Monday, February 11, 2013

Rabbi Dr. David Shabtai, MD, clears the air at the Mt. Sinai Jewish Center

A lecture on Metzitzah b'Feh from a knowledgeable doctor and talmid chochom.
Apparently we've been saying it wrong all these years. It's feh, not peh. So it's Metzitzah B'feh, not B'peh. And I know the puns you're thinking of as well. Informed consent is now necessary in New York City. You can skip ahead to 10 minutes to avoid the formalities at the beginning of the lecture. All in all a lecture any Charedi can be proud of and comfortable with.

More on Rabbi Dr. Shabtai


Anonymous said...

Summary, please?

rebcharles said...

if the Mener cannot be Klig on this one, or have too much peer pressure, lets hope the Vayber can be Klig in their stead, and protect their children.

Sakanta Khamira Mi'Isura means that if there's a 1 in Elef Alfei Alufim Ribei Revuvos chance of infection, then we dont do it, L'fi Anyies Dati.

Superintendant Chalmers said...

Here's a link to Rabbi Shabtai's book on brain death.
I've read it, and it's very well done.

The "about the author" section on that site contains a much more updated version of his biography. You may want to link to this version, Hirshel.

wow said...

Milhouse said...

"rebcharles", if that were true we couldn't do milah at all. Even today milah has a non-zero risk, but before modern times it had a significant risk, as explicitly recognised by halacha. Chazal were well aware that there existed genetic conditions that made milah fatal, and they had no way of knowing in advance which families had them. That means every bechor could potentially have such a condition, and yet they said we take the risk and are mal him. Not only that, but suppose the bechor died, r"l; that means the risk to the second son is much higher than in the general population. Perhaps his brother died for some other reason, but perhaps it was for this reason, and therefore if we are mal this boy he will die as well. And yet we assume the risk and we are mal him. Only if he too dies do we say that the risk to any subsequent sons born in that family is too high, and is enough to be docheh mitzvas milah. Now the risk that Chazal said we must assume and ignore, because milah is more important, is much much higher than what we are discussing here. Kol shekein that for such a tiny risk we may not change a halacha, even if it were only a dovor kal shel divrei sofrim.

In fact, the risk we're discussing here is smaller than that of driving the baby to and from the bris, or that which everybody assumes when they attend the bris.

And if you think about it, your premise that "Sakanta Khamira Mi'Isura means that if there's a 1 in Elef Alfei Alufim Ribei Revuvos chance of infection, then we dont do it" is obviously false and ridiculous. If it were true, we couldn't do anything, because everything has some risk.

The fact is that it's an explicit posuk that we are allowed to risk our lives for parnossoh. Ve'eilov hu nosei es nafsho. And if we're allowed to do it for parnossoh, then kol shekein we're allowed and required to do it for a mitzvah. There is no issur at all on assuming risk, so long as it's reasonable. Venishmartem refers only to an unreasonable risk, one which normal people don't assume. Crossing a bridge that is not known to have structural issues is also a risk, but it's permitted; once we know that it's unsound then the risk becomes too high and venishmartem kicks in.

Efraim said...

Nice Lecture of His