NEW YORK (JTA) — The New York City Health Department said it cannot complete an investigation into who infected four infants with herpes through a circumcision rite because the boys’ fervently Orthodox families will not identify the mohels.
“Unfortunately, some in the community are resistant to sharing the name of the mohels,” Health Department spokesman Christopher Miller told DNAinfo New York on Tuesday. “This is a very insular community.”
According to DNAinfo, six families in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, have seen children contract herpes since 2015 from metzitzah b’peh, which involves the ritual circumciser, or mohel, cleaning the circumcision wound by oral suction. Among the six families, only two have provided the names of their mohels, Miller said.
In March, the city ordered those two mohels to stop performing metzitzah b’peh. A herpes infection in a newborn baby can cause brain damage and death.
Rabbi David Niederman, head of the United…
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