Blood-Sucking Ritual Circumcision Now Requires Parental Consent

Surgery tools
Photo: Andrei Tchernov/istock

In addition to big sodas, the New York City Board of Heath made a much more, uh, complicated ruling today addressing a form of ultra-Orthodox Jewish tradition that can include a rabbi using his mouth to clean the blood from an infant’s circumcision. The board ruled that the ritual circumcisers, or mohelim, should probably get the written permission from the child’s parents before direct oral contact, including a warning about the risk of disease. Between 2004 and 2011, the city said, there were at least eleven cases of herpes infections from the practice, resulting in two deaths. “Its crazy that we allow this to go on,” said a doctor on today’s panel, the Times reports. However: “This process is being created without a shred of evidence,” ultra-Orthodox Rabbi William Handler contended. “The city is lying, and slandering compassionate rabbis.” We are staying out of this one.

Health Board Approves New Rules for Circumcision