Wednesday, January 1, 2014

PITTSBURGH: Mohel's botch spurs Jewish re-think

December 30, 2013

Some Call For End To Religious Circumcisions After Baby Injured During Bris

by Marty Griffin
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There’s strong reaction after a KD Investigation.

KDKA reported on a baby boy, who was seriously injured during a religious circumcision ceremony at a local synagogue.

Now, a growing number of Jews in our area and across the country, are questioning whether the ceremony is even necessary, given the risks.

The incident involving an 8-day-old baby boy, detailed in a recent lawsuit, happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

The Jewish circumcision ceremony was performed by Pittsburgh Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg, who is also a mohel.

Sometime during the bris, Rosenberg severed the baby boy’s penis.

The boy was rushed to Children’s Hospital, where doctors performed eight hours of microsurgery, described as successful.

“So, yes,” said Dr. Mark [R]eiss, “one-hundred percent complication rate.”

[This quotation is taken right out of its 2009 context.]

[R]eis[s] is among a small, but growing number of Jewish leaders who, because of complications, believe circumcision for Jewish boys is not necessary. And he claims it’s dangerous.

“There’s no question,” he said. “There is death from circumcision every year. And in the African countries, where medicine is much more primitive, the death rate is much higher.”

Locally, a growing number of Jews want to take a closer look at circumcision, even getting a non-cutting ceremony.

“It’s the fundamental right of a child to keep his healthy body parts,” said Greg Hartley with Intact America.

The group believes that circumcision should be illegal.

“We live in a circumcision culture,” Hartley said. “It’s assumed to be an automatic part of birth. But it’s not. Most of the world doesn’t do this.”

Rabbi Rosenberg did not wish to speak on camera, but did talk to KDKA’s Marty Griffin. He called the incident a “tragic incident” and a “horrible situation,” but he also says he’s trained to do this and continues to perform the procedure.

Earlier story

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