JERUSALEM -- The Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association is calling for an
end to a controversial circumcision-related rite that is also under fire in New
The IAPA said that direct oral-genital suction, known as metzitzah
b'peh, should not be performed during Jewish ritual circumcision. It is calling
on Israel’s Health Ministry to require maternity wards and clinics to advise
parents against metzitzah b’peh, Israeli media are reporting.
The rite is not used in most Jewish circumcision ceremonies,
but many in the haredi Orthodox community still adhere to it.
Health Department investigations of newborns with the herpes virus from 2000 to
2011 have shown that 11 infants contracted the herpes virus when mohels placed
their mouths directly on the child’s circumcision wound to draw blood away from
the circumcision cut, according to a statement from the department. Ten of the
infants were hospitalized, at least two developed brain damage and two babies