the haredi problem

  7. yanna

    Modern: What an awful thing to say! You would just be perpetuating a cycle of hatred and prejudice.

  8. Nigritude Ultramarine

    theyn maybe we’ll rid ourselves of the haredi problem


  9. Nigritude Ultramarine

    Agudath Israel of America rabbi of a midwestern town

    Who said it?

  10. Chozer B'She'ela

    Much as I disagree with Haredism, the comments of the person calling himself ‘Modern Jew’ are reprehensible. How can you wish disease on innocent children?

    But which is worse–wishing a thing to happen, or making it happen through arrogant, willfull blindness? (This is not just a rhetorical question. Anyone have an opinion on this?)

    As for “da’at Torah” and its purported infallibility, let us recall that in the years before the Holocaust most haredi rabbis, including the majority of Agudath Israel, opposed migration from Europe to both Israel and the U.S.

  11. Modern Jew

    Of course I’m being sarcastic-but the fact that some of the readers were offended means they know i’m right-that this is a medevil practice originiating with Rambam which has been scientifi8cally proved to be insance and shoudl be discontinued.

  12. Masorti

    I think that most of us would agree that Modern Jew’s suggestion is, at the very least, in bad taste–why should innocent infants be subjected to this procedure?

    I have a better idea–the “rabbis” pushing for metzitzah b’peh should themselves be recircumcized. Of course, this should be done under proper supervision, to ensure that at least the mohel has herpes, and that he performs metzitzah b’pe correctly. Then we’ll be able to see how many of them will continue to insist on such holy behavior.

  13. Anonymous

    Shmarya, did the mohel do metzitza at your son’s bris?

  14. Anonymous

    Can anybody cite a source for the contention that anybody has asserted that halachic rulings are “infallible.”

    It would appear that the existence of a tractate dealing with what to do when bes din or a sanhedrin commits an error, as well as torah verses covering the same subject(I probably should have reversed the order), would rule infallibility out. See also Gitin, Perek Hanazikin (Page 56?), where either Reb Yoseph or, some say, Reb Akiva, applies the verse “He turneth wise men backwards and he makes their understanding foolish” to Reb Yochanan Ben Zachai.

    I have never heard any rabbi or person ever assert infallibilty to a halachic ruling and therefore would be interested in which serious person holds this opinion, if any.

  15. Why are you withholding the rabbi’s name?

  16. Yochanan Lavie

    Maybe no serious person believes in human infailibility, but apparently Judaism is no longer run by serious people.

  17. Shmuel

    The Slifkin affair proved to me that there are gdolim out there who insist that on philosophical issues, there is a right way (their way) and a wrong way (everyone else’s way). Their insistence on Daas Torah (i.e. that they are daas Torah) implied that they are the only ones who can be correct in these matters , and any rabbis who ever disagreed with them (no matter how great–and there are some truly great ones)were wrong. Well, someone has to be right, someone wrong, and we’re dealing with some big names all around.
    And yes, many rabbis in Europe did indeed urge their congregants and townfolk not to emigrate. Good thing they ignored the rabbis, or there might have been another million or so slaughtered in the war. But I’ve put together a list of at least 5 issues over the past 1000 years where you see “daas Torah” (or daas Torah according to charedim) take a position and it turned out wrong, ill-advised and then ignored, with the rabbis themselves changing their minds and playing catch-up.

  18. Anonymous

    what are these 5 issues?

  19. Shmuel

    It’s in production.

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