Almost any mohel (ritual circumciser) doing MBP (oral suction of the wound) can transmit fatal herpes infections. That is true even if the mohel has never contracted an STD in his life; even if the mohel is the model of health; and even if he is immaculate and hygienic. The anonymous blogger, the “Medical Rationalist” explains the science behind this hazard in the recent post, MBP – Dispelling Some Common Misconceptions.
It is a must-read for anyone deciding on whether to circumcise using MBP or for anyone involved in the policy debate.
Other very important sources:
- Dr. Shlomo Sprecher. “Mezizah be-Peh ―Therapeutic Touch or Hippocratic Vestige?” Hakirah: The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought (Summer 2006, 3:191-8).
This article is the definitive, English language, halachic and medical history of MBP from the talmudic era to the present. The article also includes a translation of the Chasam Sofer’s 1837 ruling to use gauze without any suction if physicians advise there is a risk.
- The Chasam Sofer’s ruling on Metzitzah Be-peh (printing history)This post includes images of the Hebrew text of the original question by R. Elazar Horowitz of Vienna and the answer of the Chasam Sofer along with an English translation of the question. This comes from 1845, the earliest known publication of the question and answer.According to Sprecher:
In fact, the Ḥatam Sofer’s original Responsum appeared in print only once [before the 20th century]―in early 1845―in the pages of the first issue of a Hebrew literary periodical issued in Vienna, entitled Kokhavei Yiẓḥak. Its editor, Mendel Stern, was a native of Pressburg and had served as a tutor in the Ḥatam Sofer’s household, instructing his children. This publication was not the usual kind of reading material favored by the disciples of the Ḥatam Sofer, and so it is not surprising that many 19th Century authorities could seriously doubt the veracity of this attribution. However, to continue to maintain these doubts or posit qualifications such as “hora’at sha’ah” given the state of information available today is simply wrong.
Other Frum Follies posts about MBP:
- Sacrificing Children While Protecting Adults Via MBP
- Chasam Sofer: MBP is not required for Bris Milah- Reliable Medical Recommendation Should Determine Best Approach
- Belsky says Metzitzah B’Peh (MBP) Is Safe But Most Yeshivish Personalities are Silent
- Agudas Yisroel Public Service Announcement on Safe Milah (Satire)