Lawsuit Filed In Federal Court To Stop Bloomberg’s Battle Against Bris Milah


bloombergNew York, NY – Several Jewish organizations and three rabbis filed suit today against the New York City Department of Health (DOH) seeking an injunction against regulations that would illegally inhibit and unfairly criticize a form of circumcision that has been safely practiced by Jewish people across the world for thousands of years.

The suit argues that the DOH is attempting to discourage the practice known as metzitzah b’peh (MBP) by requiring all rabbis who perform the ritual, referred to as mohelim, to distribute a form stating that MBP can lead to serious health risks. That regulation violates both the rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

“Not only is the Department of Health wrong about metzitzah b’peh, it is trying to enforce its erroneous opinions on the people of New York City,” said Hank Sheinkopf, spokesperson for the group. “By essentially starting a public intimidation campaign that forces private citizens to spread the government’s beliefs, they are shaking the core of our democracy. We believe the courts will stop this overzealous government overreach and keep them out of our speech and religion.”

The suit argues that “the government cannot compel the transmission of messages that the speaker does not want to express-especially when the speaker is operating in an area of heightened First Amendment protection, such as a religious ritual.”

The lawsuit is supported by affidavits from experts in infectious diseases, epidemiology and statistical analysis that question the assessment and methodology of the DOH in forming its opinion about the safety of MBP.

The suit was filed in federal court in Manhattan and asks to stop the DOH from implementing its regulation. The organizational plaintiffs are the international Bris Association, Agudath Israel of America, the Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States & Canada; the mohel plaintiffs are Rabbi Samuel Blum, Rabbi Aharon Leiman and Rabbi Shloime Eichenstein.

As the suit states on the DOH’s own theory, there have been eighty-four cases of HSV reported in infants over the past five years, and 79 of those cases arose in females, uncircumcised males or males whose circumcision did not include MBP. Yet the few cases that might possibly have arisen after MBP have been the sole focus of the Department’s regulatory attention, leaving entirely unaddressed the other risks of HSV which accounts for well over 90% of reported cases. After correcting for the Department’s methodological errors, these expert affidavits demonstrated that HSV arises no more frequently after MBP than it does in newborns who did not receive MBP.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. be prepared for all your rights & freedoms to be taken away slowly but surely-not in one shot-& soon WE will not be able to live in the USA as frum yidden. all our rights & freedoms are being taken from us one at a time & the USA is about to become what used to be communist russia.

    pack your bags NOW & head for Eretz Yisroel, while the pressure is not so hard & before america is attacked by iran. for then it will be too late & everyone will be leaving in poverty, wishing they had left-now-when they were told.

    BOTTOM LINE:this is all the work of Hashem & the choice is yours if you wish to leave now or wait & suffer ahead C”V

  2. Response to #5.
    Wow. We’re supposed to pick up and go to EY because things are so much better there?
    You should see what Rav Moshe Shternbuch writes in a Teshuvah about the terrible spiritual dangers of moving to EY – and he’s one of the heads of the Eydah HaChareidas! (hint – he’s not only referring to Zionism)
    I don’t believe the issue is anywhere near as clear as you’d like to make it out to be, but you’re free to do as wish.
    I agree that things are deteriorating in the USA and all around the world, but who knows what will ultimately be, and who will “have it good” in this world?

  3. And who exactly is it who is doing this “telling” to go EY now? I’ve seen no directive from any gedolim. Quote the contrary.