Metzizah and the Rav Part II
In a post last week entitled Metzitzah and the Rav, I argued that Rabbi Meiselman, in insisting that "the mohel must suction the wound in a traditionally prescribed manner," was neglecting to mention the position of his alleged mentor, Rav Yosef B. Soloveitchik, who was against metzitzah b'peh. Various defendants of R. Meiselman claimed in response that R. Meiselman was not referring to metzitzah b'peh, but just to metzitzah by any form, including using a tube as was often done in Lithuania.
Now, if this is true, it would provide another example of R. Meiselman being exceedingly disingenuous. If a person means to state that metzitzah must be done whether by mouth or by tube, there are plenty of ways to say this clearly, such as by saying that "the mohel must suction the wound by whatever means." Saying "in a traditionally prescribed manner" clearly leads people to believe that he is referring to metzitzah b'peh. After all, if he is referring to using a tube, then what is the non-traditionally prescribed manner?!
But it would not only be an example of disingenuous writing. It would also still be conflicting with the position of his alleged rebbe.
In a post at the Seforim Blog, Dr. Marc Shapiro noted that Rav Schachter wrote a footnote in the second edition recording the view of one of the Rav's talmidim that the Rav was not opposed to metzitzah per se, just to metzitzah b'peh. Someone sent me the following comment:
I spoke to Rav Schachter after I read Marc Shapiro's post and he insisted that Rav Soloveitchik did not require metzitzah at all (he mentioned the Sdei Chemed to me when I asked him how Rav Soloveitchik could say such a thing). When I mentioned Marc Shapiro's post to him, he said one or two of the Rav's talmidim in Israel insisted that the Rav never said metzizah is unnecessary, so Rav Schachter added a footnote to this effect in the next edition of Nefesh Harav. However, Rav Schachter in his conversation with me was insistent that the Rav, indeed, did not require metzitzah at all.
Another person wrote as follows:
I am not into writing reactions (Israelis call them "talkbacks") on blogs, since I have not become accustomed to the 21st Century. But I want to give you a bit of information that is relevant to your discussion of Metzitza. I attended Rav Aharon Lichtenstein's shiurim at Gruss for a number of years, and I clearly remember what he said on the subject during what the guys called "a press conference." He said very clearly that the Rav was against any Metzitza at all, and he expressed this view explicitly at the brit of one of Rav Aharon's sons. To me such a view makes lots of sense, if one understands that it is required in the gemara only because it was then thought that the lack of Metzitza was dangerous.(כי לא עביד סכנה הוא (שבת קלג,ב
And, following this comment, another person wrote to me (unfortunately, he will not let me quote him by name):
I was at the same shiur (= "press conference") of Rav Aharon and he explicitly said that "the Rov" held that no metzitza should be done at all. At the brith of one of Rav Aharon's sons, the Rov was watching "like a hawk" lest the mohel do it.
So, we have the emphatic testimony of two of the Rav's leading talmidim, one of whom is also his son-in-law, that the Rav was against any form of metzitzah, whether by the traditionally prescribed manner of oral suction, or the non-traditional manner of using a tube. (And they have much less incentive to fabricate this position than those claiming that the Rav did insist on metzitzah.) Thus, if Rabbi Meiselman was referring to metzitzah via a tube, he is not only being disingenuous in his writing; he is still demonstrating that his approach to Torah and science is fundamentally at odds with his alleged rebbe.