Life in Israel
April 18, 2012
Mohel Tweets Himself Into Trouble With Controversial Tweets
By Rafi G.
In a very strange incident, Rav Avi Zarki, a popular mohel in Tel Aviv, tweeted two tweets on his twitter account that have him in hot water.
- According to my professional opinion, today we can do the circumcision according to halacha without doing the traditional "preeya". [Then why not without the traditional milah?] tweet
- Today I did a circumcision on a child with the smallest penis I have ever seen - a micro penis. You should undertand, it was slightly thicker than a matchstick. [One hates to think what damage will come to light when its owner grows up.] At 1st I thought it was a girl. Zeh HaKotton Gadol Yiheyeh (play on words saying this small one should become big). tweet
Kikar [in Hebrew] spoke to Rav Zarki to get a response, after his tweets caused a stir. Zarki defended his tweets basically by saying he is in an unusual position and has silent rabbinic support for his style. His position is unusual because he works a lot with the non-religious community and needs to do brash things in order to keep circumcision a topic of conversation. He says he has rabbinic support for his approach, but the rabbonim dont always want their names mentioned publicly, though he reminds us that he was one of the leading students of Rav Wolbe zt"l..
Regarding his comment that preeya is no longer necessary, he did not offer much of an explanation. He did say that it is the Solonika method that performs the circumcision together with the preeya, while he has letters from many rabbonim (including Rav Ovadiah Yosef he says) supporting his alternate method.
The comment about the baby, while he had a cute line with his "zeh hakotton gadol yiheyeh", was tasteless and inappropriate for him to make. if the parents had seen what he tweeted, I am sure they would not have been happy. The comment about preeya demands more of an explanation than trust me that anonymous rabbis support me.