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Circing just the tip of the foreskin - Page 3

post #41 of 69
Thread Starter 
Yey! Thank you Zaftigmama and others!!! That info. was what I was looking for, not a religious debate about circing, for goodness sakes. :
Much appreciated!
post #42 of 69
I opt to not circumsize. This is not religous at all: we were born w/ it for a reason. Never mind the pain of circ etc.. My DH was circ at birth , a very ignorant choice as far as I believe. I love my DH body very much but we both do wish he still had all of it and didn't get it painfully cut away from him against his own will for no reson at all other than social practice. Most mothers dont even know why they choose to circ other than "I dont know, we all just, do it" It's your baby for cripes sakes! Take some inishitive!
post #43 of 69
OK, this is fairly off topic, but one of the links on the site zaftigmama listed was incredibly intereesting. To me anyway:

http://www.cirp.org/library/history/hodges2/


The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome: Male Genital Aesthetics and Their Relation to Lipodermos, Circumcision, Foreskin Restoration, and the Kynodesme

We always seem to talk about the "to circ or not to circ " question from a Jewish/American perspective, with a stress on the last 100 yrs or so. This site addresses the Hellenistic period in ancient Greece. There is much material there, vase painting, medical lit and ribald drama, that shows how valued the foreskin (prepuce) was.

There article says the prepuce was so important to the Greeks, b/c of nudity. It must always cover the glans for modesty's sake. This was so important that men would tie a leather thong (kynodesme, or dog leash) around the tip of the prepuce and tie it in a bow or wrap it and tie it around their waist! (Yes, there are pictures.)

You can really see where Paul was coming from in his angst about the circ/no circ question, in the hellenized Middle East. 2 cultures with a completely different idea of male modesty.

"Fascinating..." (Spock raises eyebrow)
post #44 of 69
metsirsah... if it is a spelling variant- it's a RARE one, and as far as a search engine goes- it's a dead end.

The usual way that word is spelled in english is: metzitzah or metzitza.

Love Sarah
post #45 of 69
I've been reading this thread with interest, but confess I still haven't read a satisfactory answer to the question.

Now someone did point out that perhaps circ'ing is circ'ing regardless of how much you cut off. Which suggests that you might as well cut it all off if you are going to circ, but I would think that cutting off just the tip would at least be the "lesser of two evils".

I don't want to debate the religious belief in circ'ing. They think it's a commandment from their God, and who am I to dispute that? However, God doesn't seem to have specified to what severity the job be done, and history seems to be suggesting that it was originally just the tip.

So, if this history is accepted by the Jews, why do they not go back to the old way? One answer, I suppose, is that they think there is nothing wrong with the way it is done now. I would hesitate to guess that most Jews aren't going to want to believe that it lessens sensitivity or sexual pleasure or anything like that (perhaps I'm wrong) so why would they care to "lessen the harm done"? This is just my own guess regarding the answer to the OP's question. Because to suggest "less is better" is to suggest there is something undesirable about the process as it is done now....yes?

I hope someone can enlighten me on this.
post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
So, if this history is accepted by the Jews, why do they not go back to the old way? One answer, I suppose, is that they think there is nothing wrong with the way it is done now. I would hesitate to guess that most Jews aren't going to want to believe that it lessens sensitivity or sexual pleasure or anything like that (perhaps I'm wrong) so why would they care to "lessen the harm done"? This is just my own guess regarding the answer to the OP's question. Because to suggest "less is better" is to suggest there is something undesirable about the process as it is done now....yes?

I hope someone can enlighten me on this.
Actually, it's much deeper than that. *MOST* of the things in the torah, there is no "how and why" specified. For that we have to rely on the oral law which, among other things, specificies how a commandment is to be performed. This oral torah is believed by traditional Jews to have been given to Moses with the written law. Basically, the written part is the "crib notes" from the 40 day lecture on Mount Sinai. The oral law at one point got written down - and there are differing opinions about some things which are recorded as well. In addition, there are "rabbinic laws" which are things that are either derived from a torah prohibition or enactments of the rabbis. For example, lighting candles on Fri. night is a rabbinic commandment!

So how a circumcision is done according to Jewish law goes back to this - we look to the body of Jewish law to see how the arbitrators of Jewish law throughout history have ruled that a "bris milah" (covenant of circumcision) should be performed. So you can see that it wouldn't really matter how it was done "historically". Though I have to say, from what I've seen there is no Jewish source to claim that they removed less skin except how I explained it earlier (the rabbinic addition of removing the membrane and exposing the glans).
post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Mom2six
we look to the body of Jewish law to see how the arbitrators of Jewish law throughout history have ruled that a "bris milah" (covenant of circumcision) should be performed. So you can see that it wouldn't really matter how it was done "historically".
Thank you for this explanation!

I am confused on how 'the arbitrators of Jewish law throughout history' isn't 'historically' (within the arbitrators of the Jewish law)?
post #48 of 69
Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words in this context- I may have been the person who said cutting is cutting regardless of the volume removed... but I would like to remind you that cutting leaves a scar and it creates situation with scar tissue.

If the scar is behind the glans and joining two taught surfaces of skin... it may cause it's own types of problems... painful erections, pubic hair pulled up onto the shaft, bends, premature exposure of the glans, meatal stenosis, keretinization...

and if the scar joins two longer surfaces of skin in such a way that the ring of scar is infront of the glans- this could create a situaton of "post circumcision phimosis" this is a complication that the AAP lists in their complication list... (IN FACT... a circumcised boy is MORE likely to get phimosis from his circumcision scar than an intact boy is to get phimosis from his foreskin...but I digress) Also the raw edges of the circumcision wound can grow attached to the surface of the glans, this scar tissue gone awry can grow right into the surface of the glans becoming a skin bridge... deprived of the normal flexible sphincter at the tip... the scarred tip of a circumcised boys penis WILL be prone to feces contamination from diapers- his corrupted anatomy WILL be more prone to infections than an intact boy or a tightly circumcised boy would be...

This is a medical documentation picture of a child's penis which has adhesions- the scar tissue has grown to the surface of his glans. This is the "less severe" circumcision that is being presented here as something people should do INSTEAD...

Is there any person who can look at this upsetting picture and say- this is GOOD?

http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/images/slide1.jpg
and to see what this type of this looks like after surgical division:
http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/images/slide12.jpg

how do you avoid adhesions?
http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/gracely1/

Love Sarah
post #49 of 69
***BEFORE THE POST, THE DISCLAIMER: THIS POSTER IS AGAINST RIC, AND ADVOCATES AGAINST IT WHENEVER POSSIBLE.***













Okay, now that that's out of the way ...1

Quote:
... by Piglet68
... So, if this history is accepted by the Jews, why do they not go back to the old way? One answer, I suppose, is that they think there is nothing wrong with the way it is done now. I would hesitate to guess that most Jews aren't going to want to believe that it lessens sensitivity or sexual pleasure or anything like that (perhaps I'm wrong) so why would they care to "lessen the harm done"? This is just my own guess regarding the answer to the OP's question. Because to suggest "less is better" is to suggest there is something undesirable about the process as it is done now....yes?

I hope someone can enlighten me on this.




Will bow to Mom2Six's accurate objective explanation. Will add something much less objective, entirely subjective.

I know more than a few geyrim (male converts to Judaism), and several who were fully circumcised as adults as part of the process. (Not to mention one who was fully circumcised as part of the process, and then re-converted twice more so went through that, too) ... and have had first-hand and second-hand conversations with them about the issue (second-hand involves their partners, male and/or female ... and yes, two are gay, hence the male partners).

To put it tactfully, the issue of lessened sensitivity and/or sexual pleasure is not so clear as the no-circ advocates would insist. Sorry, but that's the fact.

Will point out that each of these people was specifically circumcised by an Orthodox mohel. If that makes a difference to the physical result achieved, that is entirely speculative, but perhaps it is a component.




The assumption that bris milah as it is practiced has the same effect as circumcision as it is performed in a hospital is a false one. From my own admittedly-less-than-scientific research, that is.

post #50 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by playdoh
Thank you for this explanation!

I am confused on how 'the arbitrators of Jewish law throughout history' isn't 'historically' (within the arbitrators of the Jewish law)?
I can't quite figure out what your question is here.

editted to add: I'm saying that according to Jewish sources that "bris milah" was done differently than some are claiming it was done "historically". Maybe a better phrasing would be "it doesn't matter how it was done in ancient history [before the rabbis added the stipulation of priah], it only matters how the rabbis have ruled that it must be done now."
post #51 of 69
Link to info explaining the nature of Jewish law: http://www.jewfaq.org/halakhah.htm
post #52 of 69
thank you, merpk and mom2six...

so, if I understand you correctly, the oral history, the torah, describes the procedure of circumcision the way it is performed today...so even if, *before* that oral tradition was recorded, people may have circ'd differently, the fact is that the oral traditions DOES specify that it be done the way it is now, and that's why it is done that way....

do I have that right?
post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
thank you, merpk and mom2six...

so, if I understand you correctly, the oral history, the torah, describes the procedure of circumcision the way it is performed today...so even if, *before* that oral tradition was recorded, people may have circ'd differently, the fact is that the oral traditions DOES specify that it be done the way it is now, and that's why it is done that way....

do I have that right?
Pretty much. However, I'm just not convinced that what was described in the OP is historically accurate. Traditional Jewish sources desribe the way that they use to do circ, and it's not cutting just the tip. It's removing the skin without removing the underlying membrane to expose the glans.
post #54 of 69
Before I get into this, I want to explain something: My son wasn't born with a 'proper' foreskin. He had a small lip of skin that came just over the bottom of the glans, but even that didn't even go all the way around his penis. Both the glans and the frenulum were fully exposed from birth. I know it's strange, and some of you will without a doubt think that I'm lying, but it's true. My brothers were both born this way as well, so I think it might be a strange X-chromosome thing (my brother's son was, I believe, born with a whole foreskin).

Eli had a Bris Milah, with anesthesia and in our home. Not a single one of the horrible things I've heard about happening to little boys at a Bris happened to my son. He didn't fall asleep immediately from the trauma, the mohel didn't take him away to retract his foreskin back with a fingernail.. : None of those things happened. When we talked to the mohel afterwards, he said that it took him longer than usual because Eli didn't really have enough foreskin for him to do the circumcision he usually does, he ended up doing something more like the 'drop of blood' ceremony which is done on converting adults who have been circumcized already.

After he healed, Eli's penis looked exactly the same as before. I seriously thought there was something wrong with it, because I'd never seen anything like it anywhere. Before my son was born, I'd never seen a boy without a whole foreskin at birth, and I'd never seen a circumcized penis look the same as it did uncircumcized. His penis looks nothing like the ones in those links. I guess the closest analogy would be if you've ever seen a circumcized man get cold, how the whole penis tries to shrink up into the body, but it gets a little 'turtleneck' from the skin of the shaft. (No, I'm not going to post a picture of my son's penis online... I think that's a little weird for me.)

At any rate: It's not the how that's important to me, it's the why. I know what you mean about "non religious Jews" using their Judaism as an excuse, but I think that's taking a very simplistic view of Judaism. There are different kinds of Jews, just as there are different kinds of Christians. I consider myself to be a Jew, even though I'm not frum, don't keep Kosher, drive on Shabbos, and do all sorts of other things which are not in keeping with an Orthodox Jewish way of life. It doesn't change the fact that the Torah is very very explicit on some points, and there is no debating them.

The Torah says that if a child is not circumcised on the 8th day of his life, he shall be cut off from his people. (Note: Eli's Bris was on the 16th day of his life, because he had to be *healthy* for 8 days. This is one more difference between RIC and Bris Milah which most anti-circ activists seem to be completely unaware of.) End of story. I wasn't willing to mess with that one. I can argue that driving a car on Shabbos doesn't actually constitute making a fire and doing work, or that food preparation isn't as difficult to be certain of as it once was, but I just can't justify an argument against Bris Milah. I can argue that removing less of the foreskin is probably a more reasonable thing to do, but I can't argue against doing it at all.
post #55 of 69
Rynna,

Being born without a foreskin is a condition called aposthia. Many people believe that the prophet Mohammed was born this way. I have not been able to find out the incidence of aposthia to tell you if it is more or less common than hypospadias, but just from what I have heard on message boards, hypospadias seems to be about 15x more common.

This article about adhesions explains the fetal development of the foreskin very well:

http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/gracely1/

There is also a condition called hypospadias which is when the final closure of the two sides of the developing penis is incomplete. This results in a meatus (pee hole) which is not at the tip of the penis but is located somewhere on the underside of the penis. This may appear as a very large hole or a cleft hole. There are a lot of speculations about what causes it, it appears to be something which does run in families and it also may be an enviornmental factor. It is possible that a mild case of hypospadias coupled with the hooded foreskin could be mistaken for aposthia. Hypospadias appears to be becomming more common, although others speculate that it is just diagnosed more often. The foreskin is the very last part of the penis to form and it is generated from the guidance of the underlying structures. If the glans is clefted- most frequently- the foreskin also is clefted. This is sometimes called a "hooded foreskin" From what you say, it sounds like this may be what you saw. This may be something you want to research and discuss with other extended family members so they are aware of the other incidences in their family, and perhaps can tell you of other people who have this.

I hope that this info might help you to understand this perplexing thing you saw.

Love Sarah
post #56 of 69
Oh, I know about hypospadias, and he definately doesn't have one. The mohel did mention that missing foreskins are very closely associated with hypospadias, and that often when you see one you'll see the other but that Eli obviously didn't have a hypospadia. He does, however, have poopy pants, so I have to go now. :LOL
post #57 of 69
There is also midrashic commentary which says Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) was born without a foreskin.
post #58 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by merpk
There is also midrashic commentary which says Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) was born without a foreskin.
And Noach, too. Which is why whenever people hear "Eliyahu" is my son's name and start singing "Eliyahu Ha'Navi" I give them a very direct look and say "No, Eliyahu Marshall" or "keynahara!" (no idea how to spell that in English..) Yes, I think my son is the most amazing little boy in the world, but that's because I'm his mother, and he's my BeanBean. I will be very happy (and probably very relieved) if he grows up and he's not a Navi, thankyouverymuch! :LOL
post #59 of 69
Moshe and Noach were born without foreskins??!!!

You say that so very casually.

Why? Looking at it gnostically and not literally, I mean. With all the focus on circumcision, your traditions say, 2 of the greatest patriarchs of all Jewish his-story were born without the skin to cut. (I know, Noach was before the covenant, but still...)

I find that very surprising and disturbing.

Hm. Hm. Hm.

Is that why Zipporah placed their son's foreskin on Moses' "feet" (euphemism)?
post #60 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by DaryLLL
Moshe and Noach were born without foreskins??!!!

You say that so very casually.

Why? Looking at it gnostically and not literally, I mean. With all the focus on circumcision, your traditions say, 2 of the greatest patriarchs of all Jewish his-story were born without the skin to cut. (I know, Noach was before the covenant, but still...)

I find that very surprising and disturbing.

Hm. Hm. Hm.

Is that why Zipporah placed their son's foreskin on Moses' "feet" (euphemism)?
I think that the point was that they (their souls) were already closer to God when they were born, so they didn't need the covenant to symbolize that relationship.. I have no idea where you're going with the feet, though...
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