Helping To Clear A Good Man’s Name

After seeing the Mohel With Herpes strories in the press, I knew I had to act. JMERICA.COM editors I contacted recently published an article to help spread good news. The Rabbi in question is innocent of wrongdoing.

Mohel Seeks To Clear His Name And Profession

The mohel accused of infecting three male infants with herpes after performing the obscure circumcision ritual of metzizah b’peh is NOT a carrier of the herpes virus, according to the esteemed Rabbi Yonah Bookstein of, and therefore could not have passed on the disease to the babies.

Rabbi Yonah writes in an e-mail received yesterday that his colleague, Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer, was tested while under investigation by the DA and given the clean bill of health, but as of yet no media outlets (save our humble operation) have picked up the story. According to Rabbi Yonah, the mohel’s professional and personal life ha

s been nearly destroyed by the claims that he carries the virus responsible for killing one of the infants and will obviously have a difficult time setting the record straight after such sensational attention.

Says Rabbi Yonah: I have known Rabbi Fischer since 1993. He is one of the most careful, and hygienic mohelim I have ever seen in my life. I trusted him with my son’s bris two years ago.

He also points out that the risk of complications from hospital circumcisions is much higher that those performed by a mohel. He encourages anyone to contact him with questions regarding Rabbi Fischer’s case.
How the babies contracted herpes remains a mystery.

Is Piercing Permitted?

I received the following message in my myspace account:

Date: Mar 1, 2005 10:48 PM
From: _________::”Are piercings okay? ”

Following is my reply:

Dear ________,

Thank you so much for writing.
The Jewish tradition has a very cool perspective on piercing, in my opinion. The Talmud discusses this very issue, and it was written almost 2000 years ago.

Piercing that women do customarily for beauty, i.e. ear and nose piercing, is totally permitted.

The only question comes from other piercing, whose aim is not necessarily for beauty’s sake.

In general, we try to protect/honor our bodies by eating right and taking care of ourselves. Piercing has potential dangers from infection and other complications. In addition, piercing has certain connections to practices and religious beliefs that are far from Jewish values. So Jewish tradition does not permit these, i.e. tongue, belly button etc…

If a person already has piercing, they should not feel that somehow they are less of a Jew, or a “bad” Jew. The reason why we do or do not engage in certain activities, is to achieve a heightened spiritual level, to pursue goodness and live meaningful lives. A pierce in no way excludes someone from the Jewish community.

I hope this helps you and I look forward to any other questions that you may have.

Best wishes and shalom

Rabbi Yonah

Making Life Better…For Terrorists

And in other news:

The Ukrainian ministry of Defense indicated that two shoulder fired missiles had been stolen from a military storehouse in the west of the country.

Hmm. I wonder who in the world would need a shoulder fired missile. I’m sure the good guys stole them.

Jewlicious @ The Beach

Tastes Good To Be Jewish™
April 8-10, 2005—Long Beach, CA

Join an international student and young professional gathering, featuring scholars, hipsters, gurus, radicals, designers, conservatives, liberals, musicians, activists and pranksters under one roof. We’re bringing together some of the most talented and creative young Jews in the country to have fun, collaborate, and innovate.

Enjoy jewlicious food, music and entertainment. Talk about love, the universe and everything. Learn the art of blogging, Jewish henna, t-shirt fashion, artful and spiritual journeying. Experience Hip-hop Jewish Latin rhythms, Jewish Henna Tattoos, Spiritual Journeying, Kiddush Wine Tasting, T-shirt fashion, PJ Party, Fondue and more.

Are you facebooking, blogging, or myspacing? Are you into pop-culture, Israel, or Judaism? Do you body-art, play music, or write? Please join us as we create a weekend of wonderful happenings.

Jewlicious is for trend-setters, jet-setters, and spirit-seekers; for Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and Mizrachim; for atheists, agnostics, and believers; for nerds, jocks, and hipsters. Bring your passion and your instruments, your laptops and your bathing suits, your open mind, and sleeping bag. Because Jewlicious@ The Beach is a gathering of the tribe, an innovative conference, an inspiring Shabbat experience, a happening event, unlike any other weekend conference in Jewish history.

Jewlicious @ The Beach will be net-cast in streaming audio and blogged in real time, allowing participation worldwide. The event-site will be WIFI enabled, so laptops will interact, comment, surf, and blog.

Lodging and meals are available on site and in nearby hotels.
Student rate $36 meals & lodging included.

Info Line: (866)-JEWLISH or (562)-985-7068
Visit:, Registration begins now!