Need Jewish resources for not circumcizing. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 11-17-2009, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well the title pretty much says it all! I am in the conservative community and I have talked to two rabbis so far about having a brit shalom instead of a brit milah. One rabbi told me I was crazy and should just circumsize while my baby was still "young and dumb" . The other rabbi was nice but I can tell I won't get very far. I also have yet to get my husband on board (not that it matters as it won't occur with or without his consent, but I like to pretend that I try to educate him ). Of course, we aren't even finding out the sex of this babe so all might be moot, but I would like to get all my kosher ducks in a row! thanks

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#2 of 22 Old 11-17-2009, 03:55 AM
 
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Congratulations on your pregnancy! I feel with much certainty that we are not allowed to discuss circ and religion in this forum. I'm betting you won't get many replies here as members don't want to be issued a "warning" by a moderator. Maybe pm the mods and ask if this thread is allowed to be hosted in the religion forum and hopefully you'll get more replies from some Jewish mamas who opted out of circ.

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#3 of 22 Old 11-17-2009, 08:04 AM
 
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First of all: congratulations on your pregnancy!
I know of one site titled "Jews against circumcision" which seems to look at circumcision from a "Jewish angle". Maybe that's a start.

(And now I do hope I didn't violate any forum rules.)

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#4 of 22 Old 11-17-2009, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sorry i didn't realize asking this type of question might be against the rules...it seems an innocious enough question to me as i am just asking for resources to learn more not to start a debate. thank you all!

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#5 of 22 Old 11-17-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Maybe if you post in the Circumcision forum?

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#7 of 22 Old 11-18-2009, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you! (this thread started in circumcision but got moved...). i just watched the movie "cut" and wow, talk about an education. it is so infuriating to me that my husband won't even get himself educated on this subject and he keeps saying it shall get done. well good thing i do all the babywearing in the house and if this baby is a boy, he isn't getting out of my wrap for his first year!

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#8 of 22 Old 11-18-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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thank you! (this thread started in circumcision but got moved...). i just watched the movie "cut" and wow, talk about an education. it is so infuriating to me that my husband won't even get himself educated on this subject and he keeps saying it shall get done. well good thing i do all the babywearing in the house and if this baby is a boy, he isn't getting out of my wrap for his first year!
Cut is an excellent film, the director tried hard to get it screened but few would pick it up. Did your husband watch it too? What were his comments on it?
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#9 of 22 Old 11-18-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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As far as I know, there really aren't any "Jewish reasons not to have a Bris Milah."

There are Jewish reasons to have a Bris Milah, and you have your G-d given Free Will. You can choose not to do the Mitzvah, just as you can choose not to keep kosher or not to observe Shabbos. It won't make your son "less of a Jew" if he doesn't have it done. It just makes him a Jew who hasn't had a Bris Milah. Period.

You might do better having some kind of "welcome baby party" instead of a "Bris Shalom." In most Jewish communities, it's "either you have a Bris or you don't." The concept of the "alternative bris" hasn't really caught on.

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#10 of 22 Old 11-19-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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You might do better having some kind of "welcome baby party" instead of a "Bris Shalom." In most Jewish communities, it's "either you have a Bris or you don't." The concept of the "alternative bris" hasn't really caught on.
Isn't that what a Bris Shalom is, a welcoming party?
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#11 of 22 Old 11-19-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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I don't know about the actual content, but just from the names, you have difference from a welcoming party. "bris shalom" is literally something like covenent of peace (bris milah being covenent of circumcision). So it could feel to some people that instead of just having a welcome baby party, you are trying to create a new covenent. s It sounds like a highly charged name to me, if what you want is a baby welcome party. If you are highly against circing, and want to do a jewish baby welcome party, maybe read some of the books and info on welcoming baby girls and adapt that?

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#12 of 22 Old 11-19-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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You either have a bris or you don't, really. Girls don't have a bris shalom, they have a naming. So if you decide not to have a bris milah and just to name your baby, then you're probably better off just having a naming as opposed to using a bris shalom, which affirms a decision NOT to have a bris. Nowhere in mainstream Jewish thought (emphasis mine) is NOT having a bris accepted as an option, and a ritual like a bris shalom would most likely be seen as affirming a not-Jewish thought and trying to make it Jewish - without biblical, community, or rabbinic support for the idea.

I think Magelet has it right on - if it's something you're committed to, try for a baby naming, like our tradition has set up for girls. Boys are named in the same way, so taking the Jewish tradition of naming a baby (regardless of sex) will probably go over better than trying to change the entire ritual.

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#13 of 22 Old 11-19-2009, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you are right, i am not going to fight over the name of the ceremony. i would probably piss off more people by calling it a brit ________ (fill in the blank!). the problem with girl naming ceremonies is that they have always been second fiddle things. not much celebration or tradition behind it - my grandma (severely Orthodox from Russia) used to tell me how they never even really did a naming for girls back in the day. So if anyone has any ideas on how to celebrate, let me know!

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#14 of 22 Old 11-19-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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Check out "The New Jewish Baby Book" I think it's by Anita Diamant. Love that book.

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#15 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 04:55 AM
 
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you are right, i am not going to fight over the name of the ceremony. i would probably piss off more people by calling it a brit ________ (fill in the blank!). the problem with girl naming ceremonies is that they have always been second fiddle things. not much celebration or tradition behind it - my grandma (severely Orthodox from Russia) used to tell me how they never even really did a naming for girls back in the day. So if anyone has any ideas on how to celebrate, let me know!


There's *always* been a naming. They just might not have made a party around it. The "severely Orthodox" father would've gone to shul, just like he did every day, and been given an aliyah to the Torah, and the baby would've been named then.

The women didn't go to shul, so they wouldn't have been involved.
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#16 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There's *always* been a naming. They just might not have made a party around it. The "severely Orthodox" father would've gone to shul, just like he did every day, and been given an aliyah to the Torah, and the baby would've been named then.

The women didn't go to shul, so they wouldn't have been involved.
yes, i know. but that isn't much of a "welcoming party" compared to the historical party of a bris? i mean even i wasn't at my own naming a lot of decades ago at the conservative shul we went to...and there was no cake i am told!!
just because he won't be getting circumcised doesn't mean i don't want less of a celebration. but trying to look to what has been done historically doesn't help on this front. the rabbis won't even give us an aliyah without the bris at the moment! (evidently they are very perplexed as i seem to be the first conservative mama to say no to circumcision in their congregations) so i am a bit perplexed...

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#17 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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There's *always* been a naming. They just might not have made a party around it. The "severely Orthodox" father would've gone to shul, just like he did every day, and been given an aliyah to the Torah, and the baby would've been named then.

The women didn't go to shul, so they wouldn't have been involved.
(IF it was possible in those days to actually go to shul in Russia...I wonder.)
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#18 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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yes, i know. but that isn't much of a "welcoming party" compared to the historical party of a bris? i mean even i wasn't at my own naming a lot of decades ago at the conservative shul we went to...and there was no cake i am told!!
just because he won't be getting circumcised doesn't mean i don't want less of a celebration. but trying to look to what has been done historically doesn't help on this front. the rabbis won't even give us an aliyah without the bris at the moment! (evidently they are very perplexed as i seem to be the first conservative mama to say no to circumcision in their congregations) so i am a bit perplexed...
I think the issue is that having a bris is a Jewish milestone. Since you are electing to NOT perform the mitzvah, the rabbi doesn't want to treat it like a Jewish milestone, because it's not.

I think you're perfectly within your rights to have a "welcoming baby" party on your own and invite temple friends, but if I were you, I wouldn't expect your rav to like the idea of celebrating your family's choice to NOT do the mitzvah (aka, giving the honor of an aliyah to a family who is NOT performing the mitzvah of bris milah).

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#19 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the issue is that having a bris is a Jewish milestone. Since you are electing to NOT perform the mitzvah, the rabbi doesn't want to treat it like a Jewish milestone, because it's not.

I think you're perfectly within your rights to have a "welcoming baby" party on your own and invite temple friends, but if I were you, I wouldn't expect your rav to like the idea of celebrating your family's choice to NOT do the mitzvah (aka, giving the honor of an aliyah to a family who is NOT performing the mitzvah of bris milah).
yes, but if tradition, matzorit, has been to give an aliyah when a girl is born, why not still give an aliyah when a jewish boy is born? even without the bris? i mean when my hubby went to chabad and they gave him an aliyah, they did not ask if he kept kashrut (he does not), or if he obeyed the sabbath (he drove there).

so why must we cut off our own noses to spite our faces? it is still a jewish boy. just because one covenant will not be entered into (and if he wants to do it when is older, then it is his right), does not mean he is not jewish. none of us follow all of them. we all pick and choose. i just happen to be picking an unpopular one! it does not mean that his birth should not be celebrated on the same level as a girl!

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#20 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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yes, but if tradition, matzorit, has been to give an aliyah when a girl is born, why not still give an aliyah when a jewish boy is born? even without the bris? i mean when my hubby went to chabad and they gave him an aliyah, they did not ask if he kept kashrut (he does not), or if he obeyed the sabbath (he drove there).
afaik, that's standard Chabad - I'm pretty sure that they would give you an aliyah for this as well.

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so why must we cut off our own noses to spite our faces? it is still a jewish boy. just because one covenant will not be entered into (and if he wants to do it when is older, then it is his right), does not mean he is not jewish. none of us follow all of them. we all pick and choose. i just happen to be picking an unpopular one! it does not mean that his birth should not be celebrated on the same level as a girl!
I do understand, really. I'm trying to come at this from your rav's viewpoint, since that's what you're seeking advice over. Maybe if you put it to him that way, he'll give you the aliyah. I can, however, understand why he wouldn't want it accompanied by a big party in the shul - correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that if a boy's bris cannot be performed on the 8th day (for medical reasons or whatever), the aliyah waits for the bris to be performed. So, in that case, your rav may be coming at it from the stance of - when the mitzvah is fulfilled, the aliyah can be given. Not saying it's right, just saying that could be his viewpoint.

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#21 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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smeisnotapirate you are probably right in your thinking regarding the rav. i do not mean to be argumentative. i guess i just feel on the defensive because everyone already questions all my actions. they (my jewish community, my parents) think i am crazy for having had one homebirth and planning a second; for not vaxing; for still breastfeeding my two-year-old. so no one actually listens to my reasons, they just think "oh you know her." and i have done a lot of research. this is not an easy decision for me. i know i will be ostracized for it. but i feel as a mama it is the best decision i can make at the moment...

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#22 of 22 Old 11-20-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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smeisnotapirate you are probably right in your thinking regarding the rav. i do not mean to be argumentative. i guess i just feel on the defensive because everyone already questions all my actions. they (my jewish community, my parents) think i am crazy for having had one homebirth and planning a second; for not vaxing; for still breastfeeding my two-year-old. so no one actually listens to my reasons, they just think "oh you know her." and i have done a lot of research. this is not an easy decision for me. i know i will be ostracized for it. but i feel as a mama it is the best decision i can make at the moment...
I get you. If it makes you feel any better, I'm getting the same thing... and I did have a bris for my son. So even if you chose to have one for him, it wouldn't really change the "oh, you know her" comments. They'd just find something else to focus on.

Good shabbos!

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