I have a very interesting question about metzitza in general. The Talmud brings many medical recommendations that we do not follow nowadays, and which are said to have dangers associated with not following them, such as walking on cut nails, etc. In the case of metzitza we are told that there is a danger according to R. Papa if metzitza is not performed. However, not only is the “danger” not described, but as far as I know there is no anecdotal descriptions in halacha or anywhere else of what happens to babies who do not have metzitza. And shouldn’t the same danger exist in any case of goyim having a circumcision? In any event, given that this is an unspecified “danger”, how did it get to be so important in history, especially when there are no anecdotal stories about what happens if some kind of metzitza is not performed.
Second, since Sephardim do not practice oral metzitza, how did it develop especially among Ashkenazim? Thank you.
The Talmud clearly states a baby requires metzitzah and without it he will be in danger. This does not require an anecdotal description. There are many straight forward directives in the Talmud, the source for all Jewish law, that are not accompanied by any anecdotal sayings. They are still completely binding.
As far as I understand, metzitzah bpeh is performed by Ashkenazim and Sefardim alike.
The danger of walking on cut nails is still pertinent, common practice is to be careful in this regard.