Anyone tried talking a Jewish/Muslim friend out of circing? - Mothering Forums
The Case Against Circumcision > Anyone tried talking a Jewish/Muslim friend out of circing?
Quirky's Avatar Quirky 02:55 AM 11-21-2003
OK, I really don't want this thread pulled, so PLEASE PLEASE do not engage in any religious discussion if you respond to this thread! I re-read the guidelines and I believe that my post complies with them; I'm not looking for religious discussion or debate but advice about how to discuss circumcision (and the merits of not circumcizing) with friends who circ for religious reasons.

A friend of mine who's Jewish (Conservative) has just found out she's having a boy. I doubt very much that she or her dh have ever considered not circumcising.

My sister is very close to getting engaged to a Jewish (Conservative) man, and has agreed to convert to Judaism so that their kids will be Jewish. My sister is adamantly opposed to circumcision, and is reading up on it but hasn't brought up the subject with her boyfriend yet.

I'm not going to discuss it with my sister's boyfriend directly, but would like to be able to pass on any advice that would be helpful to her in preparing for the discussion(s) with her boyfriend.

I am debating whether to bring it up with my friend or not.

Has anyone tried talking to friends or acquaintances who circumcize for religious reasons? I would very much appreciate any advice, anecdotes, resources, etc. Feel free to PM me.

beachrock's Avatar beachrock 04:14 AM 11-21-2003
Even though I will see you tomorrow in person, dear Jane, I thought I would post this for others, too. There is a book by Ronald Goldman, called "Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective". The book (I haven't read it) apparently argues that ritual circ is in conflict with Jewish laws and values, and includes interviews with Rabbis who are anti-circ. A friend of mine who married a Jewish guy but did not convert found it helpful, but then they had a girl (whew!)

There is also an online community for Jewish families who are anti-circ, but I don't have the url. A google would probably bring it up, though.

Good luck to everyone struggling with this difficult situation.
DaryLLL's Avatar DaryLLL 01:18 PM 11-21-2003
What about non-observant Jews who just assume circing is the thing?

At the last minute (2 days pre-birth) I sent some info from this board to friends who were expecting a male child. Dad is pagan, Mom is non-practicing Jewish. They hadn't done much research into this subject, but there were extended family expectations about circing, even tho no briss was planned.

With help from an excellent article from Mothering, they were swayed in their decision to circumcize! Baby is intact. (And non-vaxed! Also sent them articles on that. )

The main reasons they gave for wanting to circ were that the grandfather expected it, and the idea from a friend that poop would get under the foreskin and be a bother to clean. (Using the analogy of cutting off labia to prevent poop inconvenience with a daughter seemed to help. Also the fact that most foreskins are not retractable for at least a couple of yrs anyway.)

Now, convincing an observant Jew not to circ would be a different ballgame. Sorry to go kinda OT. Just so excited and happy for this little family!
MistyD's Avatar MistyD 01:18 PM 11-21-2003
Here are some links.

Circumcision no longer automatic in Jewish households

Circumcision: A Jewish Inquiry

Circumcision: A Test Case for Evaluating Old Testament Laws
MelissaEvans's Avatar MelissaEvans 04:40 AM 11-23-2003
I found this article on DOC ( that might help. Also, I just read "Doctor's Re-examine Circ" ( and it mentions that the orginal operation is very different than what we do today.
~Megan~'s Avatar ~Megan~ 09:10 PM 11-28-2003
I cannot remember where I read you'll have to forgive me. I read that the circumcision referred to in the Hewbrew text was just a small cut made into the foreskin, not a complete removal like that which is done today. It was only a tiny cut to draw the slightest amount of blood.
If you can't talk someone out of circumcision then you could perhaps offer that alternative.