It’s a throwback to a different time, perhaps even a different age both difficult to grasp or understand and even unthinkable in these advanced modern times of ours.  Despite the upbeat forward thinking world we live in today, it seems that there is always a place where it’s possible to find Jewish ritual under assault.

And so it is today with the rather personal and fundamental matter of bris milah—circumcision. In a big world dogged and obsessed by tiny but still flourishing Jewish populations, judiciaries and legislatures amazingly find the time to label things that are important in Jewish life like ritual laughter of animals and bris milah as barbaric and injurious to either the cows, sheep or in the case of humans—baby’s. 

The reasoning is essentially that these babies prior to being forced to undergo this ritual would be legally required to consent to the procedure even though they are in most cases just a few days old.

And you don’t have to reach into a Germany where despite the passage of years and the wounds of history that refuse to heal  somehow always has some aspect or element of the Jewish way of life somewhere in their order of priorities.

The mindless targeting of Jewish ritual quietly and uneventfully is taking place right here in New York as well.  Two cases have been brought to our attention in the past few days where follow-up visits to hospital emergency rooms by parents with babies that recently had circumcisions performed on them were reported to New York City agencies that investigate child abuse.

The cases are ongoing, shocking as they are laborious.  Those involved in these cases insist that no abuse or anything resembling it had taken place.  It was simply the aftermath of a circumcision that required a doctor’s attention.   But the focus in the news on Metzitza Ba’Peh, and legislation outlawing bris milah, the lawsuit brought against a mohel in Germany spills over right to the medical mindset in New York.

Where it goes next is anyone’s guess.


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