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Suit: Mohel Severed Newborn’s Penis During Bris

Boy’s parents suing Pittsburgh rabbi for botched circumcision

Stephanie Butnick
December 30, 2013

In some of the more disturbing news I’ve heard in the 12 hours since I’ve been back on American soil (a major thank you to Yair Rosenberg, by the way, for manning the helm last week, as well as Adam Chandler and interns extraordinaire Rachel Silberstein and Lauren Schwartzberg), a Pittsburgh rabbi is being sued by a family who hired him to perform their son’s bris in April and who allege that he botched the circumcision so badly their infant son landed in the hospital for two months.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed this week against Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg, a mohel certified by the American Board of Ritual Circumcision, the eight-day-old child was rushed to the hospital after the procedure for “emergency reconstructive surgery and leech therapy.” The New York Daily News reports that the newborn’s penis was allegedly severed and had to be reattached in an 8-hour surgery that required six blood transfusions. The boy was hospitalized for two months for further treatment.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.