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Hi all,<br>
I know that a few months back there were several mamas who were debating religious cic (or debating with their partners/spouses about religious circ). I just wanted to check in and see how/if people have resolved this issue. I'm still trying to educate myself and DH and am caught up in the family politics of it myself and would love to hear the experience of others.<br><br>
As a reminder, DH and I are Reform Jews. We have a Jewish household and our religion is important to us. Most of our closest friends are Jewish and quite mainstream in their parenting. They all have sons and all circed. All of our AP friends are not Jewish. I have shared the *possibility* that we might not circ with my parents and my sibs. None of them understood, and I know that my parents in particular are quite saddened by the possibility (although I don't entirely understand why).<br><br>
My entire family (of origin) was out east last month for my nephew's bris. Thankfully, my brother and I had opportunities to discuss the issue, and while he still holds a different position, he was gracious enough to say that he would support any decision that DH and I made without jugement (I think it helped that he very nearly passed out at the bris and was clearly uncomfortable with the procedure).<br><br>
DH is still undecided, which I guess is an improvement since he had been 100% for circ when I brought up the possibility of opting out. I have given him a book to read discussing the choice not to circ from the Jewish perspective, and he hasn't read it. We have to get moving on this decision. We don't know what gender DC will be, but I know we need to have a decision made before baby is born (I don't think it would be a good topic of discussion with babe in my arms). I am still conflicted. On one hand, I do not want to go against a religious act that is so ingrained in the Jewish culture/tradition (and supposedly commanded by G-d) but on the other hand, I literally cannot imagine allowing this to be done to my son. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. I can eat a cheeseburger or a sausage pizza without an ounce of guilt (and so can almost everyone else I know), yet I struggle with this. (It probably doesn't help that I know that the vast majority of my family would be devastated, and our friends would NOT understand. I have a large segment of my family who is extremely orthodox/frum and I don't know what their response would be).<br><br>
If we didn't circ, I would want to do some sort of ceremony like a Brit Shalom, but I don't know how to find a religious leader to perform this, and I'm not sure if people would still take off work to come celebrate a "non-bris" or how we should introduce them to the idea in a way that doesn't make them feel like we are looking down on them for the choices they made with their sons (I'm really not inclined to judge other people, but I know it's human nature to feel judged). If we do decide to circ, I'm not sure how to go about finding a "gentle" mohel or exactly what to ask for/require (regarding pain management for the babe, clamp/no clamp, strap to board or not, etc).<br><br>
I'd love to hear your thoughts/decisions, and experiences from the BTDT moms.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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Disclaimer: I am against RIC!!! Do not flame me!!!<br><br>
That said, dh and I are Jewish, too. We are having a girl this time around, but with the last pg, we debated the issue of religious circ for months. I can tell you about our experience.<br><br>
We are not orthodox Jews, but we take our religion very seriously. I do actually feel guilty, when I eat a food that is not biblically kosher. I feel like I am constantly striving to be a better Jew. Imparting our spirituality on our children is very important to us. We debated the issue of religious circ for months, when I was pg with ds. Neither of us wanted to hurt our son, but we ulitmately felt a responsibility to have a bris.<br><br>
If you choose to not have a bris, you should be able to have a baby naming much like what they do now in many communities for baby girls. It would likely take place during a Shabbat service. There would be some ritual involved, a blessing on you and your son, and your son would formally receive his Hebrew name and be presented to the congregation.<br><br>
If you choose a bris, they usually take place in your own home. A mohel will not use a board to strap your son down. A person (the Sandek), usually a close family friend, will hold your son on a table during the actual procedure, which only takes a few moments. You can nurse your son immediately following. Our mohel was, by day, an anesthesiologist, who had undergone the religious training necessary to be a mohel. I felt that our son would be receiving adequate pain relief. He had a complete penile block. The worst part was when he received the injections for penile block, actually. And, I really don't think it was the injections that bothered him all that much, but I had to hold him down for a longer period of time (still only a few moments) than the actual bris took.<br><br>
Mohels typically do not remove as much tissue as a hospital or ped performed circ. Slightly OT- I said something to my sister a few weeks ago about having to sometimes slide the skin back on ds's penis to remove lint and stuff that gets under there, and she was so confused. She isn't Jewish and chose a ped circ for her son (which I tried to talk her out of), and apparently her son's penis had much more removed.<br><br>
No matter what you choose, a good book about planning a bris or brit milah is Anita Diamant's <i>The New Jewish Baby Book</i>. It doesn't address the issue of circ/not-to-circ, but it gives ideas for prayers, songs, etc that you may want to include in your ceremony.<br><br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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We also struggled with this for our first son and ultimately decided to circ. My husband grew up Orthodox, and I conservative. Our religion is important - our son goes to a Jewish preschool and we intend to send him to day school. Ultimately, we felt the need to continue the tradition - I felt it was unfair to raise him in the religion but not to have this done. Our family would NEVER have forgiven us if we hadn't done this and they would probably have treated Zak differently because of it. My husband's grandparents are holocaust survivors, so this was particularly important to them.<br><br>
For the mohel, we chose a mohel/urologist. It went very well. He used a dorsal block because that is said to provide the best pain relief. We are also going to circ this son also for the same reasons.<br><br>
Although I never would choose to do circ if I weren't Jewish, if it is important to your faith I would do it. But if you don't feel compelled to for religious reasons, I wouldn't. Only you could decide this. But if you do have it done, just shop around for a good mohel and ask for recommendations.<br><br>
Allie
 

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This is something I struggled with enormously before I found out we were having a girl, and something I'm sure I will struggle with in the future if we have any boys (don't even ask me what I'll do if the u/s was wrong...eek!).<br><br>
I know our families would not understand if we didn't circ (dh's family, in particular), but I would NOT make it a topic of discussion. They would have to be told, obviously, but my take on it would be: "We have researched the issue thoroughly and feel this is X's decision to make when he's older. Beyond that, my son's genitals are nobody's business and the topic is closed." I don't think there would be any other way to handle it, honestly. Dh is another issue--getting him not to circ would be a much more difficult issue.<br><br>
I definitely agree with Allie, though--if you do decide to circ, get a mohel who is also a urologist or anesthesiologist (they do exist). If you have/know of any midwives in your area, they might be a good resource for finding either a mohel or a rabbi to perform a brit shalom.
 
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