Rabbi Dr. Tendler Joins Quinn in Attacking Metzitzah B’Peh, Compares it to Female Circumcision

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tendlerNew York – While metzitzah b’peh is not illegal in New York City, the city requires parents having their children circumcised in that manner to sign a consent form saying they understand “direct oral suction should not be performed because it exposes an infant to the risk of transmission of herpes simplex virus infection, which may result in brain damage or death.”

City health commissioner Thomas Farley advises that the practice, known as metzitzah b’peh, “never be performed.”

At two recent mayoral forums, nearly all of the candidates who want to be mayor said that even the Bloomberg administration’s requirement of a consent form is a step too far.

Last night, at a forum hosted by the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition and the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush, former comptroller Bill Thompson said that he wants to sit down and talk more about the issue, according to New York Times columnist Michael Powell.

Former congressman Anthony Weiner said that protesting the practice amounted to “liberal elitist condescension,” and comptroller John Liu said that he would “leave it to the rabbis.”

Only Council Speaker Christine Quinn, per Powell, said it made sense to have some sort of safety precaution in place.

A very similar scenario played out last week at a forum hosted by the Jewish Press, when public advocate Bill de Blasio faulted Bloomberg for trying to “impose his will,” called vaguely for “real dialogue,” urged “respect for religious tradition,” and called for a “new policy that’s fair.”

Liu said he’d scrap the consent form altogether.

“This is something that’s been going on for thousands of years, thousands of years, and it’s continued to this day until for some reason, a particular billionaire mayor in this city decided that he must know better than anybody else,” he said.

Quinn faulted the city for not listening to the rabbis, even though it was a big meeting between Michael Bloomberg and the rabbis from which that compromise position (the consent form) emerged.

But she also said, “I would not change the consent form, I would leave it in place moving forward.”

Rabbi Moshe Tendler, a professor of biology at Yeshiva University, says that not only is there no religious requirement for metzitzah b’peh, “It was largely brought to America by Hungarian immigration after the Holocaust, but “you will not find a single respected pediatrician who will defend that oral practice.”

According to Tendler, the mayoral candidates’ stance on the issue is all about the politics.

“They’re fighting for several thousand, maybe tens of thousands of votes in the Wiilliamsburg area alone,” he said.

But what of that religious freedom argument?

“Are they going to support also female circumcision on that basis?” he asked.

Read in full at CAPITAL NEW YORK.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Those tens of thousands in Williamsburg and Boro Park and Monsey and, believe it or not, most of the Orthodox living in Lakewood, are they not allowed to have freedome of religion?

    Aren’t there many people who are against all circumcision?

  2. “you will not find a single respected pediatrician who will defend that oral practice.”
    I spoke to a very respected pediatrician outside of NY and she said there are no problems with the practice as long as its done properly.
    Not sure whom Dr. Tendler is speaking for.

  3. AS Rav Gifter said about another rabbi dr the Rabbi That needs a dr this man is a disgrace to humanity

  4. Rabbi Tendler happens to be the son-in-law of the great goan Rabbi Moishe Feinstein Z’tzal. He is a great Talmud Chacham. The degree of ignorance reflected in many of the comments is truly mind numbing.

  5. Matzav is a bed infested with sinas chinam and hatred. The owners of matzav will have to answer in 120 years
    the arrogance and anger of each commentator can only attributed to a deep seeded lack of midos and ahavas yisrael.

  6. Rabbi Tendler
    Daniel Berman MD who is a respected infectious disease expert has written a court affidavit to the Dept of Health in defense of the practice.He pointed out the flaws in the collection of the data.

  7. Just wondering why Matzav chooses to head the next news item “DISGRACE” any more than this news item…?

  8. You are all pathetic. Why in the world would you have any politician tell you what he she thinks on this matter??
    Rabbi Tendler’s views may not parallel yours but the man is a scientist and knows a whole lot more about herpes than any mohel.

  9. His father-in-law ZT”L and his brother-in-law

    Shlitah, Roshey Yeshiva at Mesivtha Tifereth

    Jerusalem advise for Metzizah B’peh

  10. All of the above commentors put toghether dont have 1 per cent of the intelligence that rabbi tendler has.

    He may be intelligent, but he has no Yiras Shamayim.

  11. Dr Moshe Tendler has publicly shown himself to be dishonest and lie about this issue.

    When MDT began this garbage 8 and a half years ago, he originally claimed that Rav Elyashiv and Rav Wosner agree with him. Rav Wosner wrote a letter which clearly contradicted this fictitious claim.

    MDT wrote a letter claiming that he never contacted the health department about this. Ooops. A recording of a “shiur” of his became public, where he boasted of the fact that he DID contact the health department, and that he was involved in meetings with them for a couple of weeks and “its going to hit big”.

    On and on….

  12. “Rabbi Tendler happens to be the son-in-law of the great goan Rabbi Moishe Feinstein Z’tzal. He is a great Talmud Chacham.”

    This fact means absolutely nothing when he goes against minhagei yisroel back to Avraham Avinu. Even Talmidei Chachamim can go off the derech and R. Tendler has surely gone off. He is a disgrace to the memory of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt’l.

    “In the mid-1980’s, when the Aids epidemic started spreading like wildfire with no cure, the world was frightened. Ten days before Rav Moshe Feinstein’s passing, a family member approached him for a heter to discontinue the practice of metzitzah b’peh. Rav Moshe Feinstein said, “Chas v’shalom to stop metzitzah b’peh. We have a rule that ‘Shomer mitzvah lo yeida dovor ra – if one does a mitzvah properly, nothing bad will befall him.’ Therefore, if a mohel is doing the bris, he is assured that nothing bad will happen to him or the baby.””

    Even R. Feinstein,s son concurred with his father:

    Rav Reuven Feinstein was present and asked, “Doesn’t our father hold that metzitzah b’peh is only a minhag? Why put ourselves into a possible danger for a minhag?” Rav Moshe answered, “A minhag that Klal Yisroel keeps cannot be changed. This, too, is included in the rule that the mitzvah will protect a person and no evil will come from it.”


  13. I don’t care about his yichus. He has a long list of making trouble. and please don’t give me the sinas chinam nonsense. i have to wonder what you have to say to Dovid Hamelech’s Tehilim – “haloh misanecha Hashem esna”.

  14. R’ Tendler is afraid people forget about him. That’s why, from time to time, he stirs the pot, whether it’s metzitza pa’peh, taking a walk on Har HaBais, etc. No orthodox rabbi agrees with him.

  15. Calm down. You have to understand that any arguments here are purely machlokes Am HaRatzim. Don’t take it too seriously.

  16. Rav Tendler you seem to have your own agenda.

    The opinion of the Feinsein family with

    regards to Mezizah B’pah seems to be contrary

    to yours.

    If that is so- why do you continue to

    promulgate such a view when your father-in-law

    and your brother(s)-in-law diagree with your


  17. Not only is rabbi tendler a well known scientist he is also archival research with several
    Cancer drugs under his belt
    And can out
    Learn every fool on
    This page

  18. Please under stand that if you are against MBP then you are not allowed to have an opinion. Really, it is as simple as that. In fact not only are you not allowed, you also have absolutely no right to an opinion. Sorry, but that is the way it works as can be seen from other comments here.

  19. MBP is doraisoa according to all gedolim, the fact that R` tendler says that not only is there no religious requirement for metzitzah b’peh, “It was largely brought to America by Hungarian immigration after the Holocaust, but “you will not find a single respected pediatrician who will defend that oral practice.” it false because it was used in america for 100s of yrs according to the jewish history in america.

  20. “One that teaches Torah not in accordance with halacha, even if he has zhusim and maasim tovim, he doesn’t have a cheilek b’alom habo.”-Pirkey Avos
    Even if one holds that MBP is not obligatory, there certainly are no poskim that prohibit it. The whole fight is not about MBP anyway, but rather a sneaky gradual way to outlaw bris-mila altogether. If one refuses to do MBP on his own kid, that’s his business; shaming Jewish traditions in public, that’s an act of treason.
    How typical: siding with those that oppose Isroel and Torah, in order to gain some “you are not like the other Jews” pathetic praise. Sadly, another nail in the coffin of YU.

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