Category Archives: Circumcision Controversy

Mohel Who Maimed Baby Is Baby’s Father

Vos Iz Neias reports that the mohel in this sad story turns out to be the baby’s own father. Was he licensed? Trained? Experienced? I doubt it. I also doubt he was – or is – sane. Perhaps that insanity will keep him out of jail …

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Filed under Circumcision Controversy, Crime, Haredim, Israel

Mohel Cuts Off Too Much, Baby’s Penis Maimed

A baby is circumcised. A horrible accident takes place and the mohel (ritual circumciser) accidently cuts off part of the baby’s penis. Ynet reports, dateline Bnai Brak, Israel:

…Following the bris and after the mohel (circumciser) had already left the building, the baby’s parents noticed that his diaper was soaked with blood.

The parents phoned the mohel, who advised them to call an ambulance immediately, seeing that the baby has already lost a lot of blood.

The parents told the Magen David Adom paramedics who arrived at the place that although their son was suffering from hepatitis, they insisted on holding the bris on time. They also admitted that they had a hard time finding a mohel who would be willing to conduct the circumcision.

Shai Pinchas, an MDA paramedic, said he searched the hall for the baby’s foreskin and the part of his penis that was cut off, and then brought them to the hospital in an ice bag.

"The baby was not in a serious condition and we brought him to the children’s ward at Sheba. I assume that the mohel had cut too much of his penis during the circumcision," Pinchas said.

Atypical, to be sure. But these parents should be brought up on child endangerment charges. And the mohel? I think he needs to find another line of work.

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Filed under Circumcision Controversy, Haredim, Israel

Haredim Burn “Immodest” Clothing In Public Rally; Clothing Shops Vandalized

haredi-clothes-burning-2.jpgHaredim held a public rally tonight to burn womens clothing deemed by them to be "immodest." We’re not talking miniskirts and halter tops, here; haredim burned skirts they thought were too flashy and clothing made of materials they dislike. Ynet reports:

The "clothes of impurity" were burned in a barrel in the center of the stage. Rabbis who spoke at the rally stood nearby admonished the crowd that congregated around the site.

"We will get rid of the tight clothes and the Holy One, Blessed be He, will place his mercy on us," it was written on one of the signs held by the protestors. "Modesty is the only thing that needs to be corrected in our generation," the rabbis clarified, saying this would solve the troubles of today. "We must overcome this hurdle," they pleaded.

The clothes that were set on fire during the demonstration were collected by a haredi organization in the past few months in a door-to-door campaign held in haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem. During the campaign, clothes deemed "immodest" were collected. Women rose to the challenge. The organization handed out coupons for "authorized shops" to those who handed over "forbidden clothing" so that they can buy new clothes.

In an announcement published by the rabbis, they clearly define what is forbidden to wear:

    * Tricot shirts
    * Lycra shirts and skirts
    * Open-collared shirts
    * Short and tight skirts
    * Skirts with a slit
    * Skirts with a straight cut
    * Long or bulky earrings
    * Clothes and bags in loud, flashy colors
    * Wigs that are too exclusive
    * Transparent or colorful stockings
    * Clunky shoes

haredi-clothes-burning-1.jpg

The result: Violence

The war against immodesty has recently descended into violence. Extremists attacked women with various sprays who were wearing clothes that didn’t fit their criteria. Clothing stores in Jerusalem have also been hurt. One of the stores near the center of the city sustained an attack of bleach bottles. Tens of thousands of shekels of damage was caused to the merchandise.

Fear of the modesty guards is great in haredi neighborhoods. Yehudit, a haredi woman who works as a saleswoman in a clothing store in Geula said: "It is very scary, stressful, and unpleasant. A woman is wearing a skirt that cost NIS 200 (USD 50), and someone comes along and destroys it."

Yehudit defines herself as a "modern haredi," and claims that she and other women must not let "all of these protests affect us. It doesn’t bother me at all." She also claims, "I haven’t changed the clothes I wear. I haven’t met one modern haredi woman who has purchased a new wardrobe or shorter wig because of the demonstrations."

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Filed under Circumcision Controversy, Crime, Hanukka

Herpes, Circumcision and Alzheimers – Was Rabbi Tendler Right?

A new study seems to show that the herpes virus of cold sore and metzitza b’peh (MBP) infamy may play a role in the contracting, r"l, of Alzheimers Disease. LiveScience.com reports:

New research supports growing concerns that herpes plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

The latest work, announced today, shows a link between a gene and herpes simplex 1, or HSV. The form of the ApoE gene called ApoE-4 is the leading known risk factor for Alzheimer’s. And HSV is the form of herpes that causes cold sores around the mouth. More than 80 percent of Americans are infected with HSV.

The researchers, at the University of Rochester Medical Center, found that ApoE-4 effectively puts out a welcome mat for the herpes virus, allowing it to be more active in the brain.

“The data suggest that ApoE-4 may support the ability of HSV to be a more virulent pathogen,” said Howard Federoff, lead author of the research published online in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.…

HSV is a chronic infection that lives in people for a lifetime, periodically flaring up. The virus is usually latent, locked inside cells, but occasionally stress, fatigue, certain foods and even sunlight can spark the virus into an active phase that damages cells and causes cold sores.

The alert among us may recall that Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler suggested that herpes transmitted through MBP, which is  known to cause severe brain damage, might also adversely (or "sub-clinically") impact the brains of newborns, causing learning disabilities and even mild retardation. His educated guess may not be far off.

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Filed under Bio-Ethics, Circumcision Controversy, Haredim

BREAKING: Republican Corruption Endangers Jewish Babies; Circumcision Fix Was A Political Deal To Get Votes; Doctors Say Metzitza B’Peh Still Unsafe

Steven I. Weiss reports for the Forward:

…The state Health Department issued its own ban on the mohel in February 2005, but withdrew it in April, after receiving a written assurance from a Hasidic businessman, Jacob Spitzer, that the community was instituting its own self-policing procedures, according to documents obtained by the Forward.

[New York City Health Commissioner Thomas] Frieden briefly considered relaxing his ban, but reversed himself in November, after an infant was hospitalized with a herpes infection that had spread to his spinal column according to sources in the city government and the Orthodox community. The state health commissioner, Antonia Novello, reached an agreement in separate negotiations with Hasidic leaders in June to continue under an agreed-upon safety protocol. However, an investigation by the Forward has found that the protocol adopted by Novello relied on measures that medical experts say would do little to reduce the risk of orally transmitting the herpes virus.

Novello, a Republican, served as surgeon general in the late 1980s, during the first Bush administration. She was appointed New York state health commissioner in 1999 by Pataki, who later touted her as a “strong candidate” to challenge Senator Hillary Clinton for re-election. Pataki has been known for his extremely strong ties to the Orthodox community since his days as a state senator, when he represented heavily Orthodox Rockland County.

State records show that at her January 18 meeting with Hasidic leaders, Novello proposed a protocol closely mirroring suggestions that had been circulating for months in the Hasidic world. Among other procedures, she proposed placing the anti-viral drug Valacyclovir on the circumcision wound. The drug is used to treat herpes symptoms in those carrying the virus, and experts say it has no impact on the transmission of the virus. The final protocol eventually announced in Albany last spring removed the Valacyclovir suggestion but included several other measures — including an antibiotic ointment — that experts consulted by the Forward insist do not significantly reduce the risk of herpes transmission.

Authors of the three medical papers cited in Novello’s protocol in support of its conclusions said they were not contacted by Novello’s office when it developed the protocol. Those authors and their associates emphasized in interviews with the Forward that the measures recommended by Novello would not make the ritual safe from neonatal herpes infection.…

So Republican and haredi corruption risks the very lives of Jewish babies. Sick. And those so-called "self-protecting procedures"? You can count on those like you could count on haredi rabbis protecting children from Kolko. That means, not at all.

SIW has documents not posted by the Forward on his own blog, here. The entire Forward article, which contains much more detail, including quotes from the scientists whose work was misued by that Republican hack, is posted here.

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Filed under Circumcision Controversy, Haredim

BREAKING: Republican Corruption Endangers Jewish Babies; Circumcision Fix Was A Political Deal To Get Votes; Doctors Say Metzitza B’Peh Still Unsafe

Steven I. Weiss reports for the Forward:

…The state Health Department issued its own ban on the mohel in February 2005, but withdrew it in April, after receiving a written assurance from a Hasidic businessman, Jacob Spitzer, that the community was instituting its own self-policing procedures, according to documents obtained by the Forward.

[New York City Health Commissioner Thomas] Frieden briefly considered relaxing his ban, but reversed himself in November, after an infant was hospitalized with a herpes infection that had spread to his spinal column according to sources in the city government and the Orthodox community. The state health commissioner, Antonia Novello, reached an agreement in separate negotiations with Hasidic leaders in June to continue under an agreed-upon safety protocol. However, an investigation by the Forward has found that the protocol adopted by Novello relied on measures that medical experts say would do little to reduce the risk of orally transmitting the herpes virus.

Novello, a Republican, served as surgeon general in the late 1980s, during the first Bush administration. She was appointed New York state health commissioner in 1999 by Pataki, who later touted her as a “strong candidate” to challenge Senator Hillary Clinton for re-election. Pataki has been known for his extremely strong ties to the Orthodox community since his days as a state senator, when he represented heavily Orthodox Rockland County.

State records show that at her January 18 meeting with Hasidic leaders, Novello proposed a protocol closely mirroring suggestions that had been circulating for months in the Hasidic world. Among other procedures, she proposed placing the anti-viral drug Valacyclovir on the circumcision wound. The drug is used to treat herpes symptoms in those carrying the virus, and experts say it has no impact on the transmission of the virus. The final protocol eventually announced in Albany last spring removed the Valacyclovir suggestion but included several other measures — including an antibiotic ointment — that experts consulted by the Forward insist do not significantly reduce the risk of herpes transmission.

Authors of the three medical papers cited in Novello’s protocol in support of its conclusions said they were not contacted by Novello’s office when it developed the protocol. Those authors and their associates emphasized in interviews with the Forward that the measures recommended by Novello would not make the ritual safe from neonatal herpes infection.…

So Republican and haredi corruption risks the very lives of Jewish babies. Sick. And those so-called "self-protecting procedures"? You can count on those like you could count on haredi rabbis protecting children from Kolko. That means, not at all.

SIW has documents not posted by the Forward on his own blog, here. The entire Forward article, which contains much more detail, including quotes from the scientists whose work was misued by that Republican hack, is posted here.

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Filed under Circumcision Controversy, Haredim

He’s Baaaaaaaaaaaack

68-119

Pioneering dissident hasidic blogger Shreimel has returned to blogging after a 10 month hiatus with a detailed post on the metzitza be peh controversy.

[Hat tip: S. Mechaberet.]

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Filed under Blogs, Circumcision Controversy, Haredim