Article Discussion: Circumcision Alone a Jew Does Not Make

HomeDiscussionsPregnancy, Birth Ceremonies and AdoptionArticle Discussion: Circumcision Alone a Jew Does Not Make

This topic has 5 voices, contains 9 replies, and was last updated by  Phx Mom 5 years ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
Author Posts
Author Posts
April 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm #769


Click here to read the article: Circumcision Alone a Jew Does Not Make

October 10, 2011 at 10:36 pm #6190


You fail to consider that being circumcised later in life is far from rare. I know somebody who was circumcised when he was in the Navy, after a series of infections made it a recommended procedure. I never asked him about his sex life, and the operation seemed to be a mere side note, as relevant as getting one’s tonsils out might have been.

The fact that those who were circumcised later in life are not jumping on any bandwagon shows that those with firsthand experience don’t seem to feel that it’s a something to champion.

Incidentally, both of his sons were circumcised. I have no idea whether either of them had their tonsils out, but I understand that there’s much more debate these days about whether it’s medically necessary.

March 11, 2012 at 4:05 am #6639


I don’t feel that a parent has the right to circumcise their son any more than they have the right to circumcise their daughter. Circumcision is a dangerous and invasive surgery that is life threatening. It’s an optional cosmetic surgery and I don’t feel I have the right to make decisions about what my son’s penis should look like. Just because I give birth to him doesn’t mean I own his body. Plus, I’ve never heard of a man who claimed to be Jewish be asked to pull his pants down and show off his circumcision before he was accepted. Your actions, beliefs and relationship with G-d make you Jewish. Not a lack of foreskin. Most men in the United States who are circumcised are Christian so circumcision is no longer a “mark of a Jew.” I’m glad that a rabbi recognizes this.

March 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm #6642


Plus, I’ve never heard of a man who claimed to be Jewish be asked to pull his pants down and show off his circumcision before he was accepted.

It happens. In my Hebrew school class there was a boy who wasn’t circumcized. The rabbi knew and wouldn’t let him have a bar mitzvah even though he was being raised a Jew, had always gone to Temple and Hebrew School etc.

March 13, 2012 at 2:14 am #6646


I’d be curious to know why the rabbi would be aware of what his pupil’s penis looks like.

March 13, 2012 at 2:20 am #6647


My classmate never made it a secret: we all knew he hadnt been circumcized. His parents didnt keep it a secret. The rabbi knew because the family talked about there choices.

March 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm #6651


So, he forbids the child from having a bar mitzvah because the child has too much penis?

March 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm #6652

Benjamin Maron

Quite an interesting conversation happening here.

Lynn, it seems the rabbi of Anon’s synagogue, like many rabbis, holds the belief that for a boy to be received as a member of the Jewish community, they must be circumcized. As the bar mitzvah marks the entry into Jewish adulthood, I suspect there were questions of how this boy would become a Jewish adult if he wasn’t yet Jewish.

Many synagogues have rules concerning the way in which a family member or visitor to the congregation who is not Jewish may participate in services, whether or not they can receive honors (such as an aliyah), etc. (For more examples, you might look at our booklets, Shabbat: What to Expect at a Synagogue and Bar/Bat Mitzvah for the Interfaith Family.) It sounds like this rabbi may have believed this child was not Jewish. I hope that the family was involved in any decisions about the bar mitzvah. Perhaps they were asked to bring their son to a mikveh and/or a mohel/mohelet for a bris and declined. Perhaps the rabbi had creative suggestions on how to include an ”affirmation ceremony” as part of the bar mitzvah, but they weren’t interested.

One of the complications that arises from changing or creating new rituals is that halakha (Jewish law) doesn’t always keep up. It’s possible that were this to happen again, it would be handled differently. But, depending on the Jewish denomination of the rabbi/synagogue, it might have a similar outcome today.

January 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm #9123

Phx Mom

The hysteria over circumcision has become unbelievable even though Jews and Moslems have had this rite performed on their sons for thousands of years.
This is one instance in which girls and boys are NOT created equal. In no way does the foreskin of a penis resemble the covering of the female clitoris.
Why do Jews circumcise? Because the Torah tells us that God commanded Abraham to circumcise himself and commanded eight-day-old males of successive generations to be circumcised to bring them into an eternal covenant with Him. (God made no such commandment of females.) So…either you believe that story or you think it’s a bunch of hooey. It’s that simple. I’m a liberal Reform Jew, and I never would argue with that reasoning. It’s a sign of my faith, and the faith that my husband and I passed down to our son.
Why inoculate a baby if he can’t agree to it, even though he may have a serious reaction? Where is the hysteria over piercing a baby’s ears? Parents make decisions as to their child’s upbringing all the time. There are small risks to circumcising, but there also are risks of infection with not circumcising.
My grandson’s bris was Friday. His mother his Catholic, his father Jewish, and his father wanted the bris. When it was over, my DIL said it was an experience she’d always cherish.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
Reply To: Article Discussion: Circumcision Alone a Jew Does Not Make
Your information:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>