Rabbi Botches Bris, Cuts Off Penis

Orthodox ceremony in Pittsburgh goes horribly wrong

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 30, 2013 4:03 PM CST | Updated Jan 5, 2014 1:45 PM CST

(Newser) – An orthodox rabbi in Pittsburgh is being sued for accidentally severing a baby's penis during a traditional bris ceremony, CBS Pittsburgh reports. Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg allegedly botched the bris eight months ago, forcing the baby to be hospitalized for almost two months and undergo six blood transfusions. But doctors say the penis was successfully reattached. "It doesn't always work," said a surgeon who wasn't involved in the case. Even after successful "microsurgery", "sometimes the nerves don’t heal well beyond where you reattached it."

Rabbi Rosenberg says on his website that he is a "certified mohel" and notes that a doctor's medical circumcision "is not considered valid according to Jewish law." However, attorney David Llewellyn tells CBS that the training of mohels is dangerously unregulated: "I think the government probably should require some sort of training if this is going to be done," he said. But Rosenberg said he is "trained in this" and called the incident a "horrible situation" and a "tragic accident." He has continued to perform circumcisions.

  (Shutterstock)
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