As a result of these texts, the Chatam Sofer contended that Jewish tradition instituted metzitzeh b’eh solely to prevent danger to the infant and stated that metzitzah b’peh was not a required part of the circumcision ceremony. In light of the rationale for this part of the ceremony, he concluded that a sponge or other instrument that could soak up the blood and safeguard the child could be employed instead. Those numerous Orthodox rabbis who have not insisted on metzitzah b’peh in the past two centuries have essentially followed his reasoning on this matter.
In light of the unparalleled prestige that the Chatam Sofer enjoys as a legal authority within the world of Orthodox Judaism, a puzzle remains as to why a number of Orthodox rabbis have dissented from his position and maintained that metzitzah b’peh is an inviolable part of the circumcision ritual.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Mezizah Doesn't Matter
by DovBear at 7:20 PM
This past year, the madmen of Monsey vandalized the shul of a local Rabbi (Tendler the Elder) who dared to suggest that Mezizah b'Peh could be discontinued. They have also rallied and rioted and published all sorts of hateful nonsense in the papers and on the Internet. Ah, if only the madmen of Monsey had bothered to check the sources first. As the Jewish Week tells it, Sages as well-respected as the Chatam Sofer have already ruled that Mezizah is not an essential part of Mila. Oh, well. Egg's on their face, I guess. Money quote: