City Questions Metzitzah B’Peh

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    A circumcision ritual practiced by Orthodox Jews called Metzitzah B’Peh, has alarmed city health officials, who say it may have led to cases of herpes – one of them fatal – in infants. And after months of meetings with Orthodox leaders, city officials have been unable to persuade them to abandon the practice.
    The city’s intervention has angered many Orthodox leaders, and the issue has left the city struggling to balance its mandate to protect public health with the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

    And most traditionalist groups, including many Chasidic sects in New York, consider oral suction integral to God’s covenant with the Jews requiring circumcision, and they have no intention of stopping.


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