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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 ...


While I am grateful that the negatives stories associated with metzitzah are uncommon (and some might even say 'rare') the fact is that there are stories. Were sterile methods of metzitzah employed, there would be NO stories. THAT is how it should be.

My view is very simply this: If and when Metzitzah is done, it should be done using a sterile method (sterile tube, sterile gauze) that doesn't compromise the baby's safety on a bacterial/microbe/germ level. I've written extensively about this (see blog posts below)

See here from The Jewish Week - the latest on the NY State Dept of Health Effort to monitor metzitzah b'peh in NY

My Article in the Jewish Week addressing Metzitzah and NY State involvement (link goes to Jewish Week)
My blog post posting that article is here

My Blog Posts on Metzitzah

A VIDEO OF THE TWO KINDS OF METZITZAH (in response to the story that came out on March 3, 2012) (follow up to previous, by same author) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report) (Following an April 2013 story) (NYC Metzitzah Policy)

A Guest Post - Rabbi Dr. Ronnie Hassan's views on Metzitzah

A Debate I Had With a Man who Considers Himself Chabad

The Arukh Hashulchan's Approval of Metzitzah Tubes

What are Metzitzah tubes

Metzitzah in the News April 2013

An opinion about Metzitzah and NYC

Raising the Bar on Sterility Saga - February 2009
My article about sterility in the Jewish Star

Same story on - only if you have time to read the comments

Same story on - again, for the comments entertainment value only

The doctor in this "response" to above later apologized to me for causing all the loshon hora in the comments

My response to him in the Jewish Star

MARCH 3, 2012 Story in the Daily News about a Baby Dying from Herpes
The article I was quoted in, following the March 3 story

Slightly Different Version, on the Huffington Post follows the story
Brooklyn DA Investigates
Mayor Confirms the Death
Family Being Uncooperative (supposedly the mohel is a relative of the family)
Quoting a NY Times Article about prosecutors renewing the debate
The NY Times article (link worked on 3/15/12)

Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky says "If It Can be Harmful to the Baby, Use the Pipette!"
Three Days Later he "Clarifies what he meant"

The Truth About HSV - Dr Yitzchak Ariel (Jewish Action) [If the link is no longer active, see it in the pdf here, on page 30]

The Contested Study from Pediatrics, August 2004 - when I say "contested" I mean by those who advocate Metzitzah be done with the mouth with direct oral contact, who particularly don't like Rabbi Tendler (see the Tz'irei Agudas Yisrael Link)

THREE Articles on this Subject - Explaining the What and Why of Metzitzah

Rabbi Zev Farber's analysis
Cantor Phil Sherman
I don't know the author of this one from a "Science-Halacha" website (though I wholly think the 10th paragraph is an example of disgustingly racist behavior on the part of certain groups of the right-wing community, and that the "perfect record" claim is naive, false, and a total disregard of the recorded history)

Rabbi Daniel Korobkin: "Rabbinic Polemics and Applying the Lessons of History" (here is a pdf version of that article)

Rabbi Mordechai Halperin: "The View From Israel" (The pdf version is the same as above - but you have to skip to page 33 to read)

David Ellenson "Metzitzah, a Historical Note"

Medical Facts - Dr Gary Gelbfish (Opinion, Jewish Week) - finally, a sensible physician!

Dr. Edward Reichman, "A Medical Historical Note"

Rabbi Howard Jachter (towards the bottom)

Mezizah BePeh, Therapeutic Touch or Hippocratic Vestige? - Shlomo Shprecher

Tz'irei Agudas Yisrael "Metzitzah BePeh Controversy" (I consider this to be a flawed and misleading presentation)

There is an article in this journal which just came out
(Here is the article: "Is Metzitza bePeh Dangerous?" - Dr. Daniel Berman - thank you ES for the link!) - This is an example (in my opinion) of a physician who ignores evidence due to a "hashkafic" bias, much like the physician in the letter responding to my article at the top of this page.

Rabbinical Council of America
Statement #1

Clarification to previous statement

Jewish Week
Should Mohelim be Supervised?

Still Doing Metzitzah With Direct Contact

2012 Affirmation of Mohel who does MBP Being a Herpes Carrier

I don't know this man, but his opening comments are outrageous and dangerous (see the comments on the youtube video)

A Bibliography of some articles not readily accessible online. If I get access to any of them, I will provide links.
Shabtai and Sultan, “Medical Risk Taking in Halacha: A Case Study – Metzitzah b’peh” p. 15-20, Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 51 (Spring 2006): 12-43

Shields, Yehudi Pesach, “The Making of Metzitzah.Tradition (Summer 1972), 13:1, pages 36-48
Cohen, Rabbi Alfred. “Brit Milah and the Spector of Aids.” Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 17(Spring 1989): 93-115
Katz, Jacob. “The Controversy over the Mezizah: The unrestricted Execution of the Rite of Circumcision.” In Divine Law in Human Hands: Case Studies In Halakhic Literature. Jerusalem: Magnes 1998.
Katz, Jacob. “The Struggle over Preserving the rite of Circumcision in the First Part of the Nineteenth Century.” In Divine Law in Human Hands: Case Studies In Halakhic Literature. Jerusalem: Magnes 1998.My Article in the Jewish Week addressing Metzitzah and NY State involvement