Here are two recent news pieces that have recently emerged on the tragic death in New York City in September 2011 of an infant after a Jewish circumcision.
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child
Family stonewalling authorities after newborn dies from herpes contracted in ritual circumcision
Sources in Orthodox Jewish community say baby’s parents were related to herpes-infected rabbi who did circumcision
By Simone Weichselbaum and Reuven Blau
New York Daily News
March 7, 2012
Authorities are being stonewalled by the family of a newborn boy who died after contracting herpes through a controversial religious circumcision ritual, the Daily News has learned.
Multiple sources in the Orthodox Jewish community said the 2-week-old boy’s parents were related to a herpes-infected rabbi who conducted the circumcision according to tradition — using one’s mouth to remove blood from the wound.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is investigating the death and trying to identify the rabbi, or mohel, but family members have not been cooperative, sources said.
“You guys are barking up the right tree,” a law enforcement source said of word that the mohel was related to the boy. “But we don’t know yet who did what.”
City health officials have criticized the religious practice, saying that putting the open wound into contact with the mouth of the rabbi carries “inherent risks” for the infant.
The unidentified infant died at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center last Sept. 28. An autopsy listed the cause of death as
“disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction,” according to a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner.
Mayor Bloomberg Tuesday vowed to work with the Orthodox Jewish community to prevent future tragedies.
Infant’s death at Maimonides Hospital linked to circumcision
Unidentified infant died in September of 2011 after contracting herpes
By Thomas Zambito
New York Daily News
March 3, 2012
September after contracting herpes through a religious circumcision ritual that ignited controversy in 2005 after another infant died, the Daily News has learned.
The unidentified infant died Sept. 28, 2011, at Maimonides Hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner, who confirmed the death after a News inquiry.
The cause of death was listed as “disseminated herpes simplex virus Type 1, complicating ritual circumcision with oral suction.”
City officials declined to comment Friday.
It’s unclear who performed the circumcision.
In 2004, city health officials revealed that a baby boy died after a circumcision carried out by a Rockland County rabbi who specializes in the centuries-old, ultra-Orthodox ritual known as metzizah b’ peh.
Under the practice, the rabbi or mohel removes blood from the wound with his mouth — a practice city health officials have criticized, saying it carried “inherent risks” for babies.
In 2004, three infants circumcised by Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer were determined to have contracted herpes, city officials said.
Among them were twins circumcised in October 2004 after Fischer performed the religious ceremony known as a bris.