More Than 200 Rabbonim Declare War On NYC Health Dept Over ‘Metzitzah B’peh’


This past Tuesday, approximately 200 Rabbis from across the spectrum of Orthodox Jewry, declared war on the NYC Health Department in regard to the unprecedented micro-managing efforts of city law. While paying much respect to the historical policy of the Unites States of non-interference in religious issues, these Rabbis minced no words in their declaration.

Following below is a translation of the Kol Koreh (As translated by YWN):

“To our honorable brothers Bnei Yisroel, with the God of Abraham, We are shocked that the NYC Health Department, is about to enact new and evil decrees, in the matter of arranging Bris Milah, that has been the custom in our tradition for us from generation to generation. We are standing in grave danger, may the merciful one help us. Whose heart will not shutter in light of this governmental involvement?

The matter is the Metziah B’peh, where they stand to obligate those performing it with advanced warnings on all matters of Metzitza B’peh with the agreement and signature of the parents.

The aforementioned health dept., printed and spread lies and mischaracterizations and exaggerations, of instances of illness after Bris Milah, in order to justify, their evil decree. It is clear to us, that there is not even an iota of blame or danger in this ancient and holy custom of Metzitza B’peh.

This is the first time when the rightness Government of the United States who has always given us the possibility of observing our religion that they are intervening, in the Jewish religion, to establish conditions in the observation of Torah and Mitzvos.

It should be known, that this is only the beginning of their decrees, for their plan and desire is to undo the foundations of Bris Mila in its entirety, may the merciful one save us.

Therefore, we are declaring in the gates of the public – not to be deaf or be silent, until their thoughts to remove us from our holy Torah are completely negated, and we are obligated to battle with all our might’s and with all our strength, for the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos in all its detail and Halacha.

We are decreeing that according to our opinion, it is forbidden according to the Torah to participate in the evil plans of the NYC Health Dept. in any form that it may be whether it be the Moihilim, or the parents – with agreements or signatures.

We are certain, that Bnei Yisroel who are complete in their beliefs, will not do evil because the mitzvah of Bris Milah is from the grave fundamentals of the Torah of Israel and our fathers sacrificed themselves for its fulfillment from the times we were first born as a nation – even in the darkest vicissitudes and harshest threats.

We too shall walk in the footsteps of our fathers, even facing the gravest threats and punishments for the purpose of fulfilling the mitzvah as our sages of blessed memory have said, every mitzvah that the nation of Israel sacrificed themselves in the face of a decree of governments it is yet observed in their hands.

Signed: Tthose that anticipate the salvation of Israel,
Tuesday to the Parsha of “take heed lest ye forget the covenant of the lord thy god”



  1. The Department of Health?

    That noble group of individuals who applaud and aid while the USA has a 41% abortion rate. Almost as many USA pregnancies are aborted as kept.

  2. Wow. Just about all the big Gedolim signed.

    It’s pretty straightforward. The Gedolim are unequivocally stating that we must continue Metitza B’Peh and refuse to sign any Dept. of Health consent forms.

    And this decree issued by the Gedolim equally applies to Mohelim and parents.

  3. Being that the Health Dept. isn’t planning on banning Metzita just giving it negative publicity, isn’t making a public affair about this actually playing into their hands?

    I obviously do not to argue against a consensus of Rabonim from my armchair, just asking. Wouldn’t pointing out the ridiculously low mortality rate for MBP when compared with other legal risks (the risk of one of the guests dying in a car accident on the way to the Bris is prob. higher) be helpful?

  4. This is another step in the evolution of government encroachment. Many of the names on the list encouraged their community to vote the current regime in so they can “shteig” while living on the dole. Socialism never worked out for Judaism, you want government to take care of you? Here you go.

  5. I know a lot of those Rabunm and they are very big Tzadikim. the NY Health Department should not stick its nose where it does not belong!!! Thousands of babies have MBP at their bris a year and don’t die.

  6. Just about all the big gedolim? Not a single member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah signed this, neither did the Rebbes of Skver, Vishnitz, Satmar KJ or Bobov 48. Don’t see Rav Malkiel Kotler either. In other words, the most influential leaders of the yeshiva/chasidishe velt did not sign.

  7. According to the way I understood the Lashon HaKodesh in the first paragraph of the Kol Korei, the word “shutter” should be changed to “shudder”.

    Further on, “rightness” should be changed to “righteous”. (Actually, the whole sentence should be rewritten.)

    Spelling and grammar aside, I’m just wondering how these great Rabbis know that the NYC Health Dept. plans to ultimately outlaw Bris Milah entirely. Is circumcision not an accepted medical procedure? So why would they prevent mohelim from performing brisos?

    I wonder if anyone can she light on this.

    I don’t at all mean to argue, CH”V, particularly about the practical aspects of this letter, but I don’t understand this extension from MBP to Bris in its entirety.

  8. I agree with HaKatan. I don’t think that the intent of the Department of Health’s action is to ban b’rit milah entirely. Rather, I believe that the informed consent proposal is a good faith effort to protect the health of infants.

  9. Kita Ches Rebbi, There is Ravi Soloman, Reuven Feinstien, Rav Olshin and Rav Belsky that is not enough Litvisher gedolim for you? also skver and vishnitzer dayan signed.