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Old 09-22-2004, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I mostly lurk here, but came across this today in "News of the Weird" and was completely Please tell me this is some kind of hoax....


Questionable Judgments

# Writing in the journal Pediatrics (August 2004), Israeli physicians cautioned against a traditional form of circumcision in which blood is cleaned from the wound not by a suction device but by the circumciser's taking wine into his mouth and then sucking the blood from the wound. Researchers, led by Dr. Benjamin Gesundheit of Ben-Gurion University, found eight cases of infants having developed herpes from circumcisers' mouths. [Reuters, 8-4-04]
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:56 AM
 
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They talk about this in Dr. Fleiss's book, too. Gross!
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:11 AM
 
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I've heard of this. As if the whole situation couldn't be any more disturbing already...

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Old 09-22-2004, 03:23 AM
 
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I have heard of it also. Disgusting!!!
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:20 AM
 
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Yep, and it has also happened in New York City. There are also cases of mohels transmitting tuberculosis in this manner.

Every time this comes up, there are strong objections with assertions that this is not practiced any more. However, these are recent cases (this year) so it is obvious it is still done this way in at least some quarters.



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Old 09-22-2004, 12:00 PM
 
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Very sad.Just one of many distubing things done to children under the protective umbrella of religion.
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
Yep, and it has also happened in New York City. There are also cases of mohels transmitting tuberculosis in this manner.

Every time this comes up, there are strong objections with assertions that this is not practiced any more. However, these are recent cases (this year) so it is obvious it is still done this way in at least some quarters.



Frank
Herpes has also been transmitted this way.
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:04 PM
 
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OMG!!

How awful!
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Old 09-23-2004, 01:40 AM
 
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OMGsh! Yes, I knew about this. Never thought of disease transmission. ICK! Not sure why, but it just never occured to me. Don't you wish you didn't know so much sometimes??? :
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:41 AM
 
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I have never heard of this disgusting practice. What kind of parent would let a mohel (or anyone!) suck the blood from their child's penis? Which of course leads to the more general questions what kind of parent lets someone cut their son's foreskin off in the first place.

I'm a Jew who didn't have my son circumcised - I'm still being ostracized for it in my former Jewish community. I know I can't bring religion into this discussion, but I'm saddened that such a horrendous practice is being practiced in Israel and New York. I guess I'm feeling guilty by association that it's Jews who are doing this.

Can you imagine passing a lifelong STD to an infant? In the name of religion? And yet it's still being done. When parents choose to circ. because they honestly believe it's healthier, I'm saddened. But when it's done without any thought because of religion, ignorance, or because the father insists, I'm enraged. How can kids not come first?? Before anything else, including (esp.) religion.

Yuck.

"Home is where the heart is, no matter how the heart lives." - PP&M
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Old 09-23-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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Andie, you should have no more guilt by association than I have because both Charles Manson and I are both white Americans of western European descent. (and probably both of us have Christian roots) While we share common traits, Charlie is a far different person than I am and I feel no guilt because of that commonality. You shouldn't either.

I suspect that few Jewish parents have any idea this goes on. I suspect even when they see it done, they don't comprehend what has happened and suspect the mohel has just bowed over the infant in prayer or to kiss the infant. If they don't know it's coming, they don't know to prevent it and as they say, once it's done, it's done.

The controversy about this practice goes back to the early part of the 20th century but it seems the practice was still common practice in the 1980's. It appears that with the advent of HIV/AIDS and genital herpes that the practice was mostly altered to use a glass tube to prevent direct contact. However, it is clear that there are still a few that stick with the "old ways."

This reminds me of the pain issue. The AAP and AMA did a survey that showed that 96% of infants recieved inadequate pain relief and 78% recieved none at all during the circumcision procedure and in 1999 put out a policy statement that these procedures were inhumane and that proper pain relief should be administered. Most parents believe that the physicians will fall in line and that in the ensuing 5 years that almost all babies recieve pain relief. I have eaves dropped on a physician message board and can tell you without question that little has changed in that 5 years. Just as it has taken almost a century for most mohels to come in line, it will take decades before most physicians provide pain relief.

Parents have this irrational fear in this country that their child will be ostracized simply because he has not been mutilated to fit what are percieved as societal norms. Imagine how these children will be shunned when they become ready to become sexually active. Imagine telling a potential lover "I'm a virgin, but I have genital herpes." At the age of first intimate contact, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to find a partner who also has genital herpes as not to endanger her to infection as well. These boys could easily spend the majority of or their entire life as virgins because they are "untouchable." No children, no partner and no grandchildren simply because someone didn't have the guts to stand up for them! Be proud of the stand you took for your child!





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Old 09-23-2004, 05:47 PM
 
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I also read that they sometimes use their fingernails as cutting instruments!
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Old 09-23-2004, 06:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greaseball
I also read that they sometimes use their fingernails as cutting instruments!
Yep! Page 104 in Fleiss's book. "...the circumciser inserts a specially sharpened fingernail into the raw wound and proceeds to tear and scrape away the inner fold of the foreskin that still adheres to the glans. The circumciser must tear away every shred of foreskin from the glans. Otherwise, the ritual is invalid."

After that, comes the sucking part. :
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Old 09-26-2004, 03:05 AM
 
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Okay, starting with my disclaimer:

I am anti-RIC, and am activist as such.





The "sucking" thing is to draw out blood, as the actual circumcision part of a bris milah may actually not cause any bleeding. It is solely to draw out blood. More "modern" mohelim use a straw-type instrument between their mouth and the penis, but it is still *solely* to bring blood to the surface.

Much as if you get a snake bite, you might suck on the wound to draw out the blood. Or a splinter or some such where no blood comes out ... you might squeeze the splinter site or suck on it to get the blood to the opening, and that is to clean the site. Not high tech, but it works. The point is obviously not to suck on blood or anything similar, it's to draw out blood and clean the wound.

This practice dates back thousands of years, and was instituted and was actually mandated to try to aid healing of the wound.






As far as what kind of parent I am, zaftigmama, you can make your own judgments. Obviously. A joyful new year to you, BTW.
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Old 09-26-2004, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk
Much as if you get a snake bite, you might suck on the wound to draw out the blood.

Is this how a doctor would handle a snake bite? Sucking on the wound, even with a straw? Aren't mohels supposed to be professionals?



And, using your snake bite analogy, I guess if the snake never bit you in the first place, there'd be no need to draw out the blood.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 09-26-2004, 04:00 PM
 
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A&A, I didn't come into this thread to argue or to justify or to do anything except to explain where the idea comes from, as the only Jewish poster on this thread had obviously never heard of it.


And I don't know about a doctor handling a snake bite, A&A. This procedure was instituted *several thousand years ago,* and yes, in those days doctors absolutely handled a snake bite this way. But that's besides the point, A&A. A mohel is a professional in a religious ritual, not a medical procedure.






Okay, you can get in your next round of snappy 'sound-bites' and elicit all the cheers you like from the board regulars now, A&A.
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Old 09-26-2004, 04:52 PM
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One would think that a more modern, less dangerous method of removing blood could be found than sucking and/or sucking with a straw. One would think that the spirit of the law could be maintained while changing the letter of the law.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 09-26-2004, 05:32 PM
 
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AMY~ I am glad you did explain it!!! I see all of your points. I can also see that you don't support RIC in BOLD
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Old 09-27-2004, 01:12 AM
 
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Amy:

NOt to start an argument but the reason for the sucking is to colapse the blood vessels to stop the bleeding, not to clean the wound. Every mohel I have ever heard of is very careful about the sterilization of his instruments. The colapsing of the blood vessels works much the same way as the Gomco clamp. The vessels colapse down blocking the flow of the blood instead of being crushed down as with the Gomco. I suspect this is why the mohels are so insistent on continuing this part of the ritual. They know that it works and if they don't, some of the babies could bleed to death. It only takes about 2 tablespoons of blood loss for a baby's organs to start shutting down.




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Old 09-27-2004, 01:54 AM
 
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Frank. Not to continue an argument, but how many traditional brises have you seen up close and personal? Besides talking to mohels, to people who have been the sandak at brises (my father for his grandsons, my husband for his son, friends for their sons) I also know several fathers who performed the brises themselves ... and NO they are not mohels, but were guided by mohels. And it happens, as per some of their statements, that brises are sometimes bloodless. And the appearance of blood is a requirement for the ritual ... what the purpose of the appearance of blood is, I know not. My understanding is that it was required in ancient times to ensure some cleaning of the wound that the blood does provide. And that is the whole point of what we're talking about here.

And to clarify, since your post is full of the word "clamps" and the like, a traditional bris (the type that would particularly include the procedure we're discussing in this thread) does *not* use any clamps. None. Zero.
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Old 09-27-2004, 04:22 AM
 
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Amy:

I got my information from Jewish sites. It's been some time back and I'm not sure which one. I suspect that it was ACT Today but not sure.

I am well aware that the Gomco is not used in ritual circumcisions as well as the plasitbell device. The only typical circumcision device I know of being used in ritual circumcisions is the Mogen Shield and some Jewish groups believe even that is inappropriate.





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Old 09-27-2004, 12:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
Amy:

I got my information from Jewish sites. It's been some time back and I'm not sure which one. I suspect that it was ACT Today but not sure.

I am well aware that the Gomco is not used in ritual circumcisions as well as the plasitbell device. The only typical circumcision device I know of being used in ritual circumcisions is the Mogen Shield and some Jewish groups believe even that is inappropriate.





Frank


Frank, there is no information about massive bloodletting on their site. Nor would there be any.

I cannot let your statement stand unanswered about "getting it from a Jewish site" because it leaves misinformation unanswered. Because there is no massive bloodletting in a traditional bris milah. And that is why the subject of the thread exists ... because very often in a traditional bris milah with a traditional mohel ... where no clamps of any kind, no shields of any kind are used ... there is also very often no bleeding.






Am appreciative of honest 'intactivism' against routine infant circumcision. And am not appreciative of misinformation about bris milah.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:07 PM
 
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Amy, nowhere did I say there was "massive bloodletting." However, there is blood. This is a blood ritual and the blood is a necessary part of the ritual. When a circumcised man converts to Judiasm, the letting of at least a drop of blood from his penis is a necessary part of the coversion process in most cases. The blood is also necessary for the infant ritual.

I am not conducting a campaign of misinformation nor am I castigating Jews for the rite of bris milah. However, I do think it important to warn parents of Jews who are behaving badly and are putting their child at risk of dangerous and lifelong infections. Using the glass tube for this part of the ritual may not be in absolute adherence of traditional methods but it protects the child. That is the whole point. To continue to do it with direct contact by mouth is dangerous and irresponsible. It is also important to note that mohels can not get malpractice liability insurance to cover such occurances as this so if they are going to continue with this known risky practice, they should take every possible step to insure the safety of the child. To not do so is simply irresponsible. I doubt any mohel has the personal financial wherewithal to even remotely compensate these children for what they have caused.




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Old 09-27-2004, 05:44 PM
 
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The End.











edited to add ... Frank, you absolutely did discuss massive bloodletting. In this post, as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankly Speaking
[i
NOt to start an argument but the reason for the sucking is to colapse the blood vessels to stop the bleeding ... The colapsing of the blood vessels works much the same way as the Gomco clamp. The vessels colapse down blocking the flow of the blood instead of being crushed down as with the Gomco. I suspect this is why the mohels are so insistent on continuing this part of the ritual. They know that it works and if they don't, some of the babies could bleed to death. It only takes about 2 tablespoons of blood loss for a baby's organs to start shutting down ...[/i]
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Old 09-28-2004, 03:05 AM
 
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Moving this to Religious Studies since religious circ isn't discussed in this forum...
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by merpk
This practice dates back thousands of years, and was instituted and was actually mandated to try to aid healing of the wound.
But now we see that there are far more negative results - diseases transmitted to the baby - and therefore this practice shouldbe re-evaluated and more informed choices need to be made imo.
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Old 09-30-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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Raven, that's why today most mohelim use a glass tube.

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:18 PM
 
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BelovedBird - thank you for letting me know that.

Out of curiosity, are there any Jewish members here chose not to circ? Im curious because I wonder how that affected (or is that effected ) their relationship with their Jewish family members and community members. I guess thats going way off topic though....
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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Raven, did you miss the first page of this thread?? Both the use of a tube and a jewish mother who did not circ are mentioned there. And yes, not performing the mitzva of milah on sons and relationship is off topic in this thread, and yes it has been covered elsewhere previously.

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Old 09-30-2004, 06:10 PM
 
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Sorry for going off topic.
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