Was the infant Jesus subject to metzitzah after circumcision?

The herpes virus has been around humans for millions of years. How significant has it been over the ages as a cause of infant mortality? I don’t know. If the infant Jesus was subject to metzitzah B-peh, he survived - as did the practice. In modern NYC, “[b]ased on cases reported to DOHMH during April 2006–December 2011, the risk for neonatal herpes caused by HSV-1 and untyped HSV following Jewish ritual circumcision with confirmed or probable direct orogenital suction in New York City was estimated at 1 in 4,098 or 3.4 times greater than the risk among male infants considered unlikely to have had direct orogenital suction.” Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Following Jewish Ritual Circumcisions that Included Direct Orogenital Suction — New York City, 2000–2011
It is likely that several of the cases were due to one mohel, who was banned from conducting the practice. (How will this be enforced?) Circumcision itself - whether done by religious ritual or in hospital has been a cause of death (by blood loss or sepsis) among infant boys - though I have not found statistics easy to find. (There are “studies” put out by anti-circumcision activists which are too hyped to be believable).

What’s disturbing about this (10 year-old) story - is not “cannibalism” or sexual child abuse or even anti-semitism (the mayoral candidates were questioned by the Jewish Press forum), it is that there are still so many people living superstitiously. Circumcision may have health benefits - where FGM has none - but why is it still practiced in America (by Jews and many more gentiles) at all? Has the routine practice of circumcision made the idea of trans-surgery on teenagers easier to accept? Sexual transitioning is another religious (irrational) ritual. Modern technology doesn’t replace religious ritualistic practice, it just makes it more efficient and hygienic. The abandonment of circumcision or trans-surgery would be a sign of actual “progress” in rational thinking. It is astonishing to witness how primitive religious/superstitious thinking, which has always coexisted with the scientific thinking that made it possible for mankind to develop technologically, is once again ascendant. Our professional classes and intellectuals are the new shamans.


Well…we made the decision to have our infant sons circumcised. We considered the pros and cons and came down on the side of pro-circumcision. We considered it a rational decision then and we still do.

And, no I do not think that circumcision acceptance has led in any manner to the incidences or acceptance of trans-surgery. Circumcision is not FGM nor trans-surgery. I guess I could ask my men if being circumcised makes them more accepting of trans-surgery, but they would probably look at me as if I were nuts for considering asking such a thing.

If I had thought to ask my uncles if they were glad that they were circumcised during WWI trench warfare that would have been interesting…but I was much too young to have thought of that and too modest to have considered it later, and it wasn’t much of an issue when they were still alive to have asked such a thing, anyway.

The only unfortunate cases of uncircumcised boys that our family knew of were my nephew, who had so many painful UTIs that when he was 7 he begged his parents to let him be circumcised…and a boyfriend of our daughter, who more than once got the skin flap caught in his pants zipper. Underpants seem to be a good idea.


Yes, it has been promoted as a way to prevent infection, and therefore accepted in general by society. My view on it has evolved.
I used to simply accept that premise as true, and in some cases I’m sure it is, as you’ve found from personally known cases. I don’t know much about it, but just on the basis of reason alone - the fact that the practice itself is nothing more or less than an ancient, superstitious ritual that had zero basis in any kind of rational medical purpose - leads me to conclude that it is pretty likely unnecessary, and that good hygiene would work better, without the risks - just like all the other physical problems that the elimination of germs by the practice of good hygiene has solved.