The Shmooze

Botched Circumcisions Lead To Second Procedure

By Abigail Jones

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No one really likes to think about getting circumcised, but undergoing the procedure twice? No thank you. Yet some parents in the Haifa area are doing just that after news broke that a mohel botched hundreds of circumcisions and failed to comply with Jewish Law.

When a group of senior rabbis from Haifa attended a bris, they noticed that something wasn’t quite right: The foreskin around the penis was not properly removed. They informed the Chief Rabbinate, word spread and panic ensued. According to Ynet, dozens of parents have consulted with expert mohels and some children have already endured a second procedure, under full anesthesia, to correct the blunder. While there are no medical concerns, parents are seeking a second procedure to ensure that the circumcision is kosher — and for aesthetic reasons. Ynet also reports that the scandal may affect thousands of children.

“It can happen to anyone because no one is an angel, even if he is a mohel or a doctor,” Rabbi Moshe Weisberg, a member of the Health Ministry and Religious Affairs ministry for oversight and training of mohels, told Ynet. “But on such a scale? This is already in the realm of the abnormal.”

A haredi parent recalled watching Weisberg examine his/her three-year-old son: “When he removed my child’s pants he just said, ‘Oy, oy, oy.’ My heart sank. I almost breathed my last breath. Fortunately for us, it was okay in the end, and he said we don’t need a correction.”

Weisberg told Ynet that even if a boy’s penis looks “weird,” it’s possible for the bris to still meet kosher standards. In some cases, though, he does recommend corrective surgery. “If it were my son, I wouldn’t think twice.”


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