Search This Blog

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jewish Infant's death at Maimonides Hospital linked to 'metzitzah b'peh' At Bris-Milah

A two-week old boy died at a Brooklyn hospital in September after contracting herpes through a religious circumcision ritual that ignited controversy in 2005 after another infant died, the Daily News has learned.

The unidentified infant died Sept. 28, 2011, at Maimonides Hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner, who confirmed the death after a News inquiry.

The cause of death was listed as “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction.”

City officials declined to comment Friday.

It’s unclear who performed the circumcision.

In 2004, city health officials revealed that a baby boy died after a circumcision carried out by a Rockland County rabbi who specializes in the centuries-old, ultra-Orthodox ritual known as metzizah b’ peh.

Under the practice, the rabbi or mohel removes blood from the wound with his mouth — a practice city health officials have criticized, saying it carried “inherent risks” for babies.

In 2004, three infants circumcised by Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer were determined to have contracted herpes, city officials said.

Among them were twins circumcised in October 2004 after Fischer performed the religious ceremony known as a bris.


  1. This is complete insanity. If the baby had a Hep b along with any of the other vaccinations after birth he/she likely died of complications from that alone which is not uncommon, if you do your research you will see this for yourself. Yes, it would show up in testing as the child actually having the Hep. It does NOT mean the baby contracted it from the bris. Argh. Say the baby did contract Hep from the Mohel alone....after having the vax....he/she would not have just died a week later. Who would believe this? I am so upset over this story.

  2. Anonymous,

    Do you have reading comprehension problems? The baby (a male baby) contracted herpes simplex virus Type 1, which he got from the Mohel via metzitzah b'peh. This is not the first incidence of a baby dying from this medically and halakhically unneccesary procedure (google Mohel Isaac Fisher + baby death). Get your facts right, and don't waste our time with stupidities.

  3. Most cheva kadishas use disposable gloves to protect themselves from diseases that might be transmitted. MOst Chevra members get shots for Hepatitus B to protect them selves and their loved ones. The only exceptions are the chasidishe chevras who insist that 'it was not done in Europe that way'.

    Ignoring medical norms is tantamount to murder. Plain and simple.

    Another case where chosidim know better than everyone else and continue to live in the Hungarian or Polish shtetl.

  4. While I 100% disagree with prohibiting circumcision for infants. I 100% that sucking baby dick is disgusting. WTF!

  5. Ok, now TWO of the above commenters mention Hepatitis B. The article DOES NOT mention Hepatitis B! The baby died of Herpes! Seriously, READ the article before you comment! There is no vaccine for Herpes.

  6. Every human should be allowed to make their own decisions about religion, once they become adults. Having your penis cut and sucked as a baby is wrong.