Agudas Yisroel Public Service Announcement on Safe Milah (Satire)

J. Encyclopedia, 1906

J. Encyclopedia, 1906

This satirical post first appeared on Frum Follies  in 2012. Just this week, two more infants were hospitalized for Herpes caused by MBP. Agudath Israel of America goes on defending MBP, knowing fully well that it is dangerous and thus banned by many ultra orthodox rabbis. This absurdity earned them the mocking  satire that follows. —  Yerachmiel Lopin

Nothing is more important than the safety of our children and protecting bris milah from government interference. Consult your posek on the best method of milah. Some say you may not do metzitzah b’peh (MBP) because it is dangerous. Others say you have to do MBP. But all of them agree the government has no business saying MBP is risky. If the NYC Health Department passes the evil gazeirah requiring you to sign a consent form saying MBP is risky, you must refuse. That is because everyone agrees that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has no business agreeing with those of our gedolim who say MBP is risky.

If your son’s makom milah is infected in the first weeks after the bris, immediately go to the ER of the best university affiliated hospital in your area and demand a specialist to treat your case. Insist that they do all possible tests unless it will be used to identify the mohel. If it is a matter of pikuach nefesh do not hesitate to call, drive, carry, or handle money on shabbos. However, rest assured that the infection could not have been caused by the mohel because Rabbi Yisroel Belsky shlita and Dr. Yuchid Inzermaven say they are not convinced by the CDC. Who are you going to believe: bnai torah and talmidei chachomim or Reform and Conservative Jews who gave up their olam habah just so they could work at the CDC and get Nobel Prizes in Medicine?

Remember, you can trust your mohel. But forget his name. Do not cooperate with their antisemitic Fischering expeditions. If pressed by investigators just say all black hats look the same and contact the Agudas Yisroel legal defense fund at (212) 888-8888. You will be assigned the first available attorney who is not tied up defending another yid against a bilbul. Remember if you cooperate with investigators, you could destroy the shidduchim of your precious children and people might say loshon horah about you being the source of the herpes.

This public service announcement is sponsored by Merck Pharmaceuticals (“We cure Herpes”) and Kedem (the preferred wine of  9 out of 10 mohelim). We also thank the righteous gentiles of the Archdiocese who work with us to protect religious freedom and the safety of our children. 

See also:

Belsky says Metzitzah B’Peh (MBP) Is Safe But Most Yeshivish Personalities are Silent

Yes They Can: Orthodox Constitutional Lawyer Explains Why Agudah’s Anti MBP Lawsuit is A Very Bad Idea

Chasam Sofer: MBP is not required for Bris Milah- Reliable Medical Recommendation Should Determine Best Approach

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/29/why-ultra-orthodox-jewish-babies-keep-getting-herpes.html

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21 thoughts on “Agudas Yisroel Public Service Announcement on Safe Milah (Satire)

  1. Baruch hashem, my daughter has been for last 10 months a mashgiach, not a mohel. women are allowed to be both, i believe. virtually certain. but “Reb PINKY” are they allowed to do MBP?
    Yours truly,
    A devoted follower.

    • Any NY lawyer care to say whether (putting aside the politics of a decision to prosecute) a mohel could be prosecuted for negligent or reckless homicide under NY law?

    • The small risks of vaccination are offset by millions of lives saved. MBP costs lives. It never saves them. Moreover, some mohelim are Jewish typhoid Marys. Even mohelim such as Fishcher go on doing MBP.

      • MBP is not a trivial issue. The gemora says that any mohel that does a bris and doesn’t motzeis is removed. There is a broad discussion if the metziza is actually part of mila or not.

        I don’t believe that the mohelim spread the disease. Unfortunately, there is a small portion of the population that engage in unsafe acts that cause them to get herpes. However, the incidence is so small that it is not statistically significant.

    • Facts of Life:
      I happen to agree that many or most vaccines carry very high risks (including the flu vaccine). We are dealing with the power of Big Pharma. Some medications have been “black boxed” or pulled from the market with lower toxicity rates than many of the vaccines.

      Insofar as MBP, or any medication or vaccine, an essential issue is the risk/reward.
      The vaccines (many of which I knowledgeably completely oppose) at least have positive intent, albeit many being toxic, to prevent diseases, kivyachol.

      Considering the risk/reward of MBP is an entirely different issue. It has NO MEDICAL VALUE. The halacha on it is highly questionable. How many babies do you want to die, or have serious illness from a totally unnecessary procedure??? What is your level of tolerance for deaths or serious illness due to MBP? A few babies here, a few there, sounds as if you would classify it as Batel B’Shishim. These are our newborns lives, not some possibly treif food.

      • The fact that mbp has no medical value is not so simple as it certainly was in the time of the gemora.

        However, to many it is a crucial part of mila and the relatively minor statistical possibility of problems does not warrant banning it. If you took a statistical survey of those that want mbp for religious reasons rather than just leaving it up to the mohel, the problem cases would probably drop to close to zero.

        Those who don’t want to use it certainly have great poskim to rely on. However, there isn’t enough reason to deny it to those that really want it.

  2. Facts of life @2:21 pm:
    I have reread and reread your above comment. It is possible that you did not express yourself as you intended. However, the logic of what you write boils down to the following claim::: if the parents want MBP for religious reasons, are positively motivated, rather than passively accept it, that the probability of the Mohel having Herpes would “drop to close to zero”. That is what is called “delusional or fantastical thinking”. Unless you intended to say that those positively motivated parents would never report illness and or death to the CDC or coroner., i.e. they would sweep it under the rug, to further enable the mohel to damage/kill more newborns????
    Did they teach logic 101 at your yeshiva/kollel? I am open to Dan l’kaf zechus, so perhaps your intention was totally different than what you, in fact, wrote.

    • You misunderstood my intent. The statistics of casualties due to mbp includes all milas including those without the explicit desire or intent of the parents to have mbp. Many milas are done with mbp by mohelim without asking the parents and the parents express no view positive or negative about this. If you would reduce the population of those that have mbp to only those that actively want it for religious reasons rather than including also casual observers, the quantity of problems would certainly drop as would the incidence of herpes among the parents.

      In any case, the statistics for a problem is so low so as to remove any reason not to do it if there is a significant desire and to many a religious imperative. The higher statistics for vaccinations do not deter those who do it due to the low statistics and the great benefit to the public in general.

      • Between CDC, Israeli reports, and concealed cases the incidents certainly number in the dozens if not hundreds. Many pediatricians servicing the Haredi community abruptly use antibiotics and avoid reporting if they get quick enough responses to avoid hospitalization. Yet those kids were also at risk of death or brain injury.

        Most MBP is still among Hasidim and a small subset of non-haredim who favor MBP. Most Litvish rabbonim follow psak going back to late 19th century banning it. One informed observer in Vilna reported the only time he saw MBP it was done by an out of town chasidish mohel. Bear in mind that by 1837, the chasam sofer said it was not necessary and advised the Rav of Vienna to accept medical advice and ban it.

      • You speak of a “religious imperative” to do MBP according to some. But even so, pikuach nefesh overrides such an imperative. We delay or even never do milah when there is sakkonos nefoshos (danger of serious health consequences). There is only one correct psak if you believe the danger is real. This is not an ambiguous issue in halacha. Yet many are so concerned with preventing change that they are denying the facts, even at the expense of violating halacha.

        • As you mentioned mila itself has a level of sakana. The statistics are small enough that it is not a sakana. Many in the Chareidi non Chassidic olam want it.

          The babies that got herpes may have received it from the herpes bearing parents even without mila. Are there any statistics for female babies born with herpes?

    • The Daily Beast is leftist newspaper with an axe to grind against Orthodox Jews. The next article is about the evils that the Israelis are doing in Palestine

      • You have done everything but address the facts in the article or their truthfulness. As far as I can tell, it is an accurate article with more depth and attention to the issue than most secular publications. they even have the Chasam Sofer in there and they are correct in what they say about his psak on MBP. The scandal is that Agudah and ArtScroll pump out the Chasam Sofer as a godol. And indeed he was one of the greatest poskim of the last two centuries. Yet they ignore his psak halachah, the first ever written on the question of balancing MBP vs risk to babies. so at the end of the day, you will learn more about MBP from the Daily Beast than Agudah. Agudah is more interested in its chasidish coalition and its grants than in sakkonos nefoshos. Most of the Agudah staff do not allow mohelim to do MBP in keeping of psak in most of the Yeshivish velt. But chasidish babies dying, a kleine zach.

  3. Comment deleted for trolling, hocking, repeating previous arguments without addressing previous responses. Please contribute to advancing the discussion instead of trying to occupy the entire discussion space by simple verbosity and repetition. thank you.

    My apologies to you for the effort you put into writing and pasting. But I am worn out by moderating comments that undermine thoughtful discussion. My advice, make one new point simply and clearly (in ways that shows you paid attention to the other side). All sides here would benefit from fewer words and more thought and editing.

    Yerachmiel Lopin

    • My reply was a detailed analysis of the article but I guess you had your problems with it.

      In short, I feel that it is an imbalanced view tainted by input of those inimical to Chareidi interests.

      If herpes were really transmitted by mbp, their should be typhoid Marys but there aren’t.

      The Chasam Sofer was a very great input for the side to not use mbp but there are others that call for it and not only chassidim. It is not a sakana due to the very low incidence of problems.

      • Do you agree that if it is a sakanah (life threatening) MBP should be banned. Or does it depend on how great the risk is? If it depends on the degree of risk, can you tell us how many dead babies are OK in your book? Depending on your answer, I will speak to the statistical issue, Typhoid Moishes, etc.

        • The Briskers don’t do MBP.

          I once heard a drosho from Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky z”l where he said that Bris Milah is in itself a sakana to one’s child and is therefore the greatest sacrifice that a person can offer to Hashem and Hashem from his side guarantees that in the vast majority of cases there will be no problem. Those that consider MBP an intrinsic part of mila feel that the same thing applies to mbp.

          What is your opinion on the sakana here?

          • How do you square the quote with R. Yaakov Kaminetzky with the fact that he probably did circumcise his children with MBP because he probably followed the psak halachah of most Litvish rabbonim banning MBP on the grounds of risk. Apparently, they felt that there is a difference between the inavoidable risk of the procedure and use of procedure designed for child safety (which was the ancient belief of Greek medicine about MBP) when it is discovered by science not to be safe. And mind you, the Litvish rabbonim reached that decision somewhere around a hundred years ago without any CDC data analysis.

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