Monday, June 05, 2006

Metziza B’Peh Revisted

Hirhurim has posted a link to an article (downloadable here ) that analyzes the issue of Metziza B’Peh (MBP). It is an extremely well researched, footnoted, and well written article outlining the issues involved and the history of the practices and the possible reason for the procedure. To briefly review the issue, MPB is a procedure that entails oral suction of the blood by mouth of the area of the Milah. The Mishna is insistent on the procedure as it states that without MBP, the child life is in danger and Shabbos can thus be violated to perform it. What is clear from the article is that many Gedolim... from the Chasam Sofer, to Rav Chaim, to Rav Aharon Kotler felt MBP was not a required Halachic procedure.

It therefore seems abundantly clear to me that MBP is nothing more than a misplaced Chumra adhered to mostly by Chasidim based on misunderstanding of that Halacha and the Psak of these Gedolim. And that they have gone to great trouble to either hide what Gedolei Ha Poskim have stated about it, or completely deny they said it... or claim that the Psak was not meant for our times.

Of great concerns to me however is, that there are so many Yeshiva students where the Mesorah of their own Yeshiva clearly does not support a MPB requirement, never-the-less insist on a Mohel doing MPB. Once again showing the “move to the right” ...or even worse, the Chasidization of the Yeshiva world. The mindset seems to be: if it looks Frum... do it! “Health concerns be damned.” “We don’t really believe there any health hazards!”

It is also still quite perplexing that there is such strong animus against those who are against Metziza B’ Peh by certain Agudah type rabbis who have so severely condemned many Modern Orthodox Rabbis for coming out against it. As I posted several months ago, one such rabbi said:

“... the Misyavnim of today are the Reform or Conservative. No, they're the Modern Orthodox rabbis (verbatim quote) who want to chepper with bris milah ...”

Either the right wing is ignorant of their own heritage, or they are being dishonest with their constituents. Either way it is a poor reflection on them. If it is the latter as I suspect it is, it shows that their main goal is to so marginalize Modern Orthodoxy as to put it completely outside the pale of Torah Judaism. Welcome to 21st century Achdus.