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Okay, religious circumcision, I will try again. - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
It's not a belief that God tells us to circumcise, it's something that's a flat out fact, if you accept the premise that God is the author of the Torah.
Isn't "accepting the premise" the eqivalent of "belief?" It is a fact if you accept the premise, or believe, that God dictated Torah to Moses. If you do not accept the premise that a god could dictate 5 books-worth of info to a human being 3000 or so yrs ago (a stretch in my mind, no offense intended), and that we have the correct and 100% historically accurate written transcribation of this in our modern books of Tanakh, the "factuality" of the neccessity of circing goes by the board.

The facts show Exodus never happened. There is absolutely no evidence that a huge group of Hebrews lived in or migrated out of Egypt in the timeframe indicated in Torah. The facts show the conquering of Canaan never happened, but instead, the Hebrews always lived there along with all the other tribes.

The facts show the history of the Hebrews has been greatly magnified and mythologized for the glorification of the Hebrew people and their god. The neccessity of circing depends on tradition and belief, not facts.
post #22 of 50
DaryLLL, OT, but where do the "facts" show the Exodus did or did not happen? Where do the "facts" show the conquering of the Canaanite tribes did or did not happen?

Have been reading about and hearing about that for many years. Wondering about why one of the few written records of the time is generally discounted, when written records of all sorts of other things are generally counted. Never understood that.

But back OT, yes, candiland, have made liberal use of Imaginary Tylenol lately (nursing too much to take the real stuff much).




Will state plain that I do not find bris to be simple at all. As my rebbe would sometimes say, it's not easy to be a Jew. And a bris milah is by far ... by a factor of infinite proportions ... the hardest mitzvah to live with.

I don't believe bris is pain-free at all. And am not sure that anyone ever says it is. At the same time, it is light-years easier on the baby than RIC would ever be. My boys were also calm during and after the bris, and they were also alert, the crying was literally a brief fussing, as opposed to out-and-out cries, and they each nursed well and seemed to be paying attention to all the tumult surrounding them. No clamps, obviously. My first son was on a pillow in his grandfather's arms during the bris, and my second son was on a pillow in his father's arms during the bris. Immediately after the bris they were held directly in the sandak's arms (first the grandfather, with the second my DH) and loved and soothed while they were named ... each whisked to me and nursed.

And in each case I was a wreck the whole day, because it is the hardest mitzvah, bar none. And there is no "ignoring mothering instincts," or any of that crap going on at all. There is deep faith that it should be done, and done in this manner. And there is constant striving (in my community, and in others, anyway) to keep the proceedings and the entire energy of it at as deep a spiritual level as possible. It is *not* a "circumcision party." It is a veneration of 'kabbalat ol malkhut shamayim,' acceptance of the yoke of heaven.

It's not easy to be a Jew. Nothing worthwhile ever is.





This whole post is *not* pro-circ. Not in any way, shape, or form. And candiland, you can't tell your friends to have a brit milah. A brit milah is a religious Jewish ceremony, of which the actual circumcision is a small part. If your friends want to hire a mohel to do it, well, that's their business. But you really should just be talking them out of circumcising, instead of suggesting who to hire. There is no reason for RIC, no matter who is doing it.
post #23 of 50
Amy, thank you so much for your last post. Suddenly I understand something I've never understood before, something that may be irrelevant or minor or obvious or unimportant in the eyes of many, but for me your post caused a little epiphany.
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk
DaryLLL, OT, but where do the "facts" show the Exodus did or did not happen? Where do the "facts" show the conquering of the Canaanite tribes did or did not happen?
Have been reading about and hearing about that for many years. Wondering about why one of the few written records of the time is generally discounted, when written records of all sorts of other things are generally counted. Never understood that.


http://www.detnews.com/2001/religion...ion-212248.htm
post #25 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy
And candiland, you can't tell your friends to have a brit milah. A brit milah is a religious Jewish ceremony, of which the actual circumcision is a small part. If your friends want to hire a mohel to do it, well, that's their business. But you really should just be talking them out of circumcising, instead of suggesting who to hire.
I've mentioned this to three ppl... one friend who married into a Jewish family and who said the circ. issue was non-negotiable; (again, this is coming from a family that really didn't "follow" Judaism at all, but it's not my place to say what's what, I guess), a guy friend of mine who is Jewish and, again, doesn't really follow Judaism but truly believes in circumcision; and a doula client of mine who.... again.... has Jewish family members on her husband's side and just wanted to do the circ. in the hospital.

I thought that since they were doing the circ., for the most part, because it's part of their Jewish heritage, they could at least have a gentler experience with a mohel.
post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
And, again, Darylll steps in and throws one so far over this mommy-mush-brain's head that I'll have to sit back and smile politely.... because I don't have anything intelligent to add. :LOL
post #27 of 50
I am Jewish because my mother is Jewish... Though I describe myself as "of Jewish heritage" since I am not a practicing Jew.

I am not a practicing Jew for many reasons.. one being that I cannot accept circumcision.

My son is not circ'd. And when I told my mother we were not going to circ.. she told me I had been questioning it/opposing it since I was a child. I didn't remember that. I do remember questioning/opposing other things I learned in Hebrew school.

I do not know any religious Jews who haven't circ'd. That would be hard to reconcile, I imagine.

I do know people of Jewish heritage who have rejected religious practice because of the issue. I am one.

So to answer your question.. there are Jews that question it.
And either they make peace with it.. or don't do it. What they call themselves is up to them. And their sons ARE Jewish, of course, if they are born to Jewish mothers.

I do understand your analogy about cutting off a pinkie..
I left Judaism precisely because I could NOT come to terms with some of the things it required.

Circ is abhorrent to me.. I cannot wrap my head around it being a religious requirement. I cannot practice a religion that requires it.

Though I AM friends with plenty of people who have done it.. I do not reject religious Jews as friends.

I have not been invited to a Bris recently.. it would be difficult.. I would want to celebrate.. but would not want to be anywhere a circ was being done.. maybe I would try to come afterwards, I don't know.

This is not to insult anyone else.. just explaining my own journey.
post #28 of 50
I do not think that the concept of peer pressure for having a bris is a joke at all. I married into a jewish family. And even though none of them are observant it is still an expectation and one that is not to be questioned. If fact that is pretty much the way it is with all the jews that I know IRL. Maybe it's an L.A. thing? I'm not saying it is universal but it is far from rare in my hometown. No one may be specifically checking the diaper but the question is definately asked when is it? And the counting of the days from birth is made and discussion as to who is doing it. In fact many if not most of the nonobservant jews I know do not have it done by a mohel.
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Isn't "accepting the premise" the eqivalent of "belief?" It is a fact if you accept the premise, or believe, that God dictated Torah to Moses.
Okay, let me explain what I meant another way. In the Torah, God says to Adam & Chava "Be fruitful and multiply." Some people believe that this means no birth control ever, they should keep on having loads and loads of children. Some people believe that it means they should have children as long as the population isn't at replacement level, and some people believe that if they've had one boy and one girl they've fulfilled this commandment. The belief is up for interpretation, because God doesn't give specifics. The commandment to circumcise is different, and much more precise. You can accept the Torah as fact without believing that you should never use birth control, but circumcision is not that easy.
post #30 of 50
I have not done extensive research for Judaism, FTR! I have an honest question. What is the time frame for the circumcision? How long can one wait? I came here because I too am interested.
post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama007
I have not done extensive research for Judaism, FTR! I have an honest question. What is the time frame for the circumcision? How long can one wait? I came here because I too am interested.
*Note: the observant mamma's won't be online for a couple days. It's Rosh Hashannah, and then Shabbos starts Friday night.

It's supposed to be done on the 8th day; if the baby is not well, it's done on the 8th day that the baby is healthy. My son's was on the 16th day, because he was in the NICU. I'm not sure what the timeframe is for an infant, but I know that lots of men have made the decision later in life (people in the former Soviet Union, for example.) I personally know someone who was circumcised at 14 (his own decision) and I have met people who were even older.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
Okay, let me explain what I meant another way. In the Torah, God says to Adam & Chava "Be fruitful and multiply." Some people believe that this means no birth control ever, they should keep on having loads and loads of children. Some people believe that it means they should have children as long as the population isn't at replacement level, and some people believe that if they've had one boy and one girl they've fulfilled this commandment. The belief is up for interpretation, because God doesn't give specifics. The commandment to circumcise is different, and much more precise. You can accept the Torah as fact without believing that you should never use birth control, but circumcision is not that easy.
Oh, OK, that makes much more sense. YHWH was more specific about circing than about most other mitzvot?
Not leaving as much "wiggle room?" Even the injunction "Do not kill" has been interpreted in various ways.
post #33 of 50
Thread Starter 
I found something that seems contradictory... maybe it simply needs clarification:

Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
Circumcision is different. There is no way that I can work my mind around it: the Torah says, clear as day, that if you don't circumcise your son he will be cut off from his people. Not that he won't be Jewish, but that he will be cut out of the family.
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee
Basically the fear is that the child will not be considered Jewish. This fear strikes deep. There are many messy situations in Israel with Russian Jewish men who were never circ'd. It puts them in a very difficult spot, of feeling like they aren't "really" Jewish until they're circ'd.
and then

Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
The peer pressure idea is laughable; how many people are going to be looking at your son's penis? If Jews were afraid of their children growing up different, they wouldn't be very observant at all (unless they lived in Eretz Yisroel, and maybe not even then) and, as previous posters have mentioned, a child is Jewish if his mother is Jewish, regardless of the state of his penis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
It's not a belief that God tells us to circumcise, it's something that's a flat out fact, if you accept the premise that God is the author of the Torah. Even Jews who do not circumcise have to accept the fact that the Torah tells us to do it, just as I (a not-terribly-observant Jew) have to accept that God tells us very clearly to "Remember My Sabbath and keep it holy," even though I personally don't always do that.
So both are flat-out facts... the bris and the sabbos... but you chose to keep the bris and not be terribly observant about the shabbos?

I'm sensing that on the one hand, ppl are saying that Jews are only doing it because of very deeply held religious beliefs. OTOH, I'm sensing that many do it because they fear their child would be "out of the family" and "not feel Jewish" (which I likened to peer pressure) if left intact.

ETA: I answered my own question. It's not black and white. Some do it because of their deeply held beliefs; others do it because they don't want to go against the grain. Some fall in the middle. It's just that I got confused when you said the peer pressure idea was "laughable".
post #34 of 50
Thread Starter 
merpk - I noticed you edited your first post a day later; I just re-read it and it was slightly different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy
Jews have managed to stay Jewish and managed to live with mitzvos. Don't kill us, please, and don't make your problem our problem.
I will reiterate, as that is a bit inflammatory, that I don't believe in organized religion precisely because of its past and present actions. So me and my god have nothing to do with anyone or anything that has tried to kill ANYONE in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy
I accept, as you've said elsewhere, that you have friends who are Jewish and Orthodox, so sure, I agree that you have friends that have had brises for their sons. Though you recently said elsewhere that you don't think you/others could/should be friends with someone who has circumcised their child. So since bris milah includes circumcision ... hey. It's okay. I don't have to be friends with everybody.
If you go back and re-read the aforementioned thread, you'll see that I replied to your comment there. I was talking about an acquaintance that I don't know very well who was doing it simply because her dh wanted it done... and wasn't sure if I wanted to pursue a close friendship with her because I feel so passionately about RIC... and I was referring to RIC, not bris milah
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy

It's supposed to be done on the 8th day; if the baby is not well, it's done on the 8th day that the baby is healthy. My son's was on the 16th day, because he was in the NICU. I'm not sure what the timeframe is for an infant, but I know that lots of men have made the decision later in life (people in the former Soviet Union, for example.) I personally know someone who was circumcised at 14 (his own decision) and I have met people who were even older.

Thank you!
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland
So both are flat-out facts... the bris and the sabbos... but you chose to keep the bris and not be terribly observant about the shabbos?
Yes. Because I can find ways to justify my lack of Shabbos observance to myself. I can argue against super strict observance for myself, and feel comfortable with that decision, mostly because I don't consider the things I do on Shabbos to be "work." In a way which I am comfortable with, I do remember Shabbos and keep it Holy. It is not the same way as more observant Jews, because I do things which technically violate the rules (i.e. making fires), but it is a way. I can't figure out a way around Bris Milah. I can see the arguments against it, but I can't make them work for me.

Quote:
ETA: I answered my own question. It's not black and white. Some do it because of their deeply held beliefs; others do it because they don't want to go against the grain. Some fall in the middle. It's just that I got confused when you said the peer pressure idea was "laughable".
Okay, I suppose that for many people peer pressure is a reason to circumcise; I should have been clearer. In my mind, peer pressure (whatever there may have been) is irrelevant. My beliefs are private, personal, and my own; the state of my son's penis is not anyone else's business. This was a decision that Mike and I had to make, and we made it in the way we thought was best. I have no regrets at all, although I can see that if circumstances had been different, I might.

I want to borrow what Amy said again: I am not in favor of routine infant circumcision. It just doesn't make any sense to me. I would never encourage anyone to circumcise their son; in fact, I don't even encourage people to have a Bris Milah. That's a personal decision. Some people have a hard time living with the choices they've made, some people find the decision more difficult than others. I have no issues on either count. Again, I can see how I might if circumstances had been different, but they weren't and I don't.
post #37 of 50
DaryLLL, your freethoughtmecca link was not related to what you were responding to ... it was about 'whither Jesus' as opposed to 'whither Exodus.' But still doesn't tell me much. BTW, the author of that particular essay is off in his description of Jewish history ... in both the Shabtai Zvi debacle and the case of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe (l'havdil) they were not accepted as the messiah by the majority of Jews ... there were those who proposed it and those who believed it, yes, but Shabtai Zvi's cult was exposed in his lifetime for what it was (when he converted out of Judaism to Islam to save his neck). And the Rebbe, well, those who believed the messianic thing were a minority of a minority in the Jewish olam (world) ... so anyway, both concepts were considered 'fraudulent' while they were happening ...as opposed to the author's contention.

But still, not answering why three books written after the Torah ... two of whose writings were directly influenced by and in certain cases restate or change the stories of the Torah ... prove or disprove anything in the Torah.

OT, I know, but wondering.

post #38 of 50
Candiland - what everyone seems to be talking around without stating explicitly is this: There are 'commandments' (ie 'thou shalt not x, y and z') and then there is the rabbinic literature that explains how the 'thou shalts' and 'thou shalt nots' are to be performed (rabbinic laws). Some people allow themselves more 'wiggle room' with the rabbinic laws, b/c you can argue "there are different opinions, how do we know that the rabbis interpreted correctly, etc" but something that is stated explicitely in the torah is harder to argue. So, for example the torah says you should circumcize your male infant on the 8th day. Hard to argue. What is involved in the 'bris milah' ceremony, etc *might* be open to interpretation to some, b/c the torah doesn't say 'you will hire a mohel who will use such-and-such an instrument and then you will serve bagels, lox, herring and whitefish afterward". See the difference?
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk
DaryLLL, your freethoughtmecca link was not related to what you were responding to ... it was about 'whither Jesus' as opposed to 'whither Exodus.'

But still, not answering why three books written after the Torah ... two of whose writings were directly influenced by and in certain cases restate or change the stories of the Torah ... prove or disprove anything in the Torah.

OT, I know, but wondering.

Sorry. I edited to reflect the one working link! That's what I get for going to an old thread on Internet Infidels.

In your 2nd paragraph, what 3 books are you talking about? The Xtian Scriptures? The Quran?

The Bible Unearthed by Israeli archeologist Israel Finklestein of Tel Aviv University and archeological journalist Neil Asher Silberman, would be the place to look for the lack of archeological evidence of the historicity of Exodus.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...108743-3475813

Quote:
Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com's Best of 2001
The Bible Unearthed is a balanced, thoughtful, bold reconsideration of the historical period that produced the Hebrew Bible. The headline news in this book is easy to pick out: there is no evidence for the existence of Abraham, or any of the Patriarchs; ditto for Moses and the Exodus; and the same goes for the whole period of Judges and the united monarchy of David and Solomon. In fact, the authors argue that it is impossible to say much of anything about ancient Israel until the seventh century B.C., around the time of the reign of King Josiah. In that period, "the narrative of the Bible was uniquely suited to further the religious reform and territorial ambitions of Judah." Yet the authors deny that their arguments should be construed as compromising the Bible's power. Only in the 18th century--"when the Hebrew Bible began to be dissected and studied in isolation from its powerful function in community life"--did readers begin to view the Bible as a source of empirically verifiable history. For most of its life, the Bible has been what Finkelstein and Silberman reveal it once more to be: an eloquent expression of "the deeply rooted sense of shared origins, experiences, and destiny that every human community needs in order to survive," written in such a way as to encompass "the men, women, and children, the rich, the poor, and the destitute of an entire community." --Michael Joseph Gross
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2six
the torah doesn't say 'you will hire a mohel who will use such-and-such an instrument and then you will serve bagels, lox, herring and whitefish afterward". See the difference?
No, it says, "And you shall serve pita bread, hummus and tabouleh afterward."
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