Even though Rabbi Tendler's position of performing oral suction using a sterile instrument instead of direct oral contact has firm halachic support, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has publicly stated that, unlike AIDS, herpes does not pose a real threat to the baby and therefore the custom of direct oral suction is permitted. Rabbi Tendler pointed out that although Rabbi Elyashiv permits using an instrument to perform oral suction when there is a concern that the mohel might contract AIDS from the baby, which has never occurred, Rabbi Elyashiv does not allow an instrument to be used to protect the baby from herpes, a substantive and documented concern.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
MORE ON THE HERPES AND CIRCUMCISION STORY: The Commentator, Yeshiva University's student newspaper, covers it in the article "'Metzitzah Be Peh': The Dangers of a Custom Intended to Heal" by Ryan Nadel. It has with lots of new details about the controversy over the practice of metzitzah be peh, including an interview with Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler who contributed to the Pediatrics article that called for changes in the practice. The piece concludes: