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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Wise Opinion About NYC and Metzitzah

My position on metzitzah is clear. And the politics that have been going on over the practice in NYC has been a public discussion for far too long.

Here is an article from the NY Post which concludes with the following paragraph.

"This is a crucial election for New York, with many vital issues at stake. It’s tough enough to know what to do about schools, taxes, spending and crime without having our candidates have to weigh in on a Jewish ritual that never should have become a government issue in the first place."

Couldn't have said it better myself. 


  1. Rabbi,

    That editorial is completely wrong.

    It is society's place to protect the welfare of all children who live in our country. Parents rights, no matter what religion, are curtailed by laws in order to protect children.

    There are religions that do not believe in medical treatment, and our modern culture has decided that the welfare of the child is more important, so a parent cannot keep their child from receiving medical care.

    There are religions that require female genital mutilation in little girls, and our society has decided we will not allow that. It is outlawed.

    So, it IS our place to "to call for a cherished and important religious tradition to be outlawed altogether". We have done it before, and we should do it for all religious practices where the welfare of the child is in question. That is the law in the United States: the welfare of the child comes first.

  2. Aleksei,
    Society's place for sure. But government's? I am not a fan of metzitzah with the mouth (sans tube or any kind of filter). And while I agree that the practice should not take place because there is a risk to the child, the numbers do not reflect an overwhelming disaster that requires government intervention.
    But the communities that practice this should be smart enough to come to this conclusion on their own. Their own society SHOULD protect the welfare of the child. But government should stay out of it. Because the facts show that the welfare of most children is protected.
    There is no religion that "REQUIRES" FGM (it is a practice in some cultures, but not mandated by religion). Just as Judaism does not REQUIRE metzitzah in this format.


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