Adam Brandolph 412-391-0927
Staff Reporter
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Adam Brandolph

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 12:18 p.m.

A Squirrel Hill rabbi botched a ritual circumcision, causing a
“life-changing injury” to an 8-day-old boy, the parents of the child
claim in a civil lawsuit filed this week.

Pittsburgh attorney Neil Rosen, who represents the mother, father and
child identified only by their initials in the seven-page complaint,
called the incident “unimaginable,” but declined further comment. Rosen
said he used his client’s initials to protect the identity of the
child, now 8 months old.

The lawsuit filed Monday claims Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg, 54,
performed a Jewish ritual circumcision on the boy on April 28, 2013,
eight days after the child was born as required by Jewish custom.

Rosenberg, a mohel — or ritual circumciser — referred calls to his
attorneys at Weber Gallagher Group, who did not immediately return

Although the suit does not specify the child’s injuries, it claims
Rosenberg acted “with a total disregard” for the child and “caused a
catastrophic and life-changing injury.”

Additionally, the injury occurred in the presence of his parents, “who
witnessed the entire gruesome and torturous event” and rushed their son
to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville for emergency
reconstructive surgery and leech therapy, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit doesn’t specify what the nature of the leech therapy was.
The baby required several follow-up visits.

Rosenberg’s website says he apprenticed under the late Rabbi Benjamin
Nadoff in Pittsburgh, was trained by Rabbi Yosef Dovid Weisberg, the
chief mohel of Jerusalem, and is recognized as a certified mohel by the
American Board of Ritual Circumcision in New York.

Mohels are not certified by a government agency because the
circumcision is considered a religious ceremony, not a medical
procedure, according to Philadelphia-area mohel Mark Kushner.

Kushner said most of the community mohel certifying boards shut down
because they had been named in lawsuits. He was not sure how new mohels
become certified.

“I’m guessing it’s a free-for-all, but I don’t know,” he said.


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