The Brooklyn District Attorney is looking into the death of a baby who passed away after contracting herpes from an Orthodox Jewish ritual. The ritual involves removing blood from the circumcision wound with the rabbi’s mouth. The practice, known as metzizah b’peh, continues to be widespread in Orthodox communities in New York, despite previous cases of babies contracting or dying from herpes after the ritual.
In 2003 and 2004, three cases of Type I herpes were tied to rituals performed by Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer. He has since been prohibited from performing the ritual in New York City.
It is unknown who the rabbi was in the present case.