Lawlessness and ritual circumcision are frequent bedfellows.
We’ve seen that some New York City mohels who put their mouths on a baby’s freshly-cut penis to suck away the blood don’t always bother to get the parents’ written permission, no matter what the city’s rules are.
Just as amazingly, when the infant contracts herpes, as has happened more than a dozen times, the parents have been known to shield the mohel by refusing to identify him to the authorities, leaving the diseased holy man free to infect the next baby, and so on.
New York City has banned two mohels from performing a controversial circumcision rite after they were suspected of infecting babies with herpes. But the city’s health department will not reveal their names.
Five infants have contracted herpes since September 2012, when the health department passed a regulation requiring mohels to get written consent from parents before using their mouth to suction blood from a circumcision wound — a religious rite known as metzitzah b’peh, or MBP. MBP can transmit a strain of herpes from the mouth of a mohel to the infant and is potentially fatal to newborns, whose immune systems are underdeveloped. Infants who contract the disease can also suffer brain damage. The MBP rite is common in the ultra-Orthodox community.
The spokeswoman would not name the mohels, citing privacy concerns. She also did not respond to several emails asking how the ban would be enforced and how the public could know the mohels in question were banned if their names were not made public.
“Privacy concerns.” Isn’t that special? If you or I were caught sucking baby dick, ritually or not, do you think we’d be anywhere but inside a prison cell? If we knowingly exposed one infant after another to a sexually transmitted disease, do you think law enforcement would hesitate for one moment to issue an alert, and to give our names and photos to the media?
In the Big Apple, Orthodox Jews are clearly exempt from such worldly treatment. New York City’s message: YHWH must be treated with extreme deference, or at least his representatives on earth do. By comparison, the health of defenseless infants means nothing.
(Image via Shutterstock)