Excuse me. I absolutely would not circ if not for the religious imperative. And I absolutely know how painful it is. Tradition teaches about the pain.
This week's Torah portion tells of three angels coming to visit Avraham Avinu, and each one has a specific mission, one of whom was to help him heal from the pain of the circumcision. Our midrashic tradition also tells of G!d coming to visit him, Himself fulfilling the mitzva of bikur kholim, visiting the sick, because Avraham has just had his bris (ritual including circumcision) three days before, and the pain is at its worst on the third day.
Every year when we read the Torah discussing Avraham and the angels, the pain of circumcision is at the center of the discussion.
This thread is in Spirituality, folks, I can get as spiritual as I wanna be.
The only people who might deny the pain of circumcision are the people who know little of the tradition and are trying to convince themselves, since they don't really know why they're doing it except for the pull of tradition, that it's not so bad.
Anyone who knows the tradition knows it's so bad.
So why do we do it?
Because G!d said to.
That is not the same as "oh, my religion is why I did it." It is a world of difference away.
G!d told me that this is part of our agreement with each other, and so I willingly ... though not without much heartache ... handed my baby over to someone I trusted implicitly with my child ... a very close friend, who handed the baby to her husband, who handed him to another very close friend, who handed him to his wife, who brought the baby to the chair where Eliahu HaNavi comes be present at every bris. Because for all the negative thoughts he had at the perfidy of the Jews of his day, he now goes to every bris, to see for himself how despite the pain, despite the difficulty and the heartache, how Jews still observe the mitzva of bris mila, how we still fulfill our part of our agreement with G!d.
And then someone we love most, my father for my first son, my DH for the second, holds the baby on the softest of pillows, and looking down with so much love and heartache for that pain, holds the child in anticipation of this hardest of mitzvos.
And then someone who is shomer Torah/mitzvos, who is to perform the actual mila since my DH is unable to/terrified at the prospect of doing it himself, someone who knows the procedure so well that we are certain that with G!d steadying his hand, he won't cause deformity or permanent damage to our child ... performs the actual mila.
All the way through there are blessings and prayers and hopes that the child will grow up with health.
And tradition knows there's pain and a cry, and kabbalah teaches that the moments of the baby's cries the gates of Heaven are open the widest they ever will be ... and at my sons' brises and at others of my khevra everyone's eyes are squeezed shut tight, praying for the child and his healing and for the healing of the entire world.
My sons' cries were brief, a matter of seconds.
And then they are given their names, now that they have already been through this most difficult of mitzvos, and with prayer and hopes that all the rest of their lives they should never ever again have pain from any part of life, and that in whatever pain they should have (since we all know some is inevitable, part of life) they should know that G!d is with them and hearing them and feeling this pain with them as much as we know He is at that moment.
If you want to tell me I didn't take responsibility for my sons' brises, come here and tell it to my face. PM me for my address.