Helping To Clear A Good Man’s Name

After seeing the Mohel With Herpes strories in the press, I knew I had to act. JMERICA.COM editors I contacted recently published an article to help spread good news. The Rabbi in question is innocent of wrongdoing.

Mohel Seeks To Clear His Name And Profession

The mohel accused of infecting three male infants with herpes after performing the obscure circumcision ritual of metzizah b’peh is NOT a carrier of the herpes virus, according to the esteemed Rabbi Yonah Bookstein of Beachhillel.com, and therefore could not have passed on the disease to the babies.

Rabbi Yonah writes in an e-mail received yesterday that his colleague, Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer, was tested while under investigation by the DA and given the clean bill of health, but as of yet no media outlets (save our humble operation) have picked up the story. According to Rabbi Yonah, the mohel’s professional and personal life has been nearly destroyed by the claims that he carries the virus responsible for killing one of the infants and will obviously have a difficult time setting the record straight after such sensational attention.

Says Rabbi Yonah: I have known Rabbi Fischer since 1993. He is one of the most careful, and hygienic mohelim I have ever seen in my life. I trusted him with my son’s bris two years ago.

He also points out that the risk of complications from hospital circumcisions is much higher that those performed by a mohel. He encourages anyone to contact him with questions regarding Rabbi Fischer’s case.
How the babies contracted herpes remains a mystery.

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Posted on March 8, 2005, in Judaism. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Whoa, crazy! Thank you so much for writing this! I had been convinced from everyone else that this guy was guilty. Thank you for helping to clear his name!

  2. Metzitzah update
    Two years of research have yielded the following:
    1) Neonatal herpes is typically the result of a primary infection. The definition of Primary infection is: “virus positive seronegative” i.e., no antibodies to indicate a previous infection.
    2) “Asymptomatic primary infection is the rule rather than the exception”.

    – Whitley RJ, Kimberlin DW, Roizman B. Herpes simplex viruses. Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Mar; 26(3):541-53

    3)An 18 year study of 58,000 women indicates primary infection carries more than double the risk of neonatal infection, than non- primary or recurrent HSV.
    ) Brown ZA, Wald A, Morrow RA, Selke S, Zeh J, Corey L, Effect of Serologic Status and Cesarean Delivery on Transmission Rates of Herpes Simplex Virus From Mother to Infant JAMA 2003 Jan 8;289(2):203-209

    4) Timing of 1-28 days is typical of maternally transmitted herpes.(Some other sources say as late as 8 weeks)
    AAP Pediatric Redbook, & Kimberlin DW. Neonatal herpes simplex infection. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2004 Jan;17(1):1-13. These 2 sources BTW are mentioned in NYC DoH 2005 Alert #46. The author of the Alert cites these sources regarding Acyclovir antiviral treatment but ignores the rest of the paper which describes their cases as typical maternally transmitted NHSV.

    4) Tendler’s paper used 23 year old American HSV-1 statistics to blame the Mohel for orally infecting newborns in 7 Israeli and 1 Canadian cases. Current information indicates:

    62.5% of known neonatal herpes types were HSV-1
    Kropp RY., et al. Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infections in Canada: Results of a 3-Year National Prospective Study, Pediatrics 2006 117:1955-1962

    75% of genutal herpes in Tel Aviv is HSV-1.
    Samra Z, Scherf E, Dan M. Herpes simplex virus type 1 is the prevailing cause of genital herpes in the Tel Aviv area, Israel. Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Oct;30(10):794-6.
    Every test that could have proven or disproven the source was avoided by Temndler and the NYC DoH. Follow up serology, serologic testing for discordant partners, DNA comparison where one Mohel was accused in two cases, etc. All were meticulously avoided.

    Additionally none of the authors have ever done a paper on neonatal herpes, but many have been critical of traditional circumcision.

    This does not include many of the lies concerning history in the paper, i.e., the Chasam Sofer who died in 1839, was influenced by Ignacz Semmelweis’ May 1847 discovery of disease transmission (in an obstetrics ward, not because a baby got tuberculosis from a mohel) and therefore permitted instrumental suction, even thouh the instrument was not invented until 1887.

  3. Wow I never even herd about this???

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