Rabbi sued for severing baby’s penis during Pennsylvania synagogue circumcision ritual

By David Edwards
Monday, December 30, 2013 12:40 EDT
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Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg (KDKA)
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A Pittsburgh rabbi who has had no formal medical training is facing a lawsuit after allegedly severing a baby’s penis while conducting a Jewish circumcision ritual at a synagogue earlier this year.

KDKA reported that Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg “severed the baby boy’s penis” during the bris ceremony at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Sources told KDKA that doctors at Children’s Hospital successfully reattached the penis after eight hours of surgery and six blood transfusions. The child had to be hospitalized for almost two months.

According to Rosenberg’s website, a “medical circumcision, usually performed in the hospital on the second or third day after birth, does not fulfill the requirements of a Bris Milah and is not considered valid according to Jewish law.”

Attorney David Llewellyn told KDKA that the “average pediatric urologist probably spends about 20 percent of his or her time repairing children who have been circumcised.”

Llewellyn said that there were no laws in the U.S. regulating religious circumcisions.

“There’s virtually no regulation of this any place in the United States that I know of,” Llewellyn explained. “I think the government probably should require some sort of training if this is going to be done.”

Rosenberg, however, insisted to KDKA that he had been “trained in this” and called the severed penis a “tragic accident.”

Watch this video from KDKA, broadcast Dec. 27, 2013.

(h/t: Friendly Atheist)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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