April , 2012
Celebrity mohel mocks baby's manhoodBy
Rabbi Avi Zarki's tweet about carrying out circumcision on 'smallest penis' he had ever seen may land him in hot water, but he says he just wanted to share medical perspective
Rabbi Zarki is a rabbi-mohel who lives in Tel Aviv. Over the last few years he has established himself as the go-to mohel in the secular community and especially among celebrities and public figures. He has both a Facebook account and a twitter account which attest to his open and unusual style.
"I'm a famous mohel [modest, too] thanks in part to my sense of humor, and I don't lose that," the rabbi told Ynet and added "The beauty of the thing is to take a subject that is sensitive and delicate and talk about it with a smile."
[The beauty of the thing is to take a subject that is sensitive and delicate and leave it alone.]
And what about the right to privacy? Rabbi Zarki doesn't see how the tweet clashes with the parents' rights. "Every day I carry out several circumcisions and each one has hundreds of guests," he noted.
"There is no identifying mark in anything I wrote - not the parents, not a location and not the name, so whoever read the tweet won't be able to discover who it was about. And because of the swift process of the circumcision, even the people present at that circumcision - including the godfather and the photographer - won't be able to know there was a problem."
Rabbi Zarki added that two mohels examined the baby before he did and refused to conduct the circumcision for fear they would damage the penis when they removed the foreskin.
According to Zarki, the baby's parents asked him to look into the matter, and since he had already carried out three similar circumcisions, he agreed, even though he hadn't previously seen a penis as small in all his 24 years as a mohel.
"My goal (in tweeting the) tweet was to bring the matter to the public's attention, that you can carry out a halachic circumcision even when there is such a problem, which is complicated from a medical perspective, that was my message."
The rabbi's "humorous" tweet came on the same day that a different Brit ceremony carried out by a different mohel, ended in tragedy. An eight day old baby was rushed to hospital after a mohel cut off a third of his penis during a circumcision ceremony.
Three urologists at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa operated on the baby and said that they successfully reattached the penis, but added that they were as yet unsure whether the penis would function properly in the future. The Health Ministry was informed of the incident.
Earlier stories: tweets; botch