Rav Belsky on Opponents of Metzitzah B’Peh: ‘They Don’t Understand the Field’

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In an interview in this week’s Ami Magazine, Rav Yisrael Belsky, rosh yeshivah of Torah Vodaas had sharp words for the opponents of metzitzah b’peh, including Dr. Tom Frieden, formerly health commissioner of New York City and now head of the Centers for Disease Control.

““Where do these people come in and tell mohalim what to do? They don’t have any understanding of this field. I spoke to Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and went through the statistics. The statistics don’t show that there is any problem. But he doesn’t understand this.

“I asked Frieden if it’s true that 80 percent of mohalim have antibodies for herpes and 80 percent of them do metzitzah b’peh. He said yes. I said, ‘According to your statistics, there should be at least 500 cases of herpes. How come there isn’t even one [aside from a previously documented case]? It shows that your statistics are flawed!’ The theories are not developed. They don’t prove anything. So Frieden changed the topic and started talking about something else. He had no response.”

For the rest of the interview, including Rav Belsky’s view on Mayor Bloomberg’s role in the actions against metzitzah b’peh and his suggestions for community involvement, as well as interviews with Romi Cohn, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Rabbi Moshe Duvid Niederman, and many others, pick up this week’s Ami Magazine.

(Submitted by: Ami News Desk, NYC)




11 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, I’m sure the director of the CDC had no answer at all and only someone who hasn’t seen a science book in 60 years can possibly get it.

  2. The Rav makes some excellent points but given that M’Bpeh is only a minhag, he doesn’t explain why it cannot be done using a sterile suction tube as explained by an experienced mohel who appeared on the Zev Brenner show last motzi shabbos.

  3. Leave it to Ami to provide in-depth proper coverage of the Metzitzah B’Peh issue. That is why I now buy Ami every week; their articles are in depth, articulated and more importantly leave you with the feeling that you now have a deeper understanding of a particular issue. Looking forward.

  4. # 1 Dan Daoust

    you are an unbeleivable mechutzaf to write such a post against rav Belsky Shlita.
    As is very common of agenda driven posts, you totaly twisted rav Belsky’s comment, he said that when he pressed the rosho Frieden about the “statistics’ he had no response, this has nothing to do with Science, if you can calculate 1+1 = 2, you should understand that an isolated case of alleged herpes out of thousands of brisim performed annually by mohalim that supposedly 80% of them have herpes isnt too dangerous,if the CDC and DOH are correct why aren’t there dozens or hundreds of cases ???

  5. #1 has no clue – there has not been a single verified case of infant illness because of herpes contracted through MBP, none whatsoever. There has been no proof that there is any relationship. The health department has used flawed proofs, so flawed that it appears to be intentional. A number of articles have been written about this already, including that the cause of the illness in the reported cases is likely because a sibling or parent had herpes, and was not aware that there was any problem of their having contact with the infant. This cause (and the failure of the health department to warn people about this) is the common sense reason for why the affected infants became ill, not MBP. I seems to may that the health department people are ashamed to admit that they might be wrong.

  6. #1 has no clue – there has not been a single verified case of infant illness because of herpes contracted through MBP, none whatsoever. There has been no proof that there is any relationship. The health department has used flawed proofs, so flawed that it appears to be intentional. A number of articles have been written about this already, including that the cause of the illness in the reported cases is likely because a sibling or parent had herpes, and was not aware that there was any problem of their having contact with the infant. This cause (and the failure of the health department to warn people about this) is the common sense reason for why the affected infants became ill, not MBP. It seems to me that the health department people are ashamed to admit that they might be wrong.

  7. Every bris in Williamsburg, Monroe, Skver, Tosh most of Boro park and Monsey and other Chasidisher communities make MBP. Why don’t you hear more stories of babies dying? I don’t know how many died from MBP but not many, There are over 1000 bucharim in the Zali Satmar yeshiva and each and every one of them had MBP at his bris so why are these reshuim trying to mix their business where it does not belong!!!

  8. Rav Beslsky hasn’t seen a science book in years? Ha! Rav Belsky. Has incredible depth and breadth of knowledge in the sciences (and medicine). Ask any of the scientists or doctors with whom he has consulted or otherwise worked with. The only other gadol I know of with his level of scientific insight is Rav Morgenstern, who went to MIT.