Okay, religious circumcision, I will try again. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 50 Old 09-16-2004, 07:31 AM
 
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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.

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#32 of 50 Old 09-16-2004, 10:34 AM
 
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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.
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#33 of 50 Old 09-16-2004, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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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.
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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".
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#34 of 50 Old 09-16-2004, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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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
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#35 of 50 Old 09-16-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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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!
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#36 of 50 Old 09-16-2004, 09:01 PM
 
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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.

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#37 of 50 Old 09-19-2004, 08:26 PM
 
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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.

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#38 of 50 Old 09-19-2004, 09:16 PM
 
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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?
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#39 of 50 Old 09-20-2004, 08:25 AM
 
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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
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#40 of 50 Old 09-20-2004, 09:22 AM
 
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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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#41 of 50 Old 09-20-2004, 11:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
No, it says, "And you shall serve pita bread, hummus and tabouleh afterward."
Ah - you follow the Sephardic custom I see :LOL.
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#42 of 50 Old 09-20-2004, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#43 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 09:26 AM
 
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DaryLLL - you might be interested in the following link, since you are the resident guru of all things religiously historical:

http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/judeoroots/rohl.htm

This guy, David Rohl, is an Egyptologist, I believe, and he's had at least a couple of primetime archeological shows over here in the UK. Last one was several years ago, but his ideas are fascinating (and seem very plausible to me).

I've read several of his books - again, I think you would find them interesting.

His basic idea is that Biblical archeology was screwed way back when by the Victorians identifying the wrong pharaoh as the pharaoh of the Exodus. They were off by 300 hundred years, I believe.

Therefore, any historical evidence for characters who fit into the Torah narrative were found in the 'wrong' time period(s), so weren't considered related to the Torah narrative at all.

He has come up with a new Egyptian chronology (again, his reasoning is very plausible - but it's hard to for it to get 'air time', so to speak, in the academic world, because so many careers are based on the conventional Egyptian chronology), and all of a sudden - the Torah narrative finds quite a bit of support in the archeological record.

HTH!
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#44 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mommiska
DaryLLL - you might be interested in the following link, since you are the resident guru of all things religiously historical:
Pfff~~I know very little.

I submitted this article to the real scholars at Internet Infidels and await more educated opinions...

http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/judeoroots/rohl.htm
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#45 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 11:21 AM
 
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Just in case you have the wrong end of the stick, DaryLLL - this author is not a Christian (although he might be Jewish - not sure).

I've read his stuff, and he is not a religious apologist at all - so I'm not sure if your 'Internet Infidels' are an appropriate 'tester', so to speak. He's a genuine historian who just happens to be questioning the received wisdom.

I've read another book he's written which speculates about possible locations for the Garden of Eden! Absolutely fascinating (and stuff I would never send to my fundamentalist Christian family, as they would be spitting nails at a lot of his conclusions).

Not that I agree with everything he writes myself, but I believe he backs up what he says very convincingly, for the most part.
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#46 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 11:40 AM
 
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The only bris I ever attended was an alternative one, very similar to this.

Quote:
Abraham stretched forth his hand and took a knife. And the angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, and said: ‘Abraham, Abraham!'

And Abraham said: ‘Here am I.'

And the angel said: ‘Lay not your hand upon the lad nor do anything to him.'
I want to mention that the views expressed at the beginning of the article do not necessarily reflect my own. I remember when I had my bris epiphany, really *getting* that it is a covenant with G-D!

Anyway, their ceremony was beautiful, not a single dry eye. They did say, however, that if the grandfather had still been alive, they would have gone ahead with the bris.

Something that my Jewish xbf once said- for a nomadic desert tribe (ie: water scarcity) circumcision really did make sense. I always found that an interesting way to look at it.
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#47 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 11:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommiska
Just in case you have the wrong end of the stick, DaryLLL - this author is not a Christian (although he might be Jewish - not sure).

I've read his stuff, and he is not a religious apologist at all - so I'm not sure if your 'Internet Infidels' are an appropriate 'tester', so to speak. He's a genuine historian who just happens to be questioning the received wisdom.
Are you assuming "my" Internet Infidels folks to be a bunch of raging angry college age atheists? Some are, perhaps as a whole, the site is made up of many, but I mostly read on the Biblical Criticism and History board. The ones that really know their Biblical history are seasoned, well educated scholars of middle age. Many speak koine Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, and/or Latin.

Go here and look for posts by Amaleq 13, Toto, spin, Vorkosigan, Gakusei Don, Ted Hoffman, Peter Kirby and CX for examples of men I hope will comment on your article. (Ignore Chili. He seems insane. :LOL )

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/forumdisplay.php?f=60
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#48 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 06:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Are you assuming "my" Internet Infidels folks to be a bunch of raging angry college age atheists?
Well, with a name like Internet Infidels, that is what it sounds like! :LOL

I'll have a look at the site - I'm sure it is interesting. And it sounds like there are a lot of people there who really know their stuff about the Bible.

The thing with Rohl's stuff is - to be able to evaluate it, you'd need to read more than the article I linked to - you'd also need to read his books. And you'd need to look into Egyptology, rather than the Bible, because his ideas challenge the standard chronology of the kings of Egypt, rather than saying anything about the Bible, per se.

It's just that if you accept his revised chronology, the narrative in the Torah does seem to have a historical basis. Which, to be honest, is what makes the most sense (that there was an oral tradition of actual events which later became the stories of the Torah - even if the actual events weren't exactly the way they are recorded).
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#49 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 06:27 PM
 
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Hey, Mommiska, and for those playing along at home,

Toto (a mod with 10,000 posts) offers some info on the subject on II. I don't have time to read it right now, but will later.

Here:

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=99092
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#50 of 50 Old 09-21-2004, 06:55 PM
 
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Yeah - just went and had a look at the Infidels site. And then have been doing some Google searches of my own (I saw this series/read the book way back when it was published in 1995, so my memories of the arguments used are WAY fuzzy!).

Sounds like there are people who think his (Rohl's) ideas are great, and others who think he's a crackpot. :LOL To be expected, I'm sure...

I don't have the knowledge of Egyptian history, myself, to be able to judge between the arguments. Some of what the anti-Rohl stuff was saying made sense; but then again - some of the 'resolutions' to the discrepances he's found sounded weak to me...(with my vast knowledge of such things! )

My only caution would be this - people who have a vested interest in insisting that there is NO historical truth in the Torah are just as suspect, in my mind, as people who have a vested interest in insisting that it is an absolutely accurate historical record of the Middle East, ykwim?
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