Ronnie Greenwald Defends Debbie Fox

By Yerachmiel Lopin (Frum Follies blog)
April 11, 2013

Earlier today I got an email from Ronnie Greenwald, a prominent orthodox askan. He wrote,

Dear Yerachmiel,

Once again, it appears to me that your biased against frum Jews and disagree with the MBP issue.

If you really read the study of Pann University you wouldn’t mock their conclusions since they’re rather a respected group of professionals. There may be other groups who disagree, but because you find it unnecessary doesn’t make the practice invalid. To bring up savage as any kind of proof is also ridiculous. Judaism is not based on what radio announcements, bloggers, or regular folks think. Much of it is based on tradition and those who follow should be respected.

It is true that Mrs. Fox from LA produced a program to teach young children about molestation. It’s done with amazing skill and a first of its kind in Yeshivah world. Thousands of yeshivah kids have watched program, including myself in a Brooklyn yeshivah. I would be careful before I attack a woman who has literally given a part of her life to educate our children about the terrible danger.

Sincerely,
Ronnie Greenwald

I replied,

1. You ignore the many Litvish poskim and the Chasam Sofer who reject MBP because of sakkonos nefoshos. If you believe there is a danger the practice is invalid. Period. Especially since MBP is not used for adult circumcisions, even for geirus, where validity of milah is essential. The so-called respected study is nothing but an incidental internal document with no peer review that says the rates of MBP communicated Herpes cannot be established. It does not assert that there is no relationship between MBP and herpes in infants. Please, if you want me to take you seriously respect factual knowledge and don’t invoke the bias card.

2. I suspect your main motive in writing me is the Debbie Fox stuff. Yeah, I acknowledge her education materials are pretty good. But the frum world cannot solve the molesting problem with education/prevention alone. Even in a much improved climate on this issue we will have molesters, though hopefully fewer of them and fewer victims. There is a danger in trusting someone whose educational message is good but does not deliver maximum detection and criminal justice processing of offenders.