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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Christopher Hitchens takes on male circumcision

Christopher Hitchens, in his new column, is mad as hell at Mayor Bloomberg for his stance on an incident involving male circumsicion gone horribly wrong. You see, what happend is.. ehh... it's quite disgusting... ehh.. just read: A circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews has alarmed city health officials, who say it may have led to three cases of herpes—one of them fatal—in infants. … The practice is known as oral suction, or in Hebrew, metzitzah b'peh: after removing the foreskin of the penis, the practitioner, or mohel, sucks the blood from the wound to clean it. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW This, Hitchens reports, isn't a new or an isolated incident: The continuing scandal of this practice, which most Jews abandoned many years ago, is newly illustrated by the death of one little boy from type-1 herpes, and the infection of two others, in Staten Island and Brooklyn, after they had been subjected to this ritual by the same mohel. Let's be clear what's involved here. The Times refers to an article published last year in the journal Pediatrics that argued that metzitzah b'peh carries a serious health risk and is, for that reason alone, a violation of Jewish law. ("We suspect … that this entity is underreported for cultural reasons and that the studies described here are only the "tip of the iceberg" of the true incidence of the disease," the authors note). So what does Bloomberg have to do with it? Ehh, well, here is his reaction to the infants who contracted herpes from the practitioner: We're going to do a study, and make sure that everyone is safe and at the same time, it is not the government's business to tell people how to practice their religion. A study. On how having someone suck the blood off an infant's penis after circumsizing them maybe not very healthy or sanitary. Right. Cause you need that. Hitchens feels the same way I do apparently... Study? What study? Can't the fool get through an article by a Jewish authority in Pediatrics? For the Times reporter to add that Mayor Bloomberg's comment appeared to be designed not to "upset a group that can be a formidable voting bloc" was, in the circumstances, worse than superfluous. Ok, if you want to circumsize your boy, do it in the hospital people. Let the doctor do it as well: If you should let anyone go near your son with a satchel or a cutting tool, it should be the medically certified dude. That's what we do in Egypt. WTF are the jewish people in New York doing? Bloomberg, get a spine: If you are gonna ban cigerette smoking in bars, you may as well ban non-medically supervised circumsicion, because, you know, they have a different name for that. It's called genital mutilation, and I have a feeling that that's not legal.


At 8/31/2005 03:56:00 AM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

As a circumsized jew in Canada, I can say I have NEVER heard of anything like this being done in the Jewish community.


The Brisk is like the equivlant of a "baby naming" ceromony. You invite the family, have the Mohel do his thing (liscensed and safe), and give the baby a little alcohol to dull the pain. You then keep the alcohol as a memonto.

I have never heard of the Mohel ever giving a "blow job" to the baby before... this is crazy!

Man, I can't wait for Al-Jazeera to get a hold of this one :)

"This Just In... Jews sucking their own babies, rumoured to be source of Zionist Power"

At 8/31/2005 05:58:00 AM, Blogger Mia said...

Okay I haven’t read the articles yet but I will when I get a break today. But any money bet we’re talking about the Orthodox Jews out in Brooklyn. These people live in their own world; the laws of NYC don’t apply to them or at least that’s the way the politicians make it seem. Bloomberg won’t do anything about this he’s in the midst of a re-election campaign no way in heck is he going to do anything to upset the Jewish vote in NY. He sure as heck will rant and rave about something else but something like this? No way Jose. They don’t do the “Bris” in hospitals unless the child is ill or something. I remember visiting a friend in the NICU ward when her baby was born and there was a Jewish baby there who’d been born several months before prematurely and he was having his Bris right there in the ward. The ceremony is usually done at home where everrrrrybody can see it. They even have a little party afterwards. Yeahhhhh boy we cut the tip of our kid’s penis off, everybody Macarena now!! I went to a couple of these and yup I witnessed the suction of the wound. Some like my former boss save the foreskin of all their boys and make stuff out of it. My boss had a wallet. I used to gringe every time he whipped his wallet out. Oy vey!

I don’t know man between molesting priests and sucking rabbi’s a kid just isn’t safe anymore.

At 8/31/2005 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was in charge of everything, nobody would be cutting any parts of anyone's genitals off, blood sucking or not.

At 8/31/2005 01:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story is already at least a year old, so it's odd that it has come to Bloomberg's attention now. Given that there are millions of Jews in the US, most of them have never heard of this practice, and there do not seem to be a large number of similar instances, it's pretty much a non-issue.
There are people with odd practices in every town, any place in the world, and this is just another one of those, like religious rattlesnake handling, every year someone gets bit.
I'm sure the Jewish community, even the fanatical one that this incident comes out of has put a stop to this practice. No one wants their kids to contract a fatal illness at 5 days old.

At 8/31/2005 10:42:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Hmmm... I'm trying to think why I didn't comment on this earlier... Old Jewish guys with beards... baby penises...

Nevermind. Just remembered!

At 9/01/2005 12:56:00 AM, Anonymous Ruth said...

As a Jewess living in Israel I have been to scores of Brith Milah ceremonies and never saw anybody sucking the baby's penis.

The Mohelim are licenced and I am not sure that I personally (so far only daughters) would prefer a doctor. After all expertise comes with experience.

At 9/02/2005 12:54:00 AM, Blogger Z said...

Good thing I wasn't eating when I read this! You have to post warnings for the reader--DO NOT READ IMMEDIATELY BEFORE OR AFTER MEAL. Tamam? The articles you find are pretty entertaining.


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