Article Discussion: Why I Am Not Having My Sons Circumcised

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This topic has 3 voices, contains 2 replies, and was last updated by  Debbie B. 7 years ago.

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April 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm #810


Click here to read the article: Why I Am Not Having My Sons Circumcised

July 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm #4880


I am fairly certain that if you read the relevant passages (Genesis 12-17) again you will find that ‘Jewishness’ comes from the father not the mother.

This is one of the many cases where the Talmud contradicts the Bible.

July 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm #4881

Debbie B.

To the above poster:

That’s why Kairite Judaism follows patrilineal descent. But that is a very small obscure sect. Most people who identify as Jews come from rabbinical Judaism. Even Reform Jews believe in rabbinical definitions of Halakha, even if they choose not to follow all of those traditions.

If the rabbis of the Talmud said that the progeny of the patriarchs were not Jewish, that would be a “contradiction”. Matrilineal descent is the definition for people after the time of the Bible. There are also some who try to argue that the various women in the Bible who are ancestors of important Jewish figures but are from non-Jewish families did in fact undergo proper conversion, but I find that kind of reasoning unconvincing. Regardless, if you view the Talmud as “contradicting” the Bible, then you don’t really believe in its validity anyway, so it’s irrelevant. Perhaps you are trying to reassure the author of the article, but your statements would not help to make her or her son accepted as Jewish by a more traditional Jewish community. Besides, by patrilineal descent, the author’s son would not be a Jew by birth either since his father is not Jewish.

If you wish to consider patrilineal Jews as Jews by birth, you are better off simply affiliating with Reform Judaism rather than trying to discredit the more traditional streams of Judaism. If the author of the article is a member of a synagogue, I assume that it is a Reform synagogue that accepts the conversion of her son since without circumcision he cannot be considered Jewish by traditional streams of Judaism. It works better to find a community that accepts you or to conform to the standards of a community you wish to join rather than to tell a community that their standards are wrong.

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