Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked

Buried lead

February 3, 2005

Oral Fixation

Tradition! Can be quite gross.

gelfmagazine

An AP article, Rabbi May Have Given Babies Herpes, states that a rabbi in NY is under investigation because three children—one of whom later died—contracted herpes after he circumcised them.

What doesn't come until deep into the 4th paragraph, though, is why this might have happened. It seems that while most rabbis draw blood from the circumcision wound manually, a select group, including the mohel in question, "uses a rare practice where he uses his mouth."

Pediatricians and Jewish groups have been warning about possible oral-genital transmission of herpes by this method for years (check out this recent medical paper) , and now that a child has died, expect the tradition/science gap to continue to grow.







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