Pittsburgh Mohel Sued for Severing Baby's Penis During Circumcision

Rabbi continues to practice circumcision, while plastic surgeon says it is too early to determine whether severed penis will regain full functionality.

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A Pittsburgh-area rabbi who performed a bris is being sued for severing their newborn's penis, KDKA, a local television station reported Friday.

The parents in their lawsuit filed two weeks ago said Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg acted “with a total disregard” for their son, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Joe Losee who performed the surgery said it was too early to determine how successful the surgery is.

“Sometimes, it doesn’t always work,” Dr. Losee told KDKA. “When you’re reattaching a portion where you include nerves, sometimes the nerves don’t heal well beyond where you reattached it. So there are limitations for sure.”

Rabbi Rosenberg told KDKA that he continues to perform circumcisions. “I am trained in this,” adding that the incident in question was “tragic” and a “horrible situation.

The rabbi’s website reports that he has been performing ritual circumcisions for nearly 25 years, and that he was trained and certified by the late Rabbi Yosef Dovid Weisberg, the commissioner of mohelim in Israel and chief mohel of Jerusalem. Rosenberg is recognized as a certified mohel by the American Board of Ritual Circumcision, according to his website.

Equipment used for carrying out circumcision. Credit: Ilya Melnikov

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