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
   (Shutterstock)

(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.