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Welcome to -  the most comprehensive and up to date mohel blog on the internet . My name is Avi Billet, and I am so ...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Amazing Bris Experience

I posted this on Facebook, right after the fact, but here is the account of last week's bris: 

Most amazing bris experience today! The father of the baby recently converted to Judaism (Orthodox), and while the baby today is his third son (Jewish mother, of course!), it is the first time he participated in the mitzvah of bris milah as a Jewish father who has the mitzvah to circumcise his son as per our Covenant. 
Easy to say he was the most emotional person in the room, "This is BIG, Rabbi. Isn't it?"
Yes it is. I haven't seen people dance at a bris in a long time, but the men in the room grabbed him (he was sandak as well!) and danced in circles singing "Siman Tov UMazal Tov."
It was AWESOME - this is what Bris Milah is all about. It's a little sad that we need these kinds of reminders of why we celebrate and how to celebrate, but we all got it today.
Truly a special bris. Honored to have been a part of it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You want to know what Metzitzah is? (VIDEO)

Here is a video I just found on youtube that depicts the two methods out there. (Link provided in case the video doesn't show up on a mobile device)  I believe both of these are from brisses in Israel. Note that in neither case is the mohel wearing gloves. They surely washed their hands, but the "traditional" way was not to use gloves because sterile gloves are a relatively new invention, and some people believe that priah cannot be done when wearing gloves (which is actually  not true if one uses thin gloves).

The video briefly describes then demonstrates the sterile tube method (at the 19-20 seconds), and then the direct oral contact method (aka MBP or "metzitzah b'peh") (at the 38-41 seconds). You'll note that both are done "b'peh" (with the mouth) though the first does not involve the mohel's mouth contacting the baby, and the second one does involve this kind of contact. 

My main objection is to the use of the words "more traditional" for the second one. I would call it "more cultic" than "more traditional" because the only tradition it reflects is living in an ancient world.
Having said that, the track record is relatively good. But as I say each time, if ONE baby gets infected from the second method (and that seems to be the reality out there), then it shouldn't be done.

Metzitzah in the News Again

It's been about a year since I set up the Metzitzah Page, and things have been relatively quiet.

Until the last few weeks.

First Rav Herschel Schachter was chastized for claiming there are 15 cases a year, most of which go unreported.

And this week, another report has come forward, claiming that two children have been infected with Herpes in NY, post brisses which included Metzitzah (Fox News originally mistakenly said HIV, but they meant HSV - Herpes Simplex Virus)

Here are a few links:

The radio showman Michael Savage (nee Wiener) spent an hour talking about this subject - here is the youtube link:

Suffice it to say, the man knows nothing about bris milah and is a bumbling buffoon on this subject. The only thing I'll agree with him on is that the Metzitzah with direct oral suction needs to be stopped. And that the people who say "If it were dangerous we would stop" are not telling the truth. Yes, the numbers don't reflect it being an overwhelming danger, but as I've written before - if ONE baby gets infected or dies from this practice, that is ONE WAY TOO MANY!

It is an irresponsible practice in 21st century. Chazal would not approve if they knew what we know.
It's not a mitzvah. And the argument that it's been practiced for 4000 years is a lie.

It's a chillul Hashem (desecration of God's name). Plain and simple.