≡ ▼
ABC Homeopathy Forum


The ABC Homeopathy Forum

Intact State of the Jewish Foreskin - American Jewish Families Are Keeping Their Sons Intact. - Orthodox, Israeli, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Humanistic Intactivists Also...

Rabbi Nathan Segal writes...
'I believe circumcision is a major mistake...The code of the Jewish law is called 'halacha' (the way). Within the Code, there is a provision that if a mother looses a son because of circumcision, she is NOT obligated to circumcise her next son. I extrapolate from this, the inter-connection of my human family, that enough deaths and maiming have occured because of circumcision. Therefore - circumcision is no longer a requisite! Just as we no longer practice the animal sacrifices in the traditional temple, so let us not sacrifice an important piece of our mammal in the temple of tradition. '
- Rabbi Natan Segal, 2007
Rabbi of Shabbos Shul, Marin County, California, U.S.A.
Ordination: 1977 Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Yeshiva B'nai Or Philadelphia, Pa.

French Jew Nelly Karsenty writes...
'Coming from a European background... where many Jews reject a brit milla as an archaic and barbaric ritual... This author grew up in France in a traditional Jewish family. Not a single male of her generation or her children's generation within her large family (or in her circle of Jewish friends) was ever circumcised.'
- Nelly Karsenty
Humanistic Judaism, 1988; 16(3): 14-20.

Intactivist Moyel Moshe Rothenberg of New York writes...
'Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come; it is time to stop circumcision whatever have been the reasons and/or distresses that have perpetuated it.'
- Moshe Rothenberg
* http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/second/rothenberg.html *

Jenny Goodman, PhD writes...
'...support can be found from many Jewish sources for the view that circumcision of infants is unethical and should therefore be abandoned... Now is the time to lay the knife aside and to move forward into the 21st century with a form of ritual that is truly welcoming and that is truly purely symbolic.'
- J. Goodman, MA, MBChB,
Jewish circumcision: an alternative perspective. BJU Int 1999; 83 Suppl 1:22-27.
* http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/goodman1999/ *

A Jewish mother writes...
This dynamic site is being created by, for, and about Jewish people. We won't always agree. But we're united by this principle: the genital cutting of infants and children is wrong and must stop, no matter their religion or gender.
- Rebecca Wald, J.D.
* http://www.beyondthebris.com *

Jewish Father and Founder of one of Israeli's largest Parent's Rights groups...
'There is no reason and I don't think I have the right, even as a parent, to cut a normal part of his body....Eventually I think religious people, too, will stop doing it.'
- Kasher
Co-founder of one of the biggest Jewish Intactivist groups in Israel.

Nobel Prize Laurete George Wald, M.D writes...
I should like to suggest to my fellow Jews that perhaps the time has come to redeem the foreskin itself, rather than sacrifice it. Surely some substitute might be found for this rite, ... that would be preferable to this assault upon and mutilation of a newborn infant...'
- Professor George Wald, M.D
Harvard University Professor, Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine

Jewish Doctor Jenny Goodman (UK) writes...
I am calm and comfortable in the knowledge that no one will ever take a knife to this baby's flesh in the name of religion... I am confident that my people have such an abundance of life-enhancing, life-affirming and mind-opening traditions, that our identity and sense of cultural self-heed will happily survive our outgrowing of circumcision, a cruel relic which has always felt to me like an aberration at the heart of my religion.'
- Dr. Jenny Goodman
Challenging Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective (UK)
* http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/fourth/goodman.html *

Doctor Mark D. Reiss, M.D. writes...
As a Jewish grandfather, I want to assure young couples about to bring a child into the world, that there are other members of the Jewish 'older' generation, including other Jewish physicians, and even some rabbis, who feel as I do. If your heart and instincts tell you to leave your son intact, listen!'
- Dr. Mark D. Reiss, M.D., executive vice-president of Doctors Opposing Circumcision, to Rabbi Nathan Segal's Congregation (Shabbos Shul, the Shul of Marin County) on Kol Nidre eve.

Birthing Instructor Laura Shanley writes...
'I was raised as a Jew and yet I never even considered circumcising my sons. Reason told me that God or nature doesn't make mistakes. Obviously there is a vast intelligence behind all of life, and just as our eyes have eyelids to protect them, foreskins must serve a similar purpose.
When all is said and done, circumcision is really a human rights issue. What right do any of us have to permanently remove a normal, healthy, sensitive part of another person's body without their consent? I have no problem with an adult male who chooses to be circumcised. I do have a problem with an adult who makes that decision for a child. I have known too many men, both Jewish and Christian, who resent the fact that they were circumcised.'
- Laura Shanley
A Jewish Woman Denounces Circumcision
* http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/miscarticles/circarticle.... *

Scholar and Professor Michael S. Kimmel of New York writes...
'as recently as the mid-nineteenth century, in Eastern Europe and Russia there was a widespread move to stop the practice... Led by women--what a surprise!--who thought the practice barbaric and patriarchal, the movement eventually even convinced Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, who refused to allow his own son to be circumcised.'
- Michael S. Kimmel, Professor, SUNY Stony Brook
TIKKUN, Volume 16, May/June, 2001.
* http://www.cirp.org/pages/cultural/kimmel1/ *

The Torah says...
“You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves” (Leviticus 19:28)

Jewish Doctor Paul M. Fleiss, MD, MPH. writes...
'Physicians have a duty to refuse to perform circumcision. They also must educate parents who, out of ignorance or misguidance, request this surgery for their sons. The healthcare professional's obligation is to protect the interests of the child. It is unethical in the extreme to force upon a child an amputation he almost certainly would never have chosen for himself.
- Paul M. Fleiss, MD, MPH.
Assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California Medical Center.

Dr. Jenny Goodman of England writes...
'I am confident that my people have such an abundance of life-enhancing, life-affirming and mind-opening traditions, that our identity and sense of cultural self-heed will happily survive our outgrowing of circumcision, a cruel relic which has always felt to me like an aberration at the heart of my religion.'
- Dr. Jenny Goodman
Challenging Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective
* http://www.cirp.org/pages/cultural/goodman.html *

Jewish Educator Miriam Pollack writes...
'So we use the word 'circumcision,' but this is a euphemism What we are really talking about for females as well as males is culturally and religiously sanctioned sexual mutilation and child abuse. ...lest we open ourselves to the immense grief that inevitably follows the awakening to the profound injury we have caused to our most beloved treasures: our beautiful, perfect babies.
This treatment of the newborn is not consistent with traditional Jewish values. Judaism places infinite value on life, particularly human life. The principal of pikuah nefesh is fundamental to Judaism; that is, for the sake of saving a life, even the Sabbath may be desecrated. Sh'mirat haguf, the protection of one's body, is a high biblical priority. Tattooing, cutting the flesh and amputation are all forbidden. Consciousness of animal suffering permeates both biblical and Talmudic thought as expressed by the concept of tsa-ar ba-alei hayim, or compassion for living things. In the fourth commandment, animals as well as humans are commanded to rest on the Sabbath and, according to the Talmud, Sabbath observance may be broken to ease the suffering of an animal. The laws of kashrut are specific and elaborate pertaining to permissible animal slaughter with the intention of reducing and regulating animal pain if we are to be a meat-eating people. The precept of ba-al tashhit also informs biblical and Rabbinic thought. We are not to destroy the fruit trees, even during a war. The notions of sh'mitah and yovel, the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, require that every seventh year, and again in the fiftieth year, the earth be allowed to rest from deliberate economic use. The message seems to be clear: we are stewards of this earth and it is our task to protect it and, more than that, l'havdeel bain kodesh v'chol, to make distinctions between the holy and the profane, so that we may consciously and continuously sanctify life....Opposing circumcision is men's work; but it is also most profoundly, women's work. Our babies know and we know: it begins with us. '
- Miriam Pollack from Jewish Women Speak Out, p. 171-185, Canopy Press 1995
* http://www.noharmm.org/pollack.htm *

'Sari Singerman, 37, and her husband, Moses Goldberg, 35, did not circumcise their son, Julian Zion. The couple said it's about time Jews against circumcision speak out -- even if it means stirring up controversy at the Petaluma Hebrew school where Goldberg is principal.'
- A Few Jews are Breaking with Tradition and Having Alternative Birth Rights Instead, By Lisa Fernandez, Mercury News, San Jose, California, Saturday, 6/12/2003

'Another American Jew who works against circumcision is Laurie Evans, the director of the New York Hudson Valley chapter of NOCIRC * http://www.nocirc.org *. “I went to a brit and couldn’t believe I was standing in a room of people who usually question so much, but didn’t think of the baby. It was one of the worst days of my life. I feel our religion is in our heart and soul, not in our genitals.”
When Evans’s children were born, she wanted to be more involved Jewishly, despite not being brought up to be practicing. She still maintains some of the Jewish customs, but her difficulty with circumcision has created a fissure between her and Judaism. “It’s hard for me to accept that we don’t accept tattooing and we like questioning, but this can’t be talked about. I see it like foot-binding in China

'Laurie Evans is the director of the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers * http://www.nocirc.org *. She said that as a Jewish woman, it was difficult to stand up to her family.
'Once I witnessed a bris (ritual Jewish circumcision), understood the function of the foreskin and the long, lasting harm of circumcision, I had to follow my conscience and leave my son intact,' Evans testified.
'My son is now 20, is grateful, as he understands just what he was spared,' Evans said. 'When I realized how many parents were uninformed about this surgery, I founded and became director of the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of NOCIRC.'
- WND, March 05, 2010

'...it would be anti-Semitic of us if we didn't defend Jewish babies along with other children. We respect what is beautiful in every religion or culture and speak out against what is brutal. All cultures and religions are capable of evolving.'
- Mary Conant, R.N. and Betty Katz Sperlich, R.N. (a Jewish mother), founding members of 'Nurses for the Rights of the Child' * http://www.nurses.cirp.org *, America's largest union of Nurses who refuse to participate in circumcisions.
* http://nurses.cirp.org/Interview_by_Professor_Sam.html *

'Interestingly, a large percentage of the active intactivists (those who believe that all human beings deserve their basic right to bodily integrity) are Jewish men and women. Jewish physician, Dr. Fleiss, and historian, Dr. Hodges, wrote the excellent book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision and Dr. Ronald Goldman (also a Jewish man) authored both Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective and Circumcision, The Hidden Trauma : How an American Cultural Practice Affects Infants and Ultimately Us All.'
* http://www.drmomma.org/2009/06/circumcision-jewish-fathers-m.... *

'The more I talk to Jews, the more I learn how divisive this is within the Jewish community. The Jewish community is as diverse as any. I get emails from Jews, even Orthodox Jews, who are against circumcision. And I have gotten some support from Muslim men.” - Lloyd Schofield ( http://www.sfmgmbill.org )

'There is no reason for tying [genital cutting] to a humanistic Jewish birth celebration. Despite its historic importance, it is simply inappropriate in the same way that female segregation is inappropriate.'
– Rabbi Sherwin Wine

'BUT CHOOSING TO LEAVE A SON INTACT IS NOT JUST a choice being made by American Jews. Increasingly, Israeli Jews are making this choice. Kahal * http://www.kahal.org * was established in June 2000 by parents in the Tel Aviv area who decided not to circumcise their sons. The community is not a formal organization and includes only parents with intact sons.
Raquel Lazar-Paley is a parent who chose not to circumcise her son and she says she has several friends in the Haifa area who made the same decision. Goldin says the fact that there are an increasing number of parents in Israel who decide not to circumcise their sons is just another indication of the growing rift there between the religious and secular.'

WND, MARCH 05, 2010
'(Georgeann Chapin, R.N.) said there already is a federal law outlawing female circumcision, and she believes boys should have the same protection. She also doesn't believe there should be any exceptions for religious belief.
'All babies should be protected and we believe that people's faith is in their heart. There are many Jews who are devout with their religion, but there are lots of religious practices that people leave as they become more aware really of the reason for it,' Chapin said.
'Human sacrifice is in the Bible, and we don't do that. Many people practice religion and their customs selectively,' she said.
'Religious practices change over time, so Intact America is primarily focused on medical circumcision but no, we don't believe there should be an exception for religious circumcision,' Chapin said.' - WND, March 05, 2010

'[Jewish] Former KGO radio host Dr. Dean Edell has condemned it, appearing in a video produced by NOCIRC ( http://www.nocirc.org ), a national anti-circumcision group... To Edell, “ludicrous” is cutting off a sensitive part of a baby boy’s anatomy on the chance it might benefit him later in life.
Trained as an ophthalmologist, Edell has been a prominent medical reporter, with the syndicated radio segment “Medical Minutes,” his longtime KGO and syndicated show and countless appearances on local TV news. The affable Sonoma doctor said he understands Jewish resistance to any infringement on circumcision.
But to him, that doesn’t make it OK.
“I think it’s an unnecessary operation,” he said. “If a law like this were to pass, it wouldn’t upset me much. I can’t imagine it being enforced heavily, but it does make a statement. I don’t like government intruding in our lives, but I think the operation has proven not to have medical support.”
He’s right, in that circumcision rates among the general public have slipped — according to one survey, by health care data analysis company SDI Health, the number dropped from 56 percent of newborn boys in 2006 to 32.5 in 2009. The numbers are even lower in some places, such as the Bay Area.
“Infant girls have many times more [urinary tract infections]. You don’t alter a child’s genitals. How many preventive procedures do you do? You don’t do 100 surgical operations to prevent a single case that probably could be prevented if we had effective hospitals and antibiotics.”
- San Francisco Sentinal, 6 May 2011

In Israel, opposition to circumcision has happened in just two decades, and now these “rebels” number in the tens of thousands, according to Ronit Tamir, founder of Kahal ( http://www.kahal.org ), a support group for parents who choose not to circumcise their children.
- Jewish World, 3/11/10.

* 'It has even been suggested that early Judaism forbad circumcision!' *
According to modern scholars, circumcision is not even mentioned in the either the earliest, 'J', version of Bereshth ('Genesis') nor the next three rewrites by other authors. Most importantly, the story of Abram is there in its entirety, except the part about the Covenant being 'sealed' with circumcision. The parallel Covenant story of 'a smoking kiln and its blazing torch' passing between the halves of animals and birds sacrificed by Abram is in J. Many biblical scholars agree on this point, and it is in accord with the mitzvot against desecrating the body.... It has even been suggested that early Judaism forbad circumcision!'
- The Case for Bris without Milah.

* A Jewish Nurse Urges Us to Keep Our Sons Intact *
Betty Katz-Sperlich is a Jewish woman living in New Mexico, USA. A registered nurse, she is co-founder of Nurses for the Rights of the Child ( http://www.Nurses.cirp.org ). She refused to circumcise her son, now aged 13.
'I've been called anti-Semitic by non-Jewish people. But as a Jew, how could I not speak up against Jewish circumcision? I would be letting Jewish babies down.'
Jenny Goodman ( http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/goodman1999/ ), from north London, also refused to circumcise her son. She is a doctor and a psychotherapist as well as a Jewish feminist. 'I know at least a dozen non-circumcised boys whose parents are identified as Jews,' she says. She adamantly opposes circumcision, claiming that it is physically and psychologically damaging to the child and violates human rights: 'It also violates the most important of medical ethics, above all do no harm.'
Opposition to male circumcision in the UK had its first big breakthrough 18 months ago with the controversial Channel 4 documentary It's a Boy!, by Jewish director Victor Schonfeld. It slammed the practice of Jewish circumcision as unnecessary and barbaric, with potentially horrific consequences. Mr. Schonfeld claims that public consensus against it in the UK is growing.
- Nursing Times, p. 12-13, February 19, 1997

* The movement to ban circumcision includes many Jews. *
AS AN INCREASING NUMBER OF AMERICANS - including a sizable number of American Jews - question the act of male circumcision ( http://www.beyondthebris.com ) , a group of San Francisco activists are advocating to ban circumcision, or what they call male genital mutilation ( http://www.mgmbill.org/hearing.htm )... Many of the leading activists against circumcision around the country are Jewish ( http://www.beyondthebris.com ).
- Jerusalem Post, Challenging the Circumcision Myth, 04/10/2011

* Jews in the Europe have kept their sons Intact for Generations *
'Coming from a European background... where many Jews reject a brit milla as an archaic and barbaric ritual... This author grew up in France in a traditional Jewish family. Not a single male of her generation or her children's generation within her large family (or in her circle of Jewish friends) was ever circumcised.'
- Nelly Karsenty, Humanistic Judaism.

* Comments to a Jewish mother in the USA who is keeping her Jewish son intact. *

* “As the mother of two intact Jewish boys who also blazed a trail in their family, I applaud you for that…” *

* “My daughter and husband listened to the new evidence and their boys are intact.” *

* “…As a Jewish mother who also did not circumcise her son, I am thrilled for you and your precious angel, that he, indeed, your whole family, remains intact, un-traumatized and whole.” *

* “I am so happy about your decision to keep your boy intact. You guys have guts (and smarts too, obviously).” *

* The fact that already other baby boys are being spared the scalpel because of your stance is so inspiring. Each time someone finds the courage to think for themselves, it creates a ripple of strength for others to follow. *

* Kudos to you for throwing off the shackles of tradition and allowing your son(s) his(their) birthright(s) to a whole body. *

* A dear friend of mine was wise enough to leave his two sons intact and, like you, has a right to be proud of his decision for following in the Jewish tradition of thought, the golden rule, and questioning dogma. *

Israel's Protect the Child Organization. (in Hebrew)
Read > http://www.gonen.us

Adament Intactivists in Israel (in Hebrew)
The Value of the Foreskin in it's Intact State
Read > http://www.gonen.us

The Case for Bris Without Milah.
Read > http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish.html

Quotes from Jewish Parents, Rabbis, Doctors, Nurses and Israelis about abolishing circumcision.
Read > http://abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/273040/

'It's a mitzvah to fight to end circumcision!'
- Samuel Richmond, an American Intactivist Jew. http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish.html

Adament Opposition to Circumcision in Israel (in Hebrew)
The Jewish Society to Abolish Genital Mutilation
Read > http://www.britmila.org.il

Intact Israeli Parents' Rights Group (in Hebrew)
Jewish Intactivist Parents in Israel
Read > http://www.kahal.org

YouTube: Dean Edell, M.D., Jewish Intactivist

YouTube: Richard Lieberman, M.D., Jewish Intactivist

The Case for Bris without Milah.
Read > http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish.html

A Jewish Community Intactivst Forum
Jewish Parents Call to Abolish Circumcision Worldwide
Read > http://www.beyondthebris.com/

Miriam Pollack, Jewish Educator (U.K.)
Read > http://www.noharmm.org/pollack.htm

Ending Circumcision In The Jewish Community By Moshe Rothenberg
Read > http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/second/rothenberg.html

Quotes from Jewish Parents, Rabbis, Doctors, Nurses and Israelis about abolishing circumcision.
Read > http://abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/273040/

* Moral Intactivism in Israel / Intactivism and the Jewish State *
'Yes to a party, but no to a brit....the decision to give it a pass is becoming increasingly trendy in Israel... And even I, a mitzvah observing person, don't have a problem with the ever-rising number of uncircumcised Israelis.'
- Ynet Jewish World, 2008

* A Jewish Mom Calls to Make Circumcision Against the Law *
I am a Jewish mother against circumcision and in support of passing Bill 1777 ( http://mgmbill.org/hearing.htm ). For years I was a certified childbirth educator and now a journalist and filmmaker. I continue to educate people that childbirth is a natural event rather than one filled with unnecessary drugs and other medical intervention, and circumcision is an unnatural event. These are two clear-cut examples of interfering with nature.
'The foreskin is a uniquely specialized, sensitive, functional organ of touch. No other part of the body serves this main purpose. '
My lack of education left my sons unprotected. They suffered pain and agony at that could have been prevented and it has affected them for the rest of their lives. Bill 17777 would have protected my sons from my lack of education about circumcision.
- Kathryn Mora at The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Hearing Room A2, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2, 2010

'Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come; it is time to stop circumcision whatever have been the reasons and/or distresses that have perpetuated it.' - Moshe Rothenberg, http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/second/rothenberg.html
Moshe Rothenberg received his MSW in Social Group Work at Yeshiva University - Wurzweiler School of Social Work (1973) and did post-graduate work in group and family therapy at Albert Einstein School of Medicine. Mr. Rothenberg initiated and coordinated two parent groups providing advocacy and counseling services for the Miskon-Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services in New York. He is an educator on the subject of Brit B'lee Milah both within and outside of the Jewish community in which he lives.

“Your religious right ends with the rights of someone else’s body, [Nothing] gives you the right to harm someone else’s body in the name of religion.” - Travis Wisdom

Israel's Protect the Child Organization. (in Hebrew)
International Jewish Groups Call to Abolish Circumcision
Read > http://www.gonen.us

Intact State of the Jewish Foreskin - Comments to a Jewish mother in America who is keeping her son intact.
Read > http://consciouswoman.org/2009/01/07/a-father-and-son-dialog....

Humanistic and Reform Intactivism
Read > http://abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/273040/

Intact State of the Foreskin. (Secular)
Read > http://www.wholebabyrevolution.com/

The Whole Network.
Intact State of the Foreskin. (Secular)
kit Read > http://www.thewholenetwork.org
YouTube: Dean Edell, M.D., Jewish Intactivist

YouTube: Richard Lieberman, M.D., Jewish Intactivist

The Founding Seeds of an Muslim Intactivst Movement (Islam).
Read > http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/aldeeb1/

Intact America. (Secular)
Read > http://www.intactamerica.com

Real Laws for Male Protection. (Secular)
Read > http://mgmbill.org/hearing.htm


'Growing numbers of American Jews are now leaving their sons intact'

'...while maintaining his bodily integrity and his human rights.'

'we omitted the word 'circumcision' and emphasized 'commitment'...'

'We shall do the child no harm.'

'I never even considered circumcising my sons.'

'Body-piercing, tattooing and amputation are all forbidden'

'the brit b'lee milah, a covenant without circumcision....'

'a form of ritual that is truly welcoming and that is truly purely symbolic.'


> http://www.britmila.org.il <
> Israeli Association Against Genital Mutilation (Israel, in Hebrew) <

> http://www.kahal.org <
> Kahal / Uncircumcised Israeli Parents' Rights Group (Israel, in Hebrew) <


> Jews Opposing Circumcision (Israel, USA) <
> http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org <

> By Moshe Rothenberg, MSW. Ending Circumcision In The Jewish Community (UK, Israel, USA) <
> http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/second/rothenberg.html <

> *Brit B'lee Milah & Bris Shalom: Alternative Non-Circumcision Rituals (Israel, UK) <
> http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html <

> One Rabbi Speaks Out Against Circumcision, 2007 (Israel, CA) <
> http://www.rabbinathan.com/writings/circum.shtml <

> http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/fleiss.html <
> Paul M. Fleiss, MD., The Case Against Circumcision (UK) <

> Jewish Roots of Anti-Circumcision Arguments by Lisa Braver Moss <
> http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/second/moss.html <

> Jewish Women Speak Out: Miriam Pollack (UK) <
> http://www.noharmm.org/pollack.htm <

'Some families that have opted not to have their sons circumcised are resorting to an alternative ceremony called Brit Shalom -- meaning covenant of peace. This ritual is a baby-naming ceremony done without removing the infant's foreskin, explained Rabbi Adam Chalom of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in Chicago.' - Religion News Service - June, 2007

Published in the Jerusalem Post, 2002.
By Hilary Leila Kreiger.
Kasher says, 'I don't see any reason why I should cut my son's genitals. There is no reason and I don't think I have the right, even as a parent, to cut a normal part of his body just because other people do it.'

He foresees a time when the practice will be relegated to history books. 'Eventually I think religious people, too, will stop doing it.'

The issue, according to opponents of circumcision, includes the moral ramifications of cutting one's child and the psychological impacts stemming from the trauma. They claim that the level of discomfort experienced by the child increases his later response to pain and hurts the bond between the baby and his mother. They also maintain that circumcision diminishes sexual pleasure and that there is no medical reason to remove the foreskin.

Ben-Yami counters that 'Jewish identity can survive without circumcision, in fact, even better without it because more and more non-religious Jews have an aversion [to the religion] because of some of the things it contains, like circumcision. Judaism has enough content in it to survive without circumcision.'

'It's something that came into Judaism from other religions and other tribal [customs] and it will pass from Judaism [too],' Udi says.

'It's going to vanish by itself, from the people,' he says.

A group of 35 American Jews that claims members from secular to Orthodox tries to find ways of reconciling Judaism to a circumcision-free life. The organization, Jews Against Circumcision
( http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org ), was started, as founder Gillian Flato of California puts it, because information against the practice 'must come from within.'

Ynet Jewish World, 2008
Yes to a party, but no to a brit....the decision to give it a pass is becoming increasingly trendy in Israel.

'I've managed to stand up to the religious, overbearing establishment,' is an old, familiar motto. Only this time, instead of getting married in Cyprus or holding a non-religious funeral at a kibbutz, we've decided to keep the boy in one piece, without performing 'barbaric' incisions in his body. What's wrong with that? We have here caring, well-informed parents who are unwilling to swallow every nonsensical argument that an over-zealous circumciser tries to shove down their throat at the neonatal ward.

And even I, a mitzvah observing person, don't have a problem with the ever-rising number of uncircumcised Israelis.
- Tali Farkash. It just doesn't cut it. YNET Jewish World, Friday, December, 2008.

'In the Jewish state live today tens, maybe hundreds of parents who decided, for ideological reasons, to spare their sons from the Brit Milah and leave them whole the way they were born. In addition, there are quite a few adult men who never underwent a circumcision, not to mention the thousands of new immigrants who were not circumcised.
This phenomenon is getting public attention, perhaps for the first time, after the establishment of the Association Against Genital Mutilation ( http://www.britmila.org.il ). The organization was founded by human rights activists who see the Brit Milah as a barbarous and primitive act that must be banished forever—and quickly.
Movements against circumcision have appeared recently in the US and in Europe, claiming that it must be banned not only because it is barbaric, but also because it is harmful to health. One study found that the pain treshold of baby boys who underwent circumcision was lower than that of boys who were not circumcised. “Many more boys die from circumcision than from genital infections,” claims one of the organization’s founders, Rafi Rozen from Eilat.
The organization counts in its midtst tens of activists, among them parents who chose not to circumcise their sons. The members meet every other week and exchange ideas and opinions. They plan to be more active in the future, going to centers for natural birth to try to convince parents not to circumcise their sons.
Jonathan and Limor Enosh from Tel Aviv have been convinced already. They gave birth three months ago to their son Tzof and decided to spare him from Brit Milah. “For a long time my wife and I were opposed to circumcision, thinking it was a cruel and painful act,” says Jonathan.
“I told our families that whoever believes that the Brit makes a child Jewish is wrong,” tells a woman from Jerusalem whose two sons, ages 7 and 14, were not circumcised. “There is no need to cut off anything to be Jewish. I decided not to take part in a deed that could lead to long-term mental trauma and physical harm, as well as reducing their pleasure in bed.
- Itamar Eichner, Yediot (Israel) - May, 1997

'I am a 72 year old retired physician, a Jew who is an active member of a Conservative synagogue, and a grandfather. Growing numbers of American Jews are now leaving their sons intact as they view circumcision as a part of Jewish law that they can no longer accept. Alternative brit b’li milah ( http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish.html ) or brit shalom ( http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html ) ceremonies (ritual naming ceremony without cutting) are being performed by some rabbis. Increasing numbers of intact boys are going to religious school, having bar mitzvahs, and taking their place as young adults in the Jewish community.
As a Jewish grandfather, I want to assure young couples about to bring a child into the world, that there are other members of the Jewish “older” generation, including other Jewish physicians, and even some rabbis, who feel as I do. If your heart and instincts tell you to leave your son intact, listen!'
- Dr. Mark D. Reiss, M.D.

'an article in the January 1999 British Journal of Urology reported that women who had slept with both circumcised and intact men preferred sex with men who were not circumcised. The article reported that the women achieved orgasm faster, and were more likely to achieve multiple orgasms.'
- Michael S. Kimmel, Tikkun, 2001.
Michael Kimmel is the author of Manhood in America and, most recently, The Gendered Society (Oxford University Press). He teaches sociology at SUNY Stony Brook.

'Circumcision harms the developing brain: Recent studies published in leading medical journals have reported that circumcision has long-lasting detrimental effects on the developing brain, adversely altering the brain's perception centers. Circumcised boys have a lower pain threshold than girls or intact boys. Developmental neuropsychologist Dr. James Prescott suggests that circumcision can cause deeper and more disturbing levels of neurological damage, as well.'
- Paul M. Fleiss, MD., MPH., Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Southern California Medical Center.

Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), March 16, 2000.

'Male circumcision is also mutilation'
Professor Yngve Hofvander

Circumcision of boys is a cruel and very painful operation. It contravenes the UN Convention on the Rights of Children and should be called mutilation, just like female circumcision is now. So writes Professor Yngve Hofvander, former head of International Child Health at Uppsala University, regarding a proposed law tabled in parliament. The statement supporting the law is seriously conflicted. It would be logical even to ban male circumcision, he says. But first of all, the issue should be brought out into the light so that religious and cultural attitudes can undergo change. At the time of writing this, a tragic case has opened at the Stockholm City Court. A small Moslem boy was circumcised by a doctor in private practice, he screamed for several hours thereafter and was given a pain-relieving injection that was obviously of an incorrect dosage; shortly thereafter he ceased breathing and his life could not be saved.

This is a medically meaningless operation - thus no complications can be considered acceptable. And yet a child becomes a victim in a ritual that is characterised by the demands of adults.

In the current debate about this operation, one could easily get the impression that it is a particularly Jewish custom. Representatives of the Jewish faith have been most articulate - but Jewish circumcision is clearly in a minority.

The situation is as follows. There are four different groups that practice circumcision. The Jewish: going back to Abraham 3 000 year ago (but already in existence 2000 years before that). Done on the eighth day, involves around 100 boys in Sweden. The Moslem: going back around 1300 years to the time of the Prophet Mohammed. There is no mention in the Koran and therefore no commandment. Done in the period 2-14 years of age and involves around 3000 boys in Sweden. The traditional African: done at the onset of puberty as an initiation rite for entry to the adult world. This involves several million boys annually. See Mandela's memoirs and his anxiety due to the operation.

The Anglo-Saxon, mostly occurring in the USA: Developed in the middle of the 19th Century as a prophylaxis and treatment for masturbation, but thereafter a hundred other bizarre indications were added. Done to neonates and involves more than a million boys.

It is thus important to see the phenomenon of circumcision in this entire, global context, and not as specifically Jewish, and neither in a provincial Swedish perspective.

CIRCUMCISION IS a cruel and very painful operation. Hemostatic forceps are tightly closely in the narrow end of the immature foreskin, a brunt probe is forced between the foreskin and the glans and pushed around to break the connecting tissues that nature has put in place in babies and young children. One or two haemostats are driven as far as possible in the fold between the glans and foreskin, closed fast and the foreskin pulled out. Forceps are fastened across it and at that point it is cut off - and thus one removes the foreskin, which in the developed state amounts to 10cm2 and contains hundreds of nerve endings for erogenous purposes, and similar quantities of sebaceous glands (sic) that secrete lubricant for similar purposes.

There is really no doubt about whether this process should be denoted as mutilation - for indeed removes healthy tissue is removed from a healthy body part. There has been a mindless fear about calling things by their correct name, due to the risk of offending religious groups. It took some years before one was able to call female circumcision, mutilation - but now this term is officially sanctioned.

Nor is there really any doubt about whether this involves an abuse against a child who has not asked for the operation and who cannot defend himself, beyond trying break free and screaming loudly. One can think of the equivalent situation of an adult man being held down by forceful hands and mutilated without anaesthesia. For babies have a fully developed sense of pain - and memory. The hormonal and biochemical changes that arise in the body correspond to those found during torture.

SINCE THERE ARE currently considerable millions of boys circumcised annually - can all their parents really be at fault for having it done?

I want to answer 'unquestioningly yes' to this question. Many millions of girls are sexually mutilated annually - are their parents right or wrong? Many millions of Chinese girls had their feet bound so that they did not develop - were their parents right or wrong? It was the custom to beat children (with support from authorities, including pronouncements in the Bible!) - were their parents right or wrong? Up until 200 years ago it was the religious custom at Jewish circumcisions to suck blood from the circumcised penis (thereafter forbidden when it was shown to spread syphilis and tuberculosis) - was it right or wrong of the parents to accept this practice?

The above-mentioned often-bizarre traditions and practices have had social, cultural and sometimes legal acceptance, within their respective cultural worlds. Afterwards, in accord with human justice principles, they were no longer tolerated and were forbidden by law or forced out of practice.

So certainly millions of people can be wrong. There are many other examples of wrongful practices that have been inflicted particularly on children, or others without power or whose voices were not heard.

So I say that the time has now come to seriously question male circumcision and mutilation. To this end we have a remarkable tool in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which can indeed be applied in many contexts, including the planning of housing and road crossings. Article 19 of the convention states that all legal measures should be taken to protect children against all forms of physical and mental violence, injury or abuse. And (as stated in Article 24) countries that sign the convention are required to take all effective and appropriate measures to eliminate traditional customs that are harmful to the health of children. Could this be stated more clearly? Moreover, children have priority when interpreting the convention - whenever there is any difference between the rights of adults and children.

But to change immigrant traditions, especially those with religious overtones, is extremely difficult. Not least in the case where a much longed-for party is an integral part of the ceremony. What makes it even harder to work against circumcision is that it is a very lucrative business for those doctors who devote themselves to this industry as 'village barbers'. This conclusion was very evident at an international symposium on the subject in Sydney recently. One cannot count on any supportive lead from within these circles.

There are however some bright aspects. In many places around the world people have begun to practice circumcision without surgery, buy while carrying out the whole ceremony in all other respects. This is to oblige the many parents who cannot accept that their child should be mutilated, but who still want to be connected with their religious traditions. It is remarkable however that this has not been introduced in Sweden; no religious representative says it would be acceptable: 'it would like vaccinating with water'. Is there no innovator who can contemplate breaking the ice?

The proposed bill is now before the parliament and will be reviewed by The Standing Committee on Social and Health Matters and in the parliamentary chamber. Of course from a medical point of view it would be only logical to ban the phenomenon, as was done with female circumcision. It would however be unrealistic to demand this, not primarily due to fear that the operation would then be transferred overseas, but rather to allow time for a necessary change in attitude. Bringing the phenomenon out into the light where it has never been before, and freely debating it, would assist this process.

At the above-mentioned international circumcision congress in Sydney in December of 2000, there were appeals from many parties that Sweden must continue to stand out as a good model of child health care, and not further sanction the circumcision of boys with an law officially accepting circumcision as such (even with safe surgical measures). The law would go against all the good forces around the world working for enlightenment and to end circumcision.

As a minimum, the legislation must firmly state that circumcision is contrary to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that the law - if it is to be - should have a time limit while awaiting a very welcome change in attitudes.
- Professor Yngve Hofvander. Male circumcision is also mutilation.
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), 16 March 2001.

'Within the Jewish community, there is growing disagreement about circumcision. Some feel that circumcision contradicts other aspects of the Jewish religion. The Torah forbids the torture or causing of pain to any living creature, especially physically assaulting or harming another person (Exodus 21:18-27). Jewish law specifically forbids body modification, including the cutting or marking of the human body (Lev. 19:28). Jews are also required to help those who are helpless, such as newborn infants, and are exempt from performing religious duties that would cause harm to others.'
- Ryan McAllister, Ph.D.


'Removal of a healthy body part without medical indication has been viewed as being a violation of the Hippocratic oath, falling under the United Nations' definition of genital mutilation. As such circumcision is seen as being against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of the Child.' - Canadian Medical Assocaition Journal, Volume 152, Number 11, Pages 1873-1876,
June 1, 1995.

Students For Genital Integrity (USA & International) Arnica Calendula

Circumcision as a Risk Factor for Urethritis

Value of the Intact State of the Foreskin

Immunological functions of the human prepuce
[message edited by Homeopathy International 1 on Tue, 10 May 2011 18:24:13 BST]
  Homeopathy International 1 on 2010-09-04
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.

Post ReplyTo post a reply, you must first LOG ON or Register


Information given in this forum is given by way of exchange of views only, and those views are not necessarily those of ABC Homeopathy. It is not to be treated as a medical diagnosis or prescription, and should not be used as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified homeopath or physician. It is possible that advice given here may be dangerous, and you should make your own checks that it is safe. If symptoms persist, seek professional medical attention. Bear in mind that even minor symptoms can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and a timely diagnosis by your doctor could save your life.