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Rabbi Cardozo: outlawing circumcision would ‘end the state of Israel’

Israel/Palestine
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The debate concerning outlawing ritual circumcision is raging. Also here in Denmark, it is now very much at the fore, in mainstream news. Other Nordic countries such as Iceland and Norway have had strong popular motions to set an age limit to circumcision, and this is following the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe’s suggestion from 2013 to ban ritual circumcision (Children’s right to physical integrity). I have even attended a church sermon recently (yes, that’s right – I went there mostly to hear Bach’s music!), where the priest used his whole sermon to address the debate – pointing out that Jesus was also a circumcised Jew!

The latter is a kind of an amusing statement – but there’s an irony there, which was clearly lost on the priest – that Jesus couldn’t have taken a decision about his own circumcision at the age of 8 days. And this is really the point of the whole debate. It’s not about circumcision as such, as a medical procedure – but about ritual, forced circumcision.

Recently a very prominent rabbi, Nathan Lopes Cardozo, has made a novel assertion in the debate (writing in Times of Israel):

As Spinoza, who had left all Jewishness, so correctly observed, circumcision is the secret to the miracle of Jewish survival. What those Jews who oppose circumcision should never forget is that the attempt to outlaw this rite may not just make Jewish life impossible, but would probably end all Jewish existence. In fact, it is a call to end the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Cardozo’s piece is so egregious, it deserves its own particular focus and analysis, which I will provide here. But before I go further into the intricacies of Cardozo’s piece, I would just like to accentuate that Cardozo is an Orthodox rabbi of considerable international clout. UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has said that “Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has emerged as one of the most thoughtful voices in contemporary Judaism. He is a man of deep faith and wide intellectual horizons, unafraid to confront the challenges of the age with the quiet confidence of one who is attuned to the music of eternity.”  

And Cardozo does manage to address a wide audience with the modern language of “human rights”. In fact, his article’s title contains a witty irony to attract the “human rights” interested: “Circumcision: Why risk your child’s well-being? A call to all Israelis”, it says (and he really means just Jews).

But as is rather quickly revealed in the piece, Cardozo sees the whole discussion about “human rights” as completely missing the point:

“What these well-meaning people, especially Jews, have to realize is that the whole premise on which these objections are based is the result of a profound misunderstanding of what human beings are all about, what moves them, and what makes their lives meaningful.”

Cardozo does note that there are Jewish groups against circumcision, but he generally regards all international attempts to ban circumcision as being motivated by anti-Semitism:

“[N]o self-respecting Jew would lend a hand to these ill-conceived attacks”, he writes.

In effect, Cardozo is positing that these “well meaning” Jews are simply naïve, and that really, they have no self-respect. Cardozo is actually suggesting, that such Jews are unwittingly lending a hand to anti-Semitism. And as he points out,

“it is impossible to argue with anti-Semites, since hate is all they know, and no reasoning will change their minds.”

Thus, according to Cardozo, there is ostensibly no real reason to even try to engage in a debate based upon reason – because it won’t help anyway.

On the one hand, Cardozo understands that there is a debate about medical pros and cons in this respect:

“Medical science has not yet determined whether circumcision has medical advantages. It all depends on which school of thought you ask, and many medical opinions on the subject are driven by opposing agendas”, he writes.

But then:

“Arguing about this is missing the point. Circumcision has nothing to do with medical advantages. It has to do with the meaning of life and its higher purpose.”

So one could say, that it is simply impossible to argue with Cardozo, just as he opines that it is impossible to argue with the “anti-Semites” – because no reasoning, besides the one about religious decree – will change his mind.

Cardozo is aware that circumcision is a religious “rite”:

“The rite of circumcision is the Jews’ way of passing on life’s meaning to their children by obligating them to fulfill the Jewish people’s covenant with God, sealed thousands of years ago”, he writes.

But he doesn’t like it being called “mutilation”, because that’s

“a description completely disproportionate to the small incision that takes only a few seconds, heals within hours, and has no serious consequences”.

Oh, I could write a whole article just on that sentence. Let me try to address it concisely:

“Small incision” – imagine if someone just made a “small incision” in your eye. Or in a girl’s clitoris (that’s a whole other debate).

“Takes a few seconds” – so does killing another person.

“Has no serious consequences” – the male foreskin is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, and plays a central part in sexual pleasure. That foreskin doesn’t grow back.

But then, if it’s such a “small incision”, why is it so central for Cardozo?

Cardozo quotes, as mentioned, the great philosopher Benedict (he calls him by his Hebrew name Baruch) Spinoza, who opined that “The sign of circumcision is, I think, so important that I could persuade myself that it alone would preserve the nation forever”.

Cardozo does note later that Spinoza “left all Jewishness” (omitting the fact of his expulsion from the Jewish community in Amsterdam), but addresses Spinoza’s claim approvingly:

“What this great philosopher was arguing is that Jews may reject Shabbat, kashrut and Judaism at large, but as long as they circumcise their children, they will preserve their nation from utter oblivion, because they realize that it stands at the core of Jewishness and represents a good deal more than just a religious rite or the belief in God.”

So let’s get this right – Cardozo is opining that circumcision is absolutely central, that it’s at the very core of Judaism, and that it is more important than other central Jewish rituals such as Shabbat, kashrut, and even adherence to “Judaism at large”. As long as Jews circumcise their boys, the “nation” will be preserved.

In a way, Cardozo is opining that the future of Judaism rests upon the male penis. If it is not cut, it’s all over.

And what about the female aspect of this?

Cardozo attempts to get rid of this problem in a one short paragraph:

“To say that women are party to the covenant only in a secondary way because they do not undergo circumcision, is like saying that American citizenship applies only to those who fly the stars and stripes on their flagpoles, everyone else being a second-class citizen”.

In other words, Jewish males have penis-flagpoles and penis-flags, which bear the mark of “Jewish nation”. But if you’re a girl, don’t worry, the boys will represent you, and you’re ok too.

Cardozo opines that

“Judaism does not believe that people own their bodies and are therefore free to do with them whatever they please”.

Oh, so God owns my body, and if God allegedly said that my penis should be cut, then I don’t have a say in it. God simply “owns” me. Indeed, Cardozo seems to suggest that circumcision is a kind of ‘branding’:

“Like a piece of paper that carries the buying power of a certain dollar amount, the body serves as the vessel that holds the soul. Just as the symbolic markings on the bill inform us of the value assigned to it by the treasury department, so too does the ‘sign’ that parents inscribe on the bodies of their children reveal the greatness of the souls they house”, he writes.

I want to provide a personal story at this point. I’m Jewish, and I haven’t circumcised my boys. When it became clear to my family nearly 19 years ago that I am not going to circumcise my first-born son (never mind that his mother isn’t Jewish), I got concerned messages from my family. And be aware, that this is a ‘secular’, ‘liberal’ and ‘leftist’ Jewish Israeli family. One member came with a ‘reason’ why it would be logical to perform circumcision – because if I didn’t, my son might encounter awkward situations in public baths… Apparently, the person hadn’t considered that living in Denmark means that the majority is not circumcised, so it would probably be awkward the other way around. But anyhow, is that a fair reason to cut a baby’s penis, because others do it and he might feel awkward? See, this is a societal persuasion. It has got nothing to do with religion really, it’s a kind of traditional-tribal persuasion. Those who adhere to the bible will say that “God said so” – that is, God allegedly said so to Abraham thousands of years ago, that he should circumcise himself (at age 99), all his offspring and all his household – in eternity – because “any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken [God’s] covenant.” (Genesis 17). But others who don’t believe in God, believe in the power of the tradition and are worried about societal exclusion.

As an adult Jew, you can decide how you will live your Jewish life. But somehow, many adult Jews who practice very little of Judaism, seem to think that this ritual of circumcision should be forced upon babies, that they should “practice” Judaism through a physical mutilation of their sexual organs, from before they can even think. The persuasion to do it is very deeply rooted, as a societal tradition. But I don’t think that faith should be imposed like that upon babies. Not in such a way. Faith should be about much more than genital mutilation. And it should be able to transcend beyond it.

But Cardozo says circumcision is an absolute core must. And his reasoning, if you can call it that, bears marks of intransigent religious fundamentalism. If Jews really are to relate to Cardozo’s advocacy as a definitive representation of Judaism, then many will no doubt opt to disavow Judaism completely. But I’m suggesting something else – that instead of disavowing or abandoning Judaism, we disavow and abandon religious fundamentalists (posing as liberals) such as Cardozo.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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270 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    March 8, 2018, 12:50 pm

    … What those Jews who oppose circumcision should never forget is that the attempt to outlaw this rite may not just make Jewish life impossible, but would probably end all Jewish existence. …

    Is he right – Jews, Jewishness and the religion-supremacist “Jewish State” amount to absolutely nothing unless skin is removed from babies’ penises – or is he just a loon? (Or is he both?)

    … “What these well-meaning people, especially Jews, have to realize is that the whole premise on which these objections are based is the result of a profound misunderstanding of what human beings are all about, what moves them, and what makes their lives meaningful.” …

    I’m a human being. Skin being removed from a baby’s penis is not what I am all about, it’s not what moves me and it’s not what makes my life meaningful.

    Or was he suggesting that non-Jews don’t count as human beings?

    … “Like a piece of paper that carries the buying power of a certain dollar amount, the body serves as the vessel that holds the soul. Just as the symbolic markings on the bill inform us of the value assigned to it by the treasury department, so too does the ‘sign’ that parents inscribe on the bodies of their children reveal the greatness of the souls they house”, he writes. …

    My parents had me circumcised (the way it was explained to me, it was a relatively new procedure in my small hometown and I was offered up as a ‘guinea pig’). Muslims are circumcised. Do the markings on our bills assign to us an equal or lesser value than is assigned to Jews with marked bills?

  2. Mooser
    Mooser
    March 8, 2018, 3:41 pm

    “Circumcision” covers a lot of ground. There is no one type of circumcision.
    Don’t confuse medical circumcision with ritual circumcision.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2018, 2:53 am

      Is is circumcision? Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin of the penis anyway one looks at it, right?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 12:09 pm

        “Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin of the penis anyway one looks at it, right?”

        That might be the way a doctor looks at it. If it’s a therapeutic circumcision, maybe much less.

        I have no idea exactly what a ritual circumcision says should be removed and why, and what they expect to happen as a result of the circumcision.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 1:55 pm

        ” and what they expect to happen as a result of the circumcision.”

        Or maybe that’s why Zionists are so sure we’ve got nothing better to do?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 3:00 pm

        From Wikipedia: Antiochus Epiphanies outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian, which helped cause the Bar Kochba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins. This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin.

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle
      March 9, 2018, 8:00 am

      Wow. Who knew it would be this simple to end the racist, apartheid, colonial, settler state? This is great.

      • tony greenstein
        tony greenstein
        March 9, 2018, 8:37 am

        I assume this is a sarcastic comment. I’m sure Judaism would manage to survive even without circumcision and unfortunately so would the Israeli state

      • genesto
        genesto
        March 9, 2018, 1:34 pm

        My thoughts, exactly. If we could end the Jewish-privileged state and create a true democracy in Israel by simply banning circumcision, I’d say, “Bring it on!”.

        Unfortunately, of course, this is nothing but typical religious nonsense. It still boggles my mind that any adult with half a brain would take something like this seriously.

      • festus
        festus
        March 9, 2018, 2:27 pm

        Tony G. “I assume this is a sarcastic comment. I’m sure Judaism would manage to survive even without circumcision and unfortunately so would the Israeli state.” Make your point to the Rabbi Cardoza.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        March 9, 2018, 7:49 pm

        Jews will abandon circumcision only if they become more flexible and creative — above all, less anxious about the survival of Judaism and Jewish identity. But such changes in attitude will also help them overcome Zionism. Circumcision and the State of Israel function in parallel as barriers to assimilation. So there is at least an indirect connection. However, it will hardly be ‘simple’ to end circumcision.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 4:52 pm

        “Jews will abandon circumcision only if they become more flexible and creative”

        Unguents or emollients are supposed to help.

  3. jon s
    jon s
    March 8, 2018, 4:48 pm

    This is clearly a freedom-of-religion issue. a bigotted attempt to ban the practice of the Jewish religion. Jonathan Ofir objects to coercion, “forced circumcision” in his words, yet does not object to the coercion which would prevent parents from circumcising their boys.

    By the way, Mondoweiss claims to be a forum for “news and opinion about Palestine, Israel and the U.S.” Yet the editors are willing to publish this piece which has nothing to do with the conflict (indeed, Jews and Muslims are on the same side on this issue).

    • Brewer
      Brewer
      March 8, 2018, 5:14 pm

      jon s.
      At what point does it become incumbent on the collective to intervene in barbaric religious practices?

      What is your position on female circumcision?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 9, 2018, 2:41 am

        KRAMER

        A bris? you mean snip snip?

        STAN

        Yeah.

        KRAMER

        I would advise against that.

        Elaine

        Kramer. It’s a tradition.

        KRAMER

        Well, so was sacrificing virgins to appease the gods, but we

        don’t do that anymore.

        Jerry

        Well, maybe we should.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 9, 2018, 3:01 am

        18 U.S. Code § 116 – Female genital mutilation

        (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
        (b) A surgical operation is not a violation of this section if the operation is—
        (1) necessary to the health of the person on whom it is performed, and is performed by a person licensed in the place of its performance as a medical practitioner; or
        (2) performed on a person in labor or who has just given birth and is performed for medical purposes connected with that labor or birth by a person licensed in the place it is performed as a medical practitioner, midwife, or person in training to become such a practitioner or midwife.
        (c) In applying subsection (b)(1), no account shall be taken of the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed of any belief on the part of that person, or any other person, that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.

        Not even a symbolic pin-prick on that clitoris!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 12:17 pm

        “Not even a symbolic pin-prick”

        I hadn’t even thought of that! The reformed circumcision ritual is available to both sexes. (With only slight modifications in the ritual. Just like a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.)

        I shoulda gone into religion, instead of following the family business, pure-collecting.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 3:29 pm

        @ Moosee

        Re a symbolic prick (or half the clit cut off): A Secretive Sect Opens A Debate On Female Genital Mutilation https://n.pr/2FzVXow

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

        ” pure-collecting”

        but in hell you’d be in good company and what happened how come young Americans know how to cut some style what happened to the older generation

        https://youtu.be/B9FzVhw8_bY

    • amigo
      amigo
      March 8, 2018, 5:28 pm

      “By the way, Mondoweiss claims to be a forum for “news and opinion about Palestine, Israel and the U.S.”Jon S

      Given that we are constantly informed that Israel is the home ( Historical)of all Jews , that makes any discussion about Jewish habits or religious beliefs in line with MW goals.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 8, 2018, 6:16 pm

      “(indeed, Jews and Muslims are on the same side on this issue).”

      Here you go again, pretending that all circumcisions are the same. They’re not.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 9, 2018, 2:39 am

        Elaine

        Have you ever seen one?

        Jerry

        You mean that wasn’t –

        Elaine

        Yeah.

        Jerry

        No.. you?

        Elaine

        Ya.

        Jerry

        What’d you think?

        Elaine

        (SHAKES HER HEAD) No…

        Jerry

        Not good?

        Elaine

        No, had no face, no personality, very dull. It was like a

        martian. But hey, that’s me.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 8, 2018, 6:25 pm

      “Jonathan Ofir objects to coercion, “forced circumcision” in his words, yet does not object to the coercion which would prevent parents from circumcising their boys.”

      In the first case, A forces B to undergo injury.

      In the second case, C forces A to refrain from forcing B to undergo injury.

      Coercion of the second type, in defence of a third party, is justified, and regarded as praiseworthy.

      We see it in Australian law, which prevents me from having my cat’s claws removed. (Not that I would ever contemplate anything so monstrous.)

      When eljay attacks a would-be rapist in defence of the supermarket checkout girl, we regard him as a hero.

      There is no inconsistency in Ofir’s position.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 8, 2018, 9:11 pm

        || RoHa: … When eljay attacks a would-be rapist in defence of the supermarket checkout girl, we regard him as a hero. … ||

        With my luck, the guy would turn out to be a Jewish Zionist who believed he was entitled to self-determine himself on/in that Palestinian girl’s geography and:
        – hophmi would accuse me of anti-Semitism;
        – Steve Grover would accuse me of wanting to be a Nazi;
        – jon s would report some soccer scores;
        – catalan would recite his CV…again; and
        – yonah would type out seven long, depressing and quasi-incomprehensible paragraphs about the Jewish condition.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 8, 2018, 11:55 pm

        O.K. I would regard you as a hero.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 9, 2018, 8:29 am

        || RoHa: O.K. I would regard you as a hero. ||

        Much appreciated. :-)

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      March 8, 2018, 8:53 pm

      I agree with Jon s., this post is distinctly inappropriate here. Anti judaic, rather than anti zionistic.

      Circumcision is far more dangerous for an 18 year old man than it is for an 8 day old infant. If not for that fact, I would be interested in fantasizing about modern Judaism investing the responsibility for mila in the individual when he turns 18, rather than in the parents or community when he is a week old.

      But it is a fantasy for this ritual is tribal rather than individualistic.

      I consider the medical evidence that circumcision saves lives of males who are snipped and of the females who have sex with these males to be proof that the ritual when first instituted was motivated (if only subconsciously ) by a desire for a strong, healthy tribe. (Even if modern hygiene suffices to eliminate the deaths caused by nonsurgery, the sane sensible origin of the practice is important to me.)

      It would be interesting if Jews who choose not to circumcise their sons instead took upon themselves some Jewish rituals that showed that their rejection of mila was not a rejection of Jewish ritual per se, but merely a rejection of this ritual because of its invasive nature. For example if Jews who reject mila (the 8th day commandment) vowed more adherence to the sabbath ( the 7th day commandment) I could see such a movement claiming, we want the Jewish rituals to continue, in a general sense, just not this specific ritual.

      I read, 45 years ago, about some blond jew, who had never been circumcised, who, because of this fact, was a very successful spy ( for israel). I wondered at the time whether mila should be skipped sometimes for such espionage purposes.

      When discussing the odds of survival of Jews who hid during the abyss one hears that blonde hair and light skin and non-Jewish facial features were a factor for women, but not as much for men, because of Bris mila.

      It is no surprise that voices here in the comments section who gleefully fantasize about the dissappearance of the Jews object to bris. Although objections to mila are understandable, when expressed by those who wish ill to the Jews, it should be understood in that context.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        Jonathan Ofir
        March 9, 2018, 2:47 am

        Yonah Fredman, you write that “even if modern hygiene suffices to eliminate the deaths caused by nonsurgery, the sane sensible origin of the practice is important to me”. Yes that seems to be all that really matters to you. See, surgery is always involved with risk and complications. If surgery (circumcision) is needed for an 18 year old, it is a completely different situation. General anesthesia is then an easy and viable option. That option is more dangerous with infants. There’s no credible evidence of a greater risk at age 18. In addition, the physical anatomy of the penis changes at adolescence, the foreskin becomes more detached from the penis head. This is not the case with infants, and it requires an additional separating before cutting. The fact that this is often performed by non-doctors and under questionable medical surveillance if at all, adds a further risk.

        Moses actually skipped the act of circumcision for the Israelites in the desert wander out of Egypt. Joshua was the one who reinstated it.

        If Moses could skip it then, I believe we can skip it now.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 9, 2018, 7:57 am

        Jonathan Ofir-
        Are there any Jewish rituals you adhere to or admire?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 12:23 pm

        “Are there any Jewish rituals you adhere to or admire?”

        Oh, you know those weak-sister, self-hating Jews, “yonah”.
        Ofir probably is obsessed by the Ten Commandments, Hillel, stuff like that.
        Stuff which never got anybody a dunam let alone a whole State!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 1:02 pm

        “I read, 45 years ago, about some blond jew, who had never been circumcised, who, because of this fact, was a very successful spy ( for israel). I wondered at the time whether mila should be skipped sometimes for such espionage purposes.”

        You are a deep, deep religious thinker, “yonah”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 2:02 pm

        I consider the medical evidence that circumcision saves lives of males who are snipped and of the females who have sex with these males to be proof that the ritual when first instituted was motivated (if only subconsciously ) by a desire for a strong, healthy tribe.”

        Ah, which medical evidence is that, “yonah”? The evidence the ancient Jews saw when they consulted the future?

        And once again, are you talking about a medical circumcision or a ritual circumcision?

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        March 9, 2018, 3:59 pm

        Yonah I largely agree with you, in that I regard religious practices as outside the public sphere, be they ever so curious or strange; but what about the fact that this leading rabbi politicized the practice, and the Times of Israel also made it a political issue. Didn’t they open the door to Jonathan’s meditations, by saying, This is a political issue? Phil

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 4:11 pm

        ” regard religious practices as outside the public sphere”

        Good. So practice on yourself. Not a helpless infant. Or is the infant chattel property of the parents?

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 9, 2018, 5:34 pm

        “So practice on yourself. Not a helpless infant”

        well all, all religious practices are on the self, these cultural habits simply can not have religious significance it could be that I am using the word in a special sense, as if it had any meaning whatsoever.

        However can not help but remark that circumcised or not men still manage to get themselves in to one load of trouble with the assistance of their peni, there is Hindu practise where young men allow their Guru to disable the penis by some brutal act, whatever you think you can never beat the Indians when it comes to penance and asceticism, it is done at puberty and with the youngmans consent you can’t beat the indians for penance.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 1:32 pm

        “there is Hindu practise where young men allow their Guru to disable the penis by some brutal act”

        Wait a minute, “gamal”, I’m trying to absorb this. Are you saying that if something is done to a man’s well, sex organ, it might have a functional effect on his, well, functioning? Could there possibly be a correlation?

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 10, 2018, 3:10 pm

        JonS
        Why do you care what what this Ofir guy or any other Mondoweiss fan/BDShole thinks about Brit Mila or really anything else? You know as well as I do that Brit Mila ain’t going away any time soon. Any country that tried to ban it will be looked upon as anti-Jewish.
        Also JonS we both know Israel is here to stay for the long haul. The Mondoweiss fans/BDSholes and their ilk aren’t worth the time and effort to try to convince of anything. Also we both know the difference between extreme right wing and extreme left wing Jew hatred. The extreme right wing will more likely out right express their hatred towards Jew and Israel. The extreme leftists will say they don’t hate Jews, but express their hatred against anything Jews value. They of course are “indirectly” hating Jews for the cause of human rights.
        So I recommend that you point out their hatred and their utter stupidity (they think they are so fucking brilliant) without engaging with them. You’ll have more fun that way and Judaism and Israel will continue to prevail and they will continue to bang their heads against the wall.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 10, 2018, 4:09 pm

        “The Mondoweiss fans/BDSholes and their ilk aren’t worth the time and effort to try to convince of anything. ” s grover

        Gee , does this mean we will be deprived of your company.

        Promise not to just take off without saying goodbye.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 5:41 pm

        “Any country that tried to ban it will be looked upon as anti-Jewish.”

        And what country would dare to do anything “anti-Jewish”?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 11, 2018, 11:18 am

        Phil, your decision to include this anti bris piece is your own choice. Cardozo’s rhetoric is his rhetoric and your decision should not depend on his rhetoric. That’s an excuse. You choose to say: this is an antizionist web site and one that also attacks Jewish practice. And from a certain perspective that’s okay. (Antizionism is as valid as Isaac Deutscher and…)The Torah is not a perfect document and Jewish practice is not based on a tabula rasa inscribed with the recipe for humanity’s perfection, but rather a mix of good and bad and criticizing Jewish practice is part and parcel of being Jewish, certainly in the modern era, so that’s okay.

        Only, it’s not 100% okay. I would prefer that the Palestine versus Israel issue could be discussed with a maximum of “cool, calm and collected”. That is hardly the prevalent tone of the discourse, but it seems to me the ideal. Raising the issue of bris automatically pushes the discourse in the opposite direction.

        Anyone as far left as me who has spent as much time as me as the furthest left voice at every single shabbos table (overblown rhetoric but not far from the truth) is familiar with the accusation of antisemite. anyone who grew up orthodox and left the path is considered an enemy to Torah.

        I am curious regarding the future developments in the saga of Jews versus Palestinians on the land and Jews versus Jews regarding Torah.

        The flow of history has its reversions, but the movement against bris will continue, for a society protects its children. As world hygiene improves the life saving aspect of circumcision will seem an anachronism. (The life saving aspect of mila is not a factor in the west today, but it is a factor elsewhere on this globe. And as that fact changes, this aspect will seem an anachronism.) And thus the protection of the individual will eventually force governments in the direction of this prohibition. It will be interesting.

        But if one wishes to keep the discourse on the level of logic, waving red flags is no way to accomplish that.

        If there are two tribal aspects to Jewishness, they are bris and the Holocaust. Both very tribal and both very inflammatory.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 11, 2018, 4:45 pm

        ” Both very tribal and both very inflammatory.”

        “Yonah”, speaking of inflammation, I’ve always wanted to know: when a foreskin (and whatever else) is removed, what replaces it?

    • Jonathan Ofir
      Jonathan Ofir
      March 9, 2018, 2:38 am

      Jon s, we have Cardozo’s word for all this being directly related to the possible end of Israel.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 9, 2018, 5:11 am

        Mr. Ofir, let’s forgot about Rabbi Cardozo for a moment.
        My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread is: do you support a ban? Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        March 9, 2018, 5:51 am

        Jon s, we have Cardozo’s word for all this being directly related to the possible end of Israel.

        It’s the magic bullet! The problem is that bullets are circumcised and as soon as you want to use it you won’t be allowed to use it…

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 9, 2018, 8:26 am

        || jon s: … Do you think that … circumcision should be outlawed? ||

        Below the age of consent, no male should be circumcised unless it is medically necessary.

        Above the age of consent, knock yourself out.

      • catalan
        catalan
        March 9, 2018, 9:28 am

        “Below the age of consent, no male should be circumcised unless it is medically necessary.” Eljay
        Thanks eljay for confirming that it was a great decision to circumcise my son. For me a sure proof that something is good and beautiful is that you oppose it. Ergo, I made the right choice. Keep telling me what people “should” do, it’s a great guide for me.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 12:26 pm

        “Thanks eljay for confirming that it was a great decision to circumcise my son. For me a sure proof that something is good and beautiful is that you oppose it”

        “Eljay” opposes child abuse and incest, too! Go to it, “catalan”.

        You go ahead and show your son that “Eljay” can’t control you!!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 12:47 pm

        “Mr. Ofir, let’s forgot about Rabbi Cardozo for a moment.”

        Rabbi Cardoza needs to visit the Wailing Wahl!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 1:09 pm

        “Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?” “Jon s”

        Wouldn’t a much more relevant question be “If Jews decide to stop circumcising, individually, or as congregations, do you have any way to force them to continue?”

        No, you don’t, do you.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        March 9, 2018, 1:21 pm

        Mooser says:“Eljay” opposes child abuse and incest, too! Go to it, “catalan”.

        You go ahead and show your son that “Eljay” can’t control you!!

        So right. When I cross a dog turd on the pavement I also think ‘wait a minute, am I going to let a dog turd control where I walk?’.

      • catalan
        catalan
        March 9, 2018, 2:07 pm

        “Eljay” opposes child abuse and incest, too! “
        Mooser,
        Every rule has its exceptions. Hitler liked dogs for instance and I like dogs too. However, when one is in doubt it helps to wonder what the worst possible human being would do and think. Then one might do just the opposite. What you or eljay think is thus a guide to me.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 9, 2018, 2:54 pm

        || catalan: … Thanks eljay for confirming that it was a great decision to circumcise my son. … ||

        My sympathies to your son.

        || … For me a sure proof that something is good and beautiful is that you oppose it. … ||

        It is truly disturbing that you consider things like rape, pedophilia, gential mutilation, spousal abuse, elder abuse, torture, murder and genocide to be “good and beautiful” things.

        Additional sympathies to your son.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 9, 2018, 3:13 pm

        John S, clueless as always.

        Of course circumcision practiced on infants is already as totally illegal as any other mutilation or anyhow violation of bodily integrity, in the absence of medical necessity, before the age of consent.

        It only gets tolerated because physicians make money out of it and because of the impunity of the Tribe. Bet you female circumcision would also have been perfectly acceptable in the West if it were a Jewish practice.

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 9, 2018, 5:15 pm

        “show your son that “Eljay” can’t control you!!”

        honestly judging by his avatar looks he could control anyone from behind, don’t let the big man get hold of your head, as you were saying.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        Jonathan Ofir
        March 9, 2018, 5:28 pm

        Jon s, “Mr. Ofir, let’s forgot about Rabbi Cardozo for a moment. My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread is: do you support a ban? Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?”

        I have made it clear towards the end of the article, that I oppose ritual circumcision. Yes, I think it should be outlawed, because laws should support human rights, and we should have a right to an uncompromised body. It is another matter if surgery is required for actual health issues. That’s the difference between ritual, and medical circumcision.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 9, 2018, 8:01 pm

        It’s on!

        The Big Contest!

        Who is the Worst Possible Human Being – Mooser or Eljay?

        Watch the two contestants slug it out every day here in the comments section.

        Exclusive to Mondoweiss!

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 9, 2018, 8:12 pm

        || gamal: … honestly judging by his avatar looks he could control anyone from behind … ||

        Nah, I’m not big, strong or controlling. That avatar shows a “Jewish State” Zionist Jew oppressing a non-Zionist Jew. So much for tribal unity (as Mooser might say).

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 9, 2018, 8:29 pm

        “It’s on!

        The Big Contest!

        Who is the Worst Possible Human Being – Mooser or Eljay?”

        I mean while I am “neutral” no way I am supporting the uncircumcised guy, there are limits.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        Kaisa of Finland
        March 9, 2018, 8:30 pm

        “The Big Contest!

        Who is the Worst Possible Human Being..”

        I am bad..

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 9:01 pm

        “Who is the Worst Possible Human Being – Mooser or Eljay?”

        Well, neither of us have phimosis, anyway.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 10, 2018, 6:19 pm

        || catalan: … Every rule has its exceptions. Hitler liked dogs for instance and I like dogs too. … ||

        I oppose rape, pedophilia, genital mutilation, spousal abuse, elder abuse, torture, murder and genocide, so you consider them to be “good and beautiful” things.

        The rule is that most people – including me – dislike Hitler, but you’re the exception to that rule.

        Well, at least you’re consistently f*cked up.

        Another round of sympathies for your son.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 15, 2018, 4:44 pm

        “I am bad” “Kaisa of Finland”

        Doesn’t matter, you can be a bit bad if you’re happy!
        Being happy is important.

    • tony greenstein
      tony greenstein
      March 9, 2018, 8:38 am

      does circumcision not have something to do with Israel? Israel is after all the Jewish state and here we are talking about something fundamental to Judaism

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      March 9, 2018, 6:55 pm

      This assumes that children are the property of their parents. Should parents be free to do anything they like to their children? Sell them into slavery? Beat them to death? Or does society have the right to set limits to parental power, on the grounds that children are entrusted to the care of their parents but are not their property? Perhaps children belong to themselves or their future selves?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 3:41 pm

        In the USA, parents are free to opt for routine baby boy circumcision, as a matter of secular custom, and most do, but said parents may not opt to do any sort of circumcision to their little baby girls, not even a single “symbolic pinprick.”

    • StephenKMackSD
      StephenKMackSD
      March 11, 2018, 12:21 pm

      jon s,

      ‘Jonathan Ofir objects to coercion, “forced circumcision” in his words, yet does not object to the coercion which would prevent parents from circumcising their boys.’

      By your rhetorical prestidigitation those who seek to circumcise their male children share what? A common victimization as those who are circumcised without consent?

      Emmanuel Levinas postulates that to knowingly ignore the suffering of the Other is to be an unwitting accomplice to that suffering. Given that, to be the author or accomplice to that suffering is an ever more egregious betrayal of human solidarity.

      StephenKMackSD

  4. March 8, 2018, 6:36 pm

    The anti-foreskin rabbi states “it is impossible to argue with anti-Semites, since hate is all they know, and no reasoning will change their minds.”

    Now I understand why Zionists don’t succumb to reason.

    Any chance leaving the foreskin on Jews will help lower membership into Zionism? if so I’m pro-foreskin

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2018, 3:36 am

      Ostensibly, not a chance in the U.S., which is the sole country in the world where a large majority of its male population is routinely circumcised at birth for non-religious reasons (and non-medical reasons–all other Western countries’ medical establishment are totally contrary to the USA’s medical establishment opinion).

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 12:58 pm

        “…the US..a large majority of its male population is routinely circumcised at birth for non-religious reasons (and non-medical reasons”

        There’s gonna be hell to pay, in a society obsessed with sexual performance.

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 9, 2018, 7:24 pm

        ” in a society obsessed with sexual performance”

        don’t mean to stalk you but currently I am athwart a dilemma, are female flutists Kosher, obviously Haram, women never get credit you remember Bobbi Humphreys, her flute did something to me you remember Harlem River Drive,

        https://youtu.be/-i_Ja2sVw1g

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 9:27 pm

        “, are female flutists Kosher, “

        You know what they say “gamal”: “If you’ve got it, flaut it.”

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 9, 2018, 11:18 pm

        “If you’ve got it, flaut it.”

        Listen man this is a blond, never mind the bastard with the bladder, see the blond with the nuclear handbag, you know it’s weird it’s like you can be white and authentic,

        https://youtu.be/5uqcoeLR7TA

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 3:47 pm

        @Mooser, maybe, some day; the foreskin is jam-packed with sexual enjoyment cells & the foreskin also has a natural lubrication function . Wikipedia does not mention this simple biological fact in its article on circumcision; it suggests instead, there’s no loss of sexual enjoyment, referencing a book study. How would anyone circumcised as a baby ever know if the uncircumcised guy gets more sexual excitement? What if we were talking about the tongue?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 5:47 pm

        ” How would anyone circumcised as a baby ever know if the uncircumcised guy gets more sexual excitement? “

        More? Maybe too much!

  5. RoHa
    RoHa
    March 8, 2018, 6:41 pm

    All due respect to Spinoza, but if Jewishness and Judaism depend on circumcision for their continuity, they must be very feeble and impoverished traditions.

    Also, if God wants Jewish boys to be circumcised, why didn’t he create them that way? Surely he could have managed a few adjustments to the Jewish genes so that Jewish boys were born without a foreskin. And that would make it clear, at least for males, who did and who didn’t belong to the ethnic group.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 9, 2018, 1:44 pm

      “Surely he could have managed a few adjustments to the Jewish genes so that Jewish boys were born without a foreskin.”

      Ah, but they say that bears have love affairs, and even camels; we’re merely mammals…

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 3:49 pm

        Born with no penile bones.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 11, 2018, 4:48 pm

        “Born with no penile bones.”

        Can’t have everything.

  6. Abuadam
    Abuadam
    March 8, 2018, 10:54 pm

    Saul of Taurus aka Paul aka Saint Paul, saw an opportunity to increase the membership of the Jesus Movement by allowing the Goyim to join.

    Problem was you needed to be Jewish to join the movement and the elite in the Roman empire who were what Saul was looking for to join the movement (NOTE YOU KNOW WHO CAN DONATE MONEY TO THE MOVEMENT) looked down on male circumcision. Besides, humans being one of the few species on this planet that was male dominated, no adult male was going to allow another male near his penis with a knife. You needed to convince the goyim males to join.

    So Saul of Taurus aka Paul aka Saint Paul, advocated that the goyim be allowed to join without converting to Judaism. Saint Peter relented and agreed with Saul of Taurus aka Paul aka Saint Paul, and so the goyim were allowed to join without that pesky male circumcision requirement.

    It worked to such a degree, that the goyim were able to execute a hostile takeover of the Jesus Movement and the World got Christianity.

    So the “Christians” wanted to distance themselves from their Jewish origins and we ended up with two millenniums (and still counting) of anti-Semitism.

    Of which the end result is the Modern State of Israel which now oppresses the descendants of the ancient Jews/Israelites (Yes who are now the Muslim/Christian Palestinians) BIG NOTE THERE Jon S

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 9, 2018, 12:25 am

      Tarsus.

      • Abuadam
        Abuadam
        March 9, 2018, 7:38 pm

        Nah RoHa.

        (1) Ford sold the Taurus to the masses (starting in 1985 for the 1986 model, still being sold).
        Saul sold the Jesus movement to the masses (starting what in 31-35 AD, and his followers are still selling it, characters like the fraud Billy Graham and his anti-Muslim bigot son Franklin).

        (2) Taurus the Bull, and Saul sold a lot of Bull to the masses.

        (3) Finally related to (2) let us not forget the Golden Calf made by the ancient Israelites (who were Hebrew but were not yet Jewish) in the wilderness of the Sinai. Even in the Sinai, Bull was being sold to the masses.

        And yes I know about the Tarsus Turkey.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 10, 2018, 1:07 am

        Fair enough.

  7. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    March 9, 2018, 12:03 am

    > Cardozo

    The rite of circumcision is the Jews’ way of passing on life’s meaning to their children …

    So Jewish boys get “life’s meaning” but Jewish girls don’t.
    Just think, half the Jewish population, naturally foreskin free, living meaningless lives.
    Ain’t it wonderful, old-time religion !

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 9, 2018, 1:50 pm

      “So Jewish boys get “life’s meaning” but Jewish girls don’t.”

      Ah! Sweet mystery of life
      At last I’ve found thee
      Ah! I know at last the secret of it all;
      All the longing, seeking, striving, waiting, yearning

  8. JosephA
    JosephA
    March 9, 2018, 12:34 am

    Just
    Say
    No
    To
    Genital
    Mutilation!!

  9. wdr
    wdr
    March 9, 2018, 3:24 am

    This posting is an example of anti-semitism, pure and simple. If circumcision is banned, why not end the right of parents to send their kids to religious schools?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2018, 10:59 am

      And the right of a religious group to sacrifice virgins?

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      March 13, 2018, 8:18 pm

      @wdr

      I’m all for ending religious schools. Never should have been allowed. Run religious teaching outside of regular school hours. I have no trouble with people teaching their views and values but religious schools cut them off from the wider world and other ideas. Some of which may be better and some of which may not be as good.

      Interestingly there was a news article today reporting that religious fundamentalism is tied, in part, to brain damage in the cortex. Not the only cause but accounts for roughly 20%

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 14, 2018, 7:47 am

        Old Geezer,

        Not the only cause…

        Logically, if there is a causal relationship it’s hard to decide if bigotry causes brain damage or if it works in the opposite direction.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        March 14, 2018, 11:57 am

        @echinococcus

        Absolutely agree!

  10. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 9, 2018, 10:02 am

    @mooser

    “Circumcision” covers a lot of ground”

    Surely you mean uncovers a lot of penis?

    Speaking of which:

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 9, 2018, 12:41 pm

      “Surely you mean uncovers a lot of penis?”

      That depends, doesn’t it? If a surgeon was trying to remedy a restrictive or defective foreskin, he would do as little damage as possible, I would hope.

      Since nobody will tell me what a ritual circumcision is supposed to do for or to a male infant (not his parents, for the kid.) it’s hard to tell how much will be removed, and what they think the result will be.

      Usually, when you cut off part of the body, you expect some result. I mean, they used to cut off a thieve’s hand, or cut out gossip’s tongues.
      What result are they expecting when they cut off a piece of the penis? They won’t say.

  11. amigo
    amigo
    March 9, 2018, 10:51 am

    Gee . I wonder how many converts to Judaism would submit to circumcision . to prove they are real Jews.

    Oh . and allow the Rabbi to do it the old fashion way.

    I think it should be compulsary.

    Maybe Israel should scrap the star of david on the flag and replace it with a kosher penis.

    Might make for bit of theathre watching the worlds most moral saluting a male appendage.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      March 9, 2018, 11:05 am

      You mean saluting a male appendage fragment?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 12:29 pm

        “You mean saluting a male appendage fragment?”

        Oh say, can you see,
        By the dawn’s early light,
        What so proudly we waved,

    • John O
      John O
      March 9, 2018, 1:41 pm

      Being brought up Roman Catholic, I’m familiar with the sacred relics of saints and martyrs being kept in ancient churches. But I was disconcerted many years ago to read that there were at least four churches in Italy claiming to have – in their reliquary – the Holy Foreskin.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 9, 2018, 7:48 pm

        This proves that Jesus was no ordinary man.

  12. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    March 9, 2018, 2:07 pm

    According to the following video, the very high rate of circumcision in the U.S. during the past century was the result of Dr. Harvey Kellogg and others having convinced parents that circumcision was desirable because it reduced the propensity for unhealthy masturbation in boys.

    SEE:
    ■ John Harvey Kellogg – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_Kellogg#Masturbation_prevention

    “Corn Flakes Were Part of an Anti-Masturbation Crusade”| Matt Soniak | March 7, 2018
    LINK ➤ http://mentalfloss.com/article/32042/corn-flakes-were-invented-part-anti-masturbation-crusade

    A Historical and Medical Critique of Circumcision – Dr. Christopher Guest

    Bonobo3D
    Published on Mar 25, 2016
    “A Historical and Medical Critique of Circumcision”

    SPEAKER: Dr. Christopher Guest, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.

    Male circumcision is a complex issue. Are health care providers providing current, evidence-based information which takes into account their professional ethical responsibilities?

    Recorded on March 9th as Presentation 1 (of 2)
    Dr. Christopher Guest presents a medical critique discussing the historical origins, worldwide trends in circumcision, and an examination of the medical claims in support of circumcision.

    Part 2 “A Feminist Nursing Critique of Circumcision” – Kira Antinuk, RN, BScN can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O2FTDReQeI

    Event made possible by the Children’s Health & Human Rights Partnership: http://chhrp.org

    Hosted by SFU Advocacy for Men & Boys
    Sponsored by Canadian Association For Equality Vancouver and Area Branch

    0:01 Theryn Meyer, intro SFU Advocacy for Men & Boys
    1:52 Philip Johnston, intro CAFE Canadian Association For Equality
    4:40 Dr. Christopher Guest, intro to A Historical and Medical Critique of Circumcision
    6:30 Intact vs Circumcised
    12:30 History of Circumcision
    28:20 Anatomy and Physiology
    47:40 Medicalization of Circumcision
    53:13 Canadian Paediatric Society
    54:52 Circumcision Complications
    56:25 Medical Benefits ?
    1:01:08 What About HIV ?
    1:08:56 Physician Transference
    1:10:28 Circumcision and Medical Ethics
    1:13:51 Circumcision and Human Rights
    1:16:32 Is Circumcision Rational ?
    1:13:10 Circumcision and Religious Freedom
    1:20:14 Questions and Discussion

  13. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 9, 2018, 2:23 pm

    @Mooser
    “What result are they expecting when they cut off a piece of the penis? They won’t say”
    As you will know it has it`s origins in the Torah (Genesis 17:714) as a commandment handed down from God (sic) to Abraham(sic). Simply a commandment which gives us the what. Unfortunately can`t find the “why”.

    Ergo it emanates from a 3000 year old fairy tale as opposed to a standard 21st Century Medical Journal

    So basically it was is and forever shall be (sorry for sounding biblical) a straight forward weird and barbaric cult ritual whether practised by Jews,Moslems or 800th Day Adventists.

    It is now being actively addressed quite rightly by civilised countries in the West as a staightforward question of child abuse . I suspect the main reason that it has not been addressed by these countries previously is fear of being accused of guess what.

    If an adult Jew,Moslem,Presbyterian etc decides as an adult to be circumcised then that is his right and the hope would be that it is done by a qualified medical person and carried out in a hygenic medical environment.

    Similarly if the procedure is recommended by qualified medical personnel for valid medical reasons and is carried out by qualified medical personnel then that too is perfectly acceptable.

    To carry out the procedure for non medical reasons on infants who cannot give consent is repeat quite simply child abuse and my view is that it should be made illegal here in the UK with heavy penalties and perhaps a warning that the child when adult could potentially sue both the parents and the “practitioner ” through the civil courts

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 9, 2018, 3:45 pm

      Still, “circumcision” covers a lot of ground. There’s a lot of function in that little “slip of skin” (and nerve endings, and other stuff.) It does stuff.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 9, 2018, 7:54 pm

      ” it has it`s origins in the Torah”

      I have read that it was originally an Ancient Egyptian practice. I don’t know whether that is true, but it might help to explain why the Egyptians walked that way.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 9, 2018, 9:16 pm

        And, yes, Tuyzentfloot, it should be “its origins”.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        March 10, 2018, 5:08 am

        And, yes, Tuyzentfloot, it should be “its origins”.

        Noted. That’s 3 commas and not a single apostrophe though so I hope you don’t mind my doubting whether you take this equal opportunity thing seriously.

  14. marc b.
    marc b.
    March 9, 2018, 3:16 pm

    “Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has emerged as one of the most thoughtful voices in contemporary Judaism. He is a man of deep faith and wide intellectual horizons, unafraid to confront the challenges of the age with the quiet confidence of one who is attuned to the music of eternity.”

    Every recommendation filled with superlatives like the back jacket of a best seller. He’s deep and wide and his car radio will never have bad reception.

    Ofir’s piece isn’t really about circumcision so much as the larger question, “can a jew be secular?” Just as archeology is the scientific/historic basis for secular jews’ belief in the eternal quitclaim deed to Palestine, hygiene and psychology are the refuge of ‘secular’ jews in the circumcision debate. people really are incapable of introspection.

  15. jon s
    jon s
    March 9, 2018, 5:14 pm

    I asked:
    My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread is: do you support a ban? Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?

    eljay, I understand that your answer is yes, that you would support legislation banning Jewish ritual circumcision.
    echinococcus, naturally, claims that it’s already illegal.
    Ossinev also agrees.

    Yonah Fredman opposes.

    Jonathan Ofir hasn’t replied so far.
    Other commenters haven’t given straight answers as yet.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 9, 2018, 7:00 pm

      || jon s: … eljay, I understand that your answer is yes, that you would support legislation banning Jewish ritual circumcision. … ||

      No, my answer is that I support banning ALL circumcision unless:
      – it is medically necessary for someone below the age of consent; or
      – the patient is above the age of consent and has given his consent.

      Enough with the arrogance that “Jewish” is somehow more special than “human”.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 9, 2018, 7:42 pm

      Jon, if you can spell out the chain of reasoning that leads to the conclusion that Jews cannot be invaders in their “historic homeland”, I’ll tell you whether or not I think Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed.

      (I like the image of the outlaw mohel, living in the hills, wearing crossed bandoliers, and smoking thin cigars.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2018, 9:20 pm

        “I like the image of the outlaw mohel, living in the hills, wearing crossed bandoliers, and smoking thin cigars.”

        Hiding out with the ‘Hole-in-the-Wailing-Wall Gang’, while Ruben Fuentes does his thing on top of mission bell-tower.

        “You want brit periah, it’ll be a few dollars more…” Twang!

    • jon s
      jon s
      March 10, 2018, 3:45 am

      Jonathan Ofir,
      I see that you have replied, supporting legislation that would ban ritual circumcision.
      I’m disappointed, even horrified, by your reply. It’s one thing to make a decision not to circumcise your own kids. It’s quite another to prevent other parents from making the opposite decision.
      You should understand that the result of such a law would be to drive the brit mila underground, to be performed in secret, in dark basements, hidden from people like you.
      For myself – and I’m not even Orthodox-I would willingly break such a law and willingly go to jail.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 11:43 am

        WTF is wrong with you “Jon s”? You get tired of beating us over the head with the Holocaust, so now you threaten us with hurting your own children if you don’t get what you want!

        Yup, sure shows how much you care about children. If the doctors won’t do it (of course, they will do it, just not to the extent you want, to get the “low and tight” look) you’ll turn the kids over to mohels in dark, dirty basements.
        You’ll show us!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 12:18 pm

        “For myself – and I’m not even Orthodox-I would willingly break such a law and willingly go to jail.” “Jon s”

        What real man can resist the cries of his infant son, who grabs him by the hand and pulls him toward the dirty basement, crying “In there, Daddy! I wanna be circumcised!”
        Yes, legality has no claims compared to the desire of a son to be circumcised!

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 11, 2018, 10:01 am

        || Mooser: WTF is wrong with you “Jon s”? You get tired of beating us over the head with the Holocaust, so now you threaten us with hurting your own children if you don’t get what you want! … ||

        What could possibly go wrong with a Jew defiantly proclaiming that he and other Jews are prepared to break the law and – in secret, in dark basements, hidden from society – perform on babies a ritual that involves the cutting of flesh and the spilling and suctioning of blood?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 11, 2018, 1:53 pm

        “What could possibly go wrong…”

        And just imagine the gratitude in the young man’s eyes when his father tells him how he evaded the law to have his son circumcised.

      • Jethro
        Jethro
        March 11, 2018, 2:38 pm

        “You should understand that the result of such a law would be to drive the brit mila underground, to be performed in secret, in dark basements, hidden from people like you.”

        Circumcision SHOULD be driven underground. It should not be normalized at all.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        March 12, 2018, 10:24 am

        And just imagine the gratitude in the young man’s eyes when his father tells him how he evaded the law to have his son circumcised.

        That’s the part Johnny Cash glossed over in ‘A boy named Sue’.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 10, 2018, 12:07 pm

      “Other commenters haven’t given straight answers as yet.”

      Nobody owes you any answers. You won’t even give us a straight answer on what circumcision does to the circumcised.

      Not his parents, not his “community”. Give us a straight answer on what circumcision does.
      Or do people just have a lot of extra parts, which have no function?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 3:59 pm

        The physical, biological, cell structure of, all characteristics, nature of, functions of the foreskin are easily available to anyone. Hint: It’s not like losing your appendix.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 5:22 pm

        “The physical, biological, cell structure of, all characteristics, nature of, functions of the foreskin are easily available to anyone.”

        And of course, a lot of that is yet to be developed from the infant foreskin and areas around it, too.

    • annie
      annie
      March 10, 2018, 1:27 pm

      My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread

      glad you qualified this with “other commenters on this thread” because until now i have yet to comment on the thread. generally i stay out of online circumcision conversations. it’s unlikely anything that could be said i can add to.

      nonetheless, i’ll add to it. it’s extremely personal for most people and it was extremely personal for me when the option was offered at the hospital after my son was born. luckily i had no argument from his father.

      i believe, if religion and people’s faiths were not so protected in our society it would be banned and illegal. but is this an issue i would put on my front burner? probably not. but do i think society would be better off without it? of course — it’s barbaric.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 10, 2018, 3:54 pm

        Annie, would you support banning it by law?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 4:09 pm

        Routine baby boy circumcision is done in only one Western nation: the USA. The Medical Establishment of the USA comes down on one side re possible net benefits, all other Western Medical Establishments come down on the other side. All agree there’s no medical need for it as a general medical rule. Until fairly recently, American hospitals did not even bother to get parental permission or give any advise at all. Sale of foreskins is big in cosmetic industry, hospitals get paid for the operation too. No cut for the parents, just the literal one to the their baby boy. Giving pain killers to baby boys is very problematic, and also only a recent practice. In a few states, the PTB have begun disallowing Medicaid coverage for routine baby boy circumcision. In Western countries with national health insurance a routine operation is NOT covered.

      • annie
        annie
        March 10, 2018, 5:33 pm

        citizen, yes i know. and i think it’s barbaric.

        jon, when i said i wouldn’t put it on my front burner what i meant was it’s not something i would push for here in the US and the reason why is as i stated “if religion and people’s faiths were not so protected in our society it would be banned and illegal.”

        as an atheist i’m not that concerned with protecting peoples faith and religion. but there’s a fairly well trodden history of fascists states trampling on people’s religious freedoms so as a citizen (vs a religious person) i tend to support those freedoms. i would really not like a state forcing a religion down my throat hence i hesitate in restricting others religious freedoms. while it may be different in europe i am not sure in the US, at this time, we could embark on making circumcision illegal without a huge fight that could open a whole can of worms about other things, separation of church and state as well as states rights. i’d like to think given time, science education and human nature this practice might die off. so, as i said, not on my front burner. but if i was in a voting booth and it were on the ballot — i’d be very tempted to either not vote or lean towards making it illegal. kids die from this. it’s not a good idea. and circumcised adult males, they don’t really know what they’re missing now do they?

        but i would not go out of my way to support its banning or advocate its banning because as a non religious person i can’t really put myself in the mindframe of a religious person to know how much it means to them. the mouth thing? totally gross and rife with potential problems. but i don’t put it in the same category as female circumcision, which i definitely think should be illegal. everywhere. but it’s also the sort of thing that if you make it illegal people who really want it will do it anyway. like banning abortions.

        i mean what are you going to do, send the state around to people’s houses to make sure their kids have not been circumcised? arrest doctors and parents? then you potentially have people not taking their kids, for the duration of their childhood, to all but certain (illegal) doctors so they won’t get busted. can of worms.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 6:08 pm

        “i mean what are you going to do, send the state around to people’s houses to make sure their kids have not been circumcised? arrest doctors and parents?”

        No, but if there was a law, (or even just medical regulations on the operation, for God’s sake!) people could much more easily be sued by their circumcised children. And mohels and doctors, too. Without a law, restitution is nearly impossible.

        Maybe they can’t (God alone knows why) be stopped from doing it, but there’s every reason to try and make its victims whole.

      • annie
        annie
        March 10, 2018, 6:28 pm

        people could much more easily be sued by their circumcised children.

        rich kids who don’t want to wait around for their inheritance!

        according to this report https://hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb45.jsp in west only 31.1% of male newborns are circumcised “before their release from the hospital”. but it’s on the decline all across the U.S.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        March 10, 2018, 7:10 pm

        Mooser “No, but if there was a law, (or even just medical regulations on the operation, for God’s sake!) people could much more easily be sued by their circumcised children. And mohels and doctors, too. Without a law, restitution is nearly impossible.”
        So Mooser, why do you want to take your parents to the cleaners?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 10, 2018, 10:29 pm

        Annie

        i don’t put it in the same category as female circumcision, which i definitely think should be illegal. everywhere

        Nonsense. They are both in the category Mutilation / violation of the bodily integrity of an infant / minor unable to give informed consent. Whichever way you want to slice it, they are both firmly in the category Abuse of parental authority causing lasting bodily harm. Period.

        but it’s also the sort of thing that if you make it illegal people who really want it will do it anyway. like banning abortions

        There are enough laws and international regulations on the books to already start (supposing a miraculous political decency in the US –yarright) to ignore the illegal regulations that give impunity to the abusive parents and Helsinki/Hippocratic oath-violating physicians.

        A small number of resounding sentences with the stiff jail terms usually involved in other cases of unconsented bodily harm would be enough to make the violation out of reach for most of the religious, let alone normal people who just go with the flow.

      • annie
        annie
        March 15, 2018, 2:52 pm

        Nonsense. They are both in the category Mutilation

        nonsense. female circumcision is the removal of an entire sex organ (if you’d like to argue women can have orgasms without one — have at it — but count me out). that is not the same thing at all.

      • gamal
        gamal
        March 15, 2018, 6:51 pm

        ” female circumcision is the removal of an entire sex organ ”

        No it is not Annie not in all cases in my locality the operation involves minor trimming of the Labia Majora, performed in the manner of an African rite of passage at puberty.

        And whatever it is however barbaric we are in our own homes you outsiders have no right to determine how we live barbaric as we are we are still sovereign and in our homes.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 16, 2018, 7:17 am

        Morality and law apply everywhere, including in the home.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 16, 2018, 8:40 am

        Annie,

        [re female ” circumcision” & male circumcision

        nonsense. female circumcision is the removal of an entire sex organ (if you’d like to argue women can have orgasms without one — have at it — but count me out). that is not the same thing at all.

        There’s like a failure of logic and language (unexpected with Annie): of course they are both mutilation. Or rewrite the definition of mutilation.

        That there is often a difference in the exact extent of the mutilation (which is occasionally as bad as you say, ie a savage clitoridectomy) is totally irrelevant to things like human rights, the Helsinki declaration, the Hippocratic oath and all principles (but not application) of law in any modern nation you care to name.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 4:26 pm

        If sterility is not a side-effect of female circumcision, their sex-lives aren’t effected. They can still get pregnant and bear babies.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        March 16, 2018, 6:19 pm

        @Mooser
        “If sterility is not a side-effect of female circumcision, their sex-lives aren’t effected. They can still get pregnant and bear babies.”

        ummm…. Are you serious? There are differen types of fgm. One is similar to circumcision but the rest would seriously impact on someone’s enjoyment of sex if not their ability to procreate.

        I’ll end there as I find it hard to think you meant that other than sarcasticaly or provocatively.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      March 11, 2018, 12:42 am

      Ban all the bloody rituals in israel including, but not limited to rape, torture and murder of palestinians. Killing palestinians is indeed a ritual and a rite of passage for jewish israelis. Ban circumcision until the age of consent, along with bar and bat mitzvah.

      “You should understand that the result of such a law would be to drive the brit mila underground, to be performed in secret, in dark basements, hidden from people like you.
      For myself – and I’m not even Orthodox-I would willingly break such a law and willingly go to jail.”

      The weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth of the over-indulged never fails to amuse me – thanks for the laugh!

      Brit mila underground! Secret basement rituals! Hidden from sight! Sounds familiar. ‘We should exact a price’ from Ahed Tamimi ‘in the dark,’ Israeli …
      mondoweiss.net/2017/12/should-israeli-journalist

      Watch yourself now, you might find yourself face to face with a zionist in the midst of some nasty business being carried out on a palestinian girl.

  16. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    March 9, 2018, 8:02 pm

    I would like to thank Jonathan Ofir for writing about this issue and Mondoweiss for allowing him to do so. It is of great significance for me personally.

    For those interested in theology, the biblical basis for circumcision is less clear than it may seem. The Bible is a poorly edited jumble of earlier texts by different authors. That is why many stories are told twice, with important differences between the two versions. For instance, in one version of the creation narrative Adam appears before Eve, who is created out of Adam’s rib, but in the other version man and woman are created at the same time. The same applies to circumcision. In one version of the story of God making His covenant with Abraham he commands circumcision, but there is another version of the story in which circumcision is not mentioned.

    In Islam, by the way, the practice of circumcision has an even weaker basis. It is not mentioned in the Quran. There is a school of influential Moslems who reject the validity of non-Quranic sources and oppose circumcision as a desecration of God’s perfect creation.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      March 10, 2018, 5:44 am

      A sacrifice, presumably, that marked, very literally, Egyptian priests as dedicated and holy. The Jewish extension of the rite to all males was a claim in the theology of the time to be a holy people.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        March 10, 2018, 9:41 am

        That is one hypothesis. Another is that circumcision was originally a substitute for human sacrifice (of a child or slave). This was Freud’s view and I find it plausible (evidence is sparse and difficult to interpret). In that case you could say that circumcision, like animal sacrifice, played a positive role in social development. Of course, its origins are now long forgotten and it is unlikely that human sacrifice would be restored in the event of circumcision being abandoned.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 10, 2018, 11:30 am

        At least one happier note is struck!

  17. dx
    dx
    March 9, 2018, 9:35 pm

    First of all, “Also here in Denmark, it is now very much at the fore, “—ha ha! Nice touch. Well done.

    “He generally regards all international attempts to ban circumcision as being motivated by anti-Semitism.” –All right, folks. This just needs to stop. Every discussion, disagreement, or criticism of anything that could remotely be related to Israel/Jews is not antisemitic.

    (I hate chick peas. I will not touch hummus. Am I antisemitic? Anti-muslim? My point is that constantly crying antisemitism is really crying wolf these days. Save it for the times when it really happens.)

    “Circumcision has nothing to do with medical advantages. It has to do with the meaning of life and its higher purpose.” I can’t say for sure what the meaning of life is, but I’m 100 percent certain it has nothing to do with circumcision.

    If your faith, your morality, your conscience somehow rests on circumcision, then that’s pretty ridiculous. Maybe it could be the way you pluck your eyebrows–at least people could see that everyday. –and you could even include women in the tradition! (Perhaps that would put a wrench in the perpetuation of patriarchy?!) Or just carry around a pet rock. Or something else equally silly.

    On a more serious note, what about males who are injured or otherwise don’t have current evidence that they were circumcised–or I’m sure there’s some condition where they could not be circumcised because of the way they were born?

    And what about women? Female genital mutilation is a horrific practice and is a cause of serious medical issues including death. So I won’t make light of the idea of women and circumcision. Suffice it to say that the idea that a faith that puts so much emphasis on a “flagpole” is probably not a faith worth following.

    And I don’t think the Jewish faith is a “flagpole” faith. It is one of the great religious traditions in the world. And at its heart, it does good. Just as Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism and the best parts of the world’s other religions send goodness into the world when adherents follow the true spirit of those faiths. I say “spirit” singularly because all goodness has the same origin. That is a rock of faith to believe in.

    No flagpoles required.

  18. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 9, 2018, 10:17 pm

    Some thoughts: If only the tradition of the Jews was as anodyne as banjo playing on the porch or talking in tongues in church, but it’s a far thornier ball of wax, including tribal initiation of our male infants.

    those who root for the disappearance of the Jews will have predictable opinions on this issue. those who are apathetic regarding the slow and inexorable disappearance of the Jews will have predictable opinions on this issue. If anyone feels strongly opposed to the disappearance of the Jews, yet still wants changes to the community’s relationship to this tribal rite, those opinions are of interest to me. Haven’t read one of those here yet.

    the idea of such laws being passed and mohels going to jail and brisses being held in secret certainly has an allure to my sense of adventure and intrigue.

    Rabbi cardozo was born from a jewish father and a nonjewish mother and converted as a result of a religious awakening as a teenager. i respect his opinion, yet i am uncomfortable with his vehemence on this issue. But his emphasis on commitment is appropriate and if one is not committed to jewish continuity, then one’s opinions on this issue are predictable.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 10, 2018, 9:14 am

      || Yonah Fredman: Some thoughts: If only the tradition of the Jews was as anodyne as banjo playing on the porch or talking in tongues in church, but it’s a far thornier ball of wax, including tribal initiation of our male infants. … ||

      The ball of wax is only as thorny as you wish to make it. Nothing prevents Jews from developing a tribal initiation that does not involve cutting skin off babies’ penises.

      || … the idea of … brisses being held in secret certainly has an allure to my sense of adventure and intrigue. … ||

      I wonder if you have any idea how creepy that sounds.

      • catalan
        catalan
        March 10, 2018, 10:47 am

        “Nothing prevents Jews from developing a tribal initiation that does not involve cutting skin off babies’ penises.” Eljay
        My understanding is that Israel will be forced to withdraw to partition borders and accept all refugees using BDS. Fair enough – but what is the plan to prohibit circumcision, given that about half of American families practice it? Who will be boycotted and what stocks will be divested from? I assume that the plan involves jailing me and stripping me of my birth citizenship due to “hatred”, but will that be enough?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 11:48 am

        “Nothing prevents Jews from developing a tribal initiation that does not involve cutting skin off babies’ penises.”

        Hows about we compromise, and they just cut off less of it? I’m not kidding. Circumcision can cover a lot of ground.
        They always say “removes the foreskin” but there’s a lot more to it than that.
        At the very least set a limit on what may be removed.

      • Keith
        Keith
        March 10, 2018, 1:23 pm

        ELJAY- “Nothing prevents Jews from developing a tribal initiation that does not involve cutting skin off babies’ penises.”

        Perhaps something involving navel lint?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 1:43 pm

        “Perhaps something involving navel lint?”

        My suggested replacement is linked here. No navel lint needed.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 10, 2018, 1:48 pm

        || catalan: … My understanding is that Israel will be forced to withdraw to partition borders and accept all refugees using BDS. … ||

        That’s news to me.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 10, 2018, 11:51 am

      “and if one is not committed to jewish continuity, then one’s opinions on this issue are predictable.”

      Gee, “yonah”, that is a very disturbing thought. After all, doesn’t the bris-day boy usually set up a wail at the touch of the izmel?
      I hope he isn’t registering a protest against Jewish continuity!

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 10, 2018, 11:56 am

      ” If anyone feels strongly opposed to the disappearance of the Jews, yet still wants changes to the community’s relationship to this tribal rite, those opinions are of interest to me. Haven’t read one of those here yet.”

      That is not true, “yonah”. A completly reformed (sorry, “yonah”) ritual has been offered, and is awaiting adoption. And with slight changes (thanks, “Citizen”!) the ritual works for both Bar and Bat.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 4:31 pm

        Might not work for Bat under current law.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 5:32 pm

        “Might not work for Bat under current law.”

        Only the more extreme forms. The entirely non-invasive circumcision is the best.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      March 11, 2018, 3:53 am

      “Rabbi cardozo was born from a jewish father and a nonjewish mother and converted as a result of a religious awakening as a teenager.”

      A religious awakening? Sounds like possibly a seizure and he’s still postictal. Of course and as usual, you provide no source for you claims. You might not be aware of this, but because of my religious awakening I’m able to see the disclaimer attached to each of your posts which says absolutely nothing, much like your posts.

      “If only the tradition of the Jews was as anodyne as banjo playing on the porch or talking in tongues in church”, the rabbinute would work night and day until they made it as offensive, intrusive, ungodly and unnecessary as it is today.

  19. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 10, 2018, 10:35 am

    @JonS
    “It’s quite another to prevent other parents from making the opposite decision.
    You should understand that the result of such a law would be to drive the brit mila underground, to be performed in secret, in dark basements, hidden from people like you”

    It still hasn`t registered with you so lets go back to the basics:
    It is 2018 AD not 2018 BC
    In 2018 AD child abuse whether ritual or not is illegal.
    No parents have the right to abuse their children and the power of the law should be used to prevent any such parents from making a “decision” to abuse their children.
    Cutting off a section of an infant child`s penis in a cult ritual and not for clearly identified medical/health needs is straightforward barbaric child abuse and should be made illegal in civilised countries with heavy penalties for the parents and those who carry out the practice. This is the case whether circumcision is being practiced by Jews,Moslems,1000th day Adventists or any other religious cult.
    As I said before the only reason that this revolting practice has not been addressed up until now is the fear of being accused (yawn) of guess what.

    When the infant becomes an age of consent his parents may “decide” to suggest to him that to have the procedure done as part of a cult ritual but this in turn should be subject to general medical regulations in the relevant country.As an adult he can then make that decision which is his and his alone to make.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      March 10, 2018, 11:30 am

      Quite right.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 10, 2018, 12:18 pm

        MHughes,
        Do you also support legislation to ban ritual circumcision?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 10, 2018, 4:35 pm

        @JonS
        Do you support legislation to ban routine baby boy circumcision excluding religious ritual circumcision?

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        March 10, 2018, 10:29 pm

        @jon s

        What is your position wrt to ritual female circumcision?

        No I’m not comparing them so don’t throw that straw man out.

        I am trying to get at whether you feel religious/cultural rituals takes priority over other considerations or not.

        You really don’t get to argue for rituals taking precedent for mgm unless you do fully support fgm.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 11, 2018, 11:27 am

        I would favour recognition of the existing illegality of the practice, yes. I’d argue that it constitutes, in its objective nature, an injury – flesh removed, blood shed. Since the process comes without consent and ab extra, it’s an assault. So it falls into categories that are under almost any conceivable morality – by no means excluding Jewish morality- wrong and indeed illegal on the face of it or at first sight.
        It is possible to reverse a negative judgement arising at first sight by further objective considerations – it will promote health etc.. The considerations offered seem to concern the profound love that notivates the deed and the overwhelming social consent that accompanies it, so making recognition of it as an assault inconceivable in practice. But these do not affect the objective quality of the deed and we should not transfer an action from the category of bad to the category of good for reasons based only on the subjectivity of the agent or on that of majorities. To do would surely smash the foundation of moral thought – things aren’t right because you think they are and, as the Torah so nobly remarks, thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.
        I do think that it’s often not possible to resist the multitude or even to raise one’s voice to be heard by it.. It’s not possible to do active right in all circumstances. So I’d agree with Annie about the back burner.
        It is said also that the ritual does no long term harm. But to those who may choose in adult life not to be part of the Jewish community it is a mark, and a very intimate one, of disregard, to some extent contempt, for their autonomy, therefore an insult, therefore harmful.
        I haven’t touched on the argument that God wills it but I’ve gone on long enough.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 11, 2018, 3:31 pm

        Hughes,

        Excellent summary, thanks for the nice writing.
        Of course this question is not a front line issue, hence agreed on the “back burner” position… but. At any moment it may suddenly become the strategic issue that will place the Zionists on the back foot. It’s good to be ready to attack if and when it becomes a major issue. The circumcision scandal and the Zionist overreaction may well finish destroying support to the Zionist entity in Europe.

    • jon s
      jon s
      March 10, 2018, 12:06 pm

      Ossinev,
      The brit mila (Jewish ritual circumcision) is the exact opposite of “abuse”. It’s an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents, welcoming the new little guy into the tribe.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2018, 1:25 pm

        “It’s an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents, welcoming the new little guy into the tribe.”

        Okay, I’m sure his parents got a big kick out of it. But if it is such an act of love and acceptance (acceptance? You are very much not accepting the boy the way he is) please tell me:

        What is the effect of circumcision? Or is it the removal of a non-functioning or vestigial part? Seems to me if you ‘loved and accepted’ your child, that would be of prime concern to you. But you have no idea, do you? In fact, you don’t care.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 10, 2018, 3:57 pm

        “Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?”Jon S

        Why do you frame it as a “Jewish Ritual” .Are you hoping to unearth some devious Goyim Antisemiitism.

        As to my answer , it should be banned no matter whose ritual it is.

        Muslim , Jewish et al.

        ” It’s an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents, welcoming the new little guy into the tribe.” Jon S

        Wasn,t bad enough he was slapped on his butt last week but now someone is cutting off his foreskin.

        Some welcome.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        March 11, 2018, 4:04 am

        Most parents would define an ‘act of love’ as being what led to the birth of this child and accept the ‘new little guy’ exactly as he was born. Geez this is weird. If you were going to do anything surgical for this ‘new little guy’, why not help him out and give him a bigger tool to work with in the first place? No, not that, a brain of course.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 11, 2018, 1:36 pm

        “and accept the ‘new little guy’ exactly as he was born”

        And let ‘boys be boys’?

        Man, the male species at least, is a severely over-sexed animal until some of that overwhelming influx of sexual sensation is removed.
        Leaves a guy free to concentrate on the higher things.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        March 12, 2018, 12:18 am

        Maybe I’m confused but I thought that circumcision reduced sensitivity? It only seems to have heightened yours, but not in a good way obviously. Sorry for all you fellows out there and on Mondoweiss who were at one time “the new little guy” who suffered that horrible fate; it sheds some light on your lack of self-esteem and incalculable sense of entitlement, but does not forgive it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 12, 2018, 11:12 am

        “Maybe I’m confused but I thought that circumcision reduced sensitivity?”

        Sexual function is a matter of a lot more than just sensitivity.

        Sexual reproduction, of course, is just a matter of getting the sperm to the egg.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 10, 2018, 12:11 pm

      “should be subject to general medical regulations in the relevant country”

      Can’t wait to see the informed-consent disclosure form.

  20. Brewer
    Brewer
    March 10, 2018, 11:02 am

    New York City is investigating the death last September of a baby who contracted herpes after a “ritual circumcision with oral suction,” in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish ceremony known in Hebrew as metzitzah b’peh.
    Two more babies stricken with herpes after ritual ultra-orthodox Jewish oral blood sucking circumcision in New York City

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baby-dies-herpes-virus-ritual-circumcision-nyc-orthodox/story?id=15888618

    Since 2000 13 known cases of herpes have been contracted from the religious practice
    Two deaths and two babies suffering brain damage have resulted
    Department of health warns there being no safe way to perform the ritual that dates back more than 5,000 years

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304793/Two-babies-stricken-HERPES-ritual-oral-blood-sucking-circumcision-New-York-City.html

    G_d works in mysterious ways.

  21. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 10, 2018, 1:49 pm

    @JonS
    “The brit mila (Jewish ritual circumcision) is the exact opposite of “abuse”. It’s an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents, welcoming the new little guy into the tribe”

    As they say in these parts you are pulling my plonker (pun intended).

    Get real. To repeat we are in 2018 AD not 2018 BC.

  22. jon s
    jon s
    March 10, 2018, 3:48 pm

    Ossinev,
    Absolutely, this is 2018 CE, not 132 CE, when the Emperor Hadrian tried to supress the ritual.

    About a year ago I wrote this:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/02/response-harassment-reinforces/#comment-871897

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 10, 2018, 5:02 pm

      “About a year ago I wrote this:”

      Yeah, your comments are like vintage whines, they improve with age.

      • inbound39
        inbound39
        March 11, 2018, 8:24 am

        He might like cheese with his whine Mooser.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 11, 2018, 12:50 pm

        “He might like cheese with his whine Mooser.”

        I ain’t touching that. I’m no smegmegi.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 11, 2018, 1:03 pm

        All I’ve got is coffee and stale puns.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      March 10, 2018, 10:42 pm

      Hadrian is to be highly commended for his civilizing behavior against religious fanaticism/Zealot fundamentalism, his defense of freedom from religion and his respect (conscious or not) of the right to bodily integrity.

      We have lost a lot of ground in these ~2,000 years, really.

      • Jon66
        Jon66
        March 11, 2018, 10:53 am

        Echi,
        “Hadrian is to be highly commended for his civilizing behavior against religious fanaticism/Zealot fundamentalism…”
        Wasn’t he the guy who built a wall to keep the barbarians separated from the civilized people? It’s an interesting idea don’t you think?

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        March 11, 2018, 11:36 am

        I think it’s likely that Hadrian or his successors banned circumcision only of adult converts.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 11, 2018, 3:23 pm

        Keeping at bay the howling fundamentalist barbarians of the Judean hills, who in fact were the al Qa’ida of their times, was enough of a highly commendable feat to celebrate the Roman administration, no matter its other defects.

      • John O
        John O
        March 11, 2018, 3:36 pm

        @Jon66

        Hadrian’s Wall was built (most probably) to mark an agreed, secure border for the Roman Empire, beyond which the Romans would not attempt any conquest, colonisation or settlement. A certain country might profit from studying it in more detail.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 11, 2018, 3:47 pm

        John #66

        We badly need a Hadrian to keep the Zionist barbarians away from decent humanity, to first of all stop their orgy of pillage, looting and war of aggression. The Ostrogoths and Visigoths had nothing on the Zionists; Genghis Khan at least did not settle. Unlike the Zionist tick.

      • Jon66
        Jon66
        March 11, 2018, 6:25 pm

        Echi,
        i think I’ll write to the Israeli and Palestinian governments and suggest a wall to separate them. Thanks for the idea. It might catch on.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 11, 2018, 6:48 pm

        “Keeping at bay the howling fundamentalist barbarians of the Judean hills,…”

        Including the Judean People’s Front, the People’s Front of Judea, and the Campaign for Free Galilee.

        But Hadrian’s Wall was built as a defence against the howling barbarians of Scotland.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        March 12, 2018, 12:30 am

        “Wasn’t he the guy who built a wall to keep the barbarians separated from the civilized people? It’s an interesting idea don’t you think?”

        The wall isn’t keeping palestinians safe from the beastial bloodthirsty scum occupying their land though. Don’t you think? Rhetorical question jon66, of course you don’t. Walls are built by dumb asses for dumb asses who would try to convince the world they need the wall for their safety and security but forget to mention that their safety and security wouldn’t be an issue if they’d only stop raping, torturing, maiming and murdering palestinians.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 12, 2018, 9:28 am

        When I wrote

        We badly need a Hadrian to keep the Zionist barbarians away from decent humanity, to first of all stop their orgy of pillage, looting and war of aggression

        that of course didn’t involve a permission to said barbarians to settle in Palestine; the Bronx should be good enough. Of course none of that concerns John 66, who continue his well-paid cutting and stitching in the States and wouldn’t even dream of joining his invading barbarian brethren

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 12, 2018, 11:26 am

        Hadrian! Hadrian! HADRIAN…. HAAAADRRIIAAN!

      • Jon66
        Jon66
        March 12, 2018, 7:42 pm

        Echi,
        Now you have me even more confused.
        Which party is the modern equivalent of your boy Hadrian and his Romans who conquered Britain and then built a wall to keep out the barbarians?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 13, 2018, 3:15 pm

        John 66,

        You have been more than confused all the way from your entering the Ziobubble protected environment, shortly after birth. Please spare us that nonsense about getting confused now.

      • Jon66
        Jon66
        March 13, 2018, 8:21 pm

        Echi,
        I sent that letter. I’ll let you know if I hear back about the wall idea. I even included a sketch and suggested a name. Hadrian’s Wall II.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 14, 2018, 12:14 pm

        “Jon 66” why on earth are you bvlabbering about Hadrian’s Wall?

        You profile says you are “a husband, father, and surgeon.

        You ought to know all about circumcision. Why not explain what makes circumcision so beneficial to the male person?

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 15, 2018, 4:08 pm

        “You profile says you are “a husband, father, and surgeon“.Mooser to Jon 66

        That,s a mistype.It should read Sturgeon .Here is the reason for his interest in Hadrians wall.

        “Nicola Sturgeon announces plans to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall, and England is going to pay for it” .

        “Shortly after Theresa May said she would block any plans for another independence referendum, Sturgeon said she would go right ahead and build a wall to keep out the meddling English.

        “We never get the best of them coming across the border. No, it’s just the Tories and the other canvassing politicians – there are some good ones, too, I assume,” she told reporters.

        “That’s why I’m going to build a wall, a great wall. It’s going to be so great.

        “And best of all, England is going to pay for it. Yes, they are. They might say they’re not, but they will be. Yes they will.”

        Sturgeon’s speech has been welcomed by Scottish Nationalists who are keen to believe literally anything they’re told as long as it contains an anti-English sentiment

        http://newsthump.com/2017/03/16/nicola-sturgeon-announces-plans-to-rebuild-hadrians-wall-and-england-is-going-to-pay-for-it/

  23. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    March 10, 2018, 6:17 pm

    I am mortally offended by women who do NOT have a bit of their genitals removed at the young age!

    This is the absolutely offensive indication of the fundamentalist religious discrimination being committed against fairer sex.

    And taking Israeli rabbi as a proponent of such a archaic thinking you can see how impossible it is to argue that newborn girls will never be regarded as equal in the eyes of their families and the society at large unless some part of their genitals (why not LABIA? WHAT is WRONG with LABIA?) will be considered so essential to their tribal and religious identity that they have to be sliced off in the recognition of their belonging to that tribe and race and religion??

    This is twenty first century! Kurdish women and Israeli women fight along the menfolk against barbarians at the gate, but will anyone, ANYONE wish to cut their genitals? No!

    And in the countries where there is equal access to mutilation, there is a drive by some of the so-called proponents of ” rights for women”
    (often from countries that promote that sacred right to mutilation for MEN and not for women) to argue that not holding such rights to girls is barbarian.

    Mothers! fight for equality of your daughters! Remove bits of their genitalia in a progressive step to a new, just world of tomorrow!

    It’s an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents, welcoming the new little girl into the tribe [as per Jon S].

    (Sarcasm alert)
    105 / 117

  24. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    March 10, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Infant deaths per year due to non circumcision – 0
    Infants deaths per year due to circumcision – 117

    I get that it’s a religious ritual and that religion/culture is important to some people (as an atheist someone who embraces multiculturalism I can only shake my head and wonder why though).

    I would not currently propose or promote legislation to ban circumcision at this point in time but if it was proposed I would support it. Primarily because I think there are bigger issues to address.

    That said…. how the heck could any sane parent subject their child to a procedure which could kill them when they would be perfectly fine without it. Atheism aside I would have to question their suitability to be a parent in the first place.

    • jon s
      jon s
      March 13, 2018, 5:48 pm

      old geezer
      I was responsible for my son’s circumcision (I didn’t do it with my own hands, but I hired the mohel, who acted on my behalf, so I’m responsible) and was of course involved in my cute little grandson’s brit mila just over a year ago.
      Now do you really think that I would even contemplate , for one second, to deliberately do something which could harm them? Are you saying that for thousands of years, millions of Jews have “abused” their children? Do you realize how crazy that allegation is?
      I’ll say it again: the brit mila is an act of love and a celebration of a new life. It’s a far cry from “abuse” .

      • annie
        annie
        March 13, 2018, 7:51 pm

        jon, you do know all those female circumcisions in africa and thereabouts are not done because elders deliberately set out to harm those girls, and for thousands of years, millions of parents didn’t purposely “abuse” their children? Do you realize how crazy that allegation is?

        they didn’t contemplate abusing or hurting the girls, they did it for their future prospects. for the good of their community and a perpetuation of the norm/tradition.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 13, 2018, 8:07 pm

        Jon, you may not think of it as abuse, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse. Reality is not determined by your thoughts.

        (It isn’t even determined by my thoughts, though it damned well should be.)

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        March 13, 2018, 8:21 pm

        @jon s
        “Now do you really think that I would even contemplate , for one second, ”

        Clearly the answer is, Yes.

        Children die every year from ritual circumcision. That risk didn’t outweigh your desire to lop off a body part.

        You can try to sugar coat it, appeal to God’s direction, but the procedure can kill.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 13, 2018, 10:10 pm

        “Now do you really think that I would even contemplate , for one second, to deliberately do something which could harm them?”Jon S

        Oscar Wilde had you in mind when he penned the following.

        “Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 13, 2018, 11:16 pm

        Old Geezer,

        Mutilating or occasionally even killing a child (one’s own) out of sheer irreligious fanaticism, as done by uncountable John Ss, is bad enough. One wonders if screwing up the kids’ brains by marking them for life isn’t just as bad.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 14, 2018, 11:59 am

        ,” but I hired the mohel”

        Good Lord, not even a doctor!

        Did you get an informed-consent form? Did you ask the mohel (in between drinks) exactly what he’s removing, and why?

        “Now do you really think that I would even contemplate , for one second, to deliberately do something which could harm them?”

        Nah, “Jon s”, it didn’t harm the kid. Don’t be defensive about our traditions!
        It improved him. Just think how oversexed he would be with all that stuff intact.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 15, 2018, 7:02 am

        Annie,
        From what I know about female circumcision, it’s very traumatic, unlike the Jewish brit mila.
        When my son was born, when my grandson was born, we didn’t even consider, even for a nano-second, NOT having a brit. The family deliberations were about the mohel, the guest list, the catering and so forth.
        As I’ve said, a joyous occasion.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 15, 2018, 7:08 am

        Roha,
        I would still like to know whether you favor legislation to outlaw the ritual.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 15, 2018, 9:07 am

        I would still like to know how you arrive at the idea that Jews cannot be invaders in Palestine, even if it is their “historic homeland”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 15, 2018, 4:25 pm

        “When my son was born, when my grandson was born, we didn’t even consider, even for a nano-second, NOT having a brit. The family deliberations were about the mohel, the guest list, the catering and so forth”

        Yeah, it’s easy to see how seriously you took it. They did it to you, so you do it to him.

  25. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 11, 2018, 8:23 am

    Critical In Depth Analysis of 2012 American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force Report On Routine Neonatal Circumcision:
    https://www.academia.edu/23431341/Statement_by_Statement_Analysis_of_the_2012_Report_from_the_American_Academy_of_Pediatrics_Task_Force_on_Circumcision_When_National_Organizations_are_Guided_by_Personal_Agendas_II

    Note: The AAP report itself is very unusual in that it does not preface its findings with a review of the biological nature, functions, operation of the Foreskin. Also, no citation of studies of males who had circumcision done later, comparing their pleasure experience before and after being cut. A study was omitted by the Report of women showing they experienced more pleasure from the uncut penis than from the cut penis. Doctors who were cut themselves were 5 times more likely to recommend circumcision, & if those doctors had cut boys, they were 6 times more likely to recommend circumcision. Apparently, the whole male leadership of the AAP are cut, and the chair is guaranteed to one with religious preference for being cut. Lastly, the report includes and recommends social and cultural considerations in making the decision for your baby boy–not properly included in a medical report. The US medical establishment’s stance on circumcision (reasonable parents could decide the benefits outweigh the risks and are worth paying for) is based on cultural bias according to medical establishment of other Western countries. Foreskins are big business in USA.

  26. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 11, 2018, 1:26 pm

    @JonS
    “About a year ago I wrote this:”

    Ah progress at last you have fast forwarded from 2000BC to 2017 AD.
    All we have to do is convince you that it is not ” an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents” but an act of self indulgent barbarity commissioned by parents whose priority is their lunatic fairy tale based cult and not the welfare and rights of their child who being an infant has f… all say in the matter.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 11, 2018, 4:56 pm

      Perhaps circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 14, 2018, 12:04 pm

        Or as the New Standard “gamal” Revised Scriptures has it:

        “However can not help but remark that circumcised or not men still manage to get themselves in to one load of trouble with the assistance of their peni” 5:34

  27. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 12, 2018, 9:46 am

    @Mooser
    “Perhaps circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision”

    Do I detect an element of circumspection in your comment about circumcision.

    Still I suppose it is better than just speaking willy nilly.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 12, 2018, 11:22 am

      “Do I detect an element of circumspection in your comment about circumcision.”

      I didn’t think a chapter&verse tag would be necessary.

  28. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    March 12, 2018, 10:26 am

    But I’m suggesting something else – that instead of disavowing or abandoning Judaism, we disavow and abandon religious fundamentalists (posing as liberals) such as Cardozo.

    So you are only talking to and considering the religious –in fact, the fanatically religious. The logical conclusion of what you wrote, for anyone not obnubilated by superstition, is in fact the diametrical contrary: get out of the obscurantist Stone Age tribe if you don’t have anything in common. No reason at all to stay.

  29. jon s
    jon s
    March 15, 2018, 7:18 am

    I think that the mondoweiss editors showed very poor judgement in posting this piece.
    On the other hand, it’s instructive to see the reactions. We’ll remember them next time we see that “I’m anti Zionist, not anti Jewish” slogan.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 15, 2018, 8:05 am

      || jon s: I think that the mondoweiss editors showed very poor judgement in posting this piece.
      On the other hand, it’s instructive to see the reactions. We’ll remember them next time we see that “I’m anti Zionist, not anti Jewish” slogan. ||

      Opposition to circumcision neither transforms anti-Zionism into anti-Semitism nor justifies the past and on-going (war) crimes of Zionists.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      March 15, 2018, 1:28 pm

      @jon s

      Oh grow a pair jon. It’s a big world and ritual circumcision is not exclusively Jewish. People are alllowed to have an opinion about the propriety of nin essential surgery being performed on non adults. You couldn’t be more ethnocentric if you tried and that’s where the seed of the vileness of zionism germinates.

      Your attempt to use that as a shield for abuse of human rights of millions, murder, dispossession, crimes against humanity is disgusting in the extreme. It shows the empty shell of zionist morality.

      Pathetic whining jon. Truly pathetic.

    • annie
      annie
      March 15, 2018, 2:39 pm

      jon, where’s the appropriate place to have a discussion about it? when the times of israel publishes this editorial by the rabbi, is it better form to just shut up?

      i don’t like the topic. and it’s one many people are having in the US (in europe i think a lot of people are having it) and given that the vast majority of people it impacts are not jewish, don’t you think it’s a little jewish-centric to think people would base their opinions, or make these kinds of decisions, moral judgements or ethical decisions, whatever you want to call them, on such a personal issue, based on anti semitism, zionism, or how they feel about jews one way or the other?

      i am with oldgeezer on this one. “People are allowed to have an opinion about the propriety of nin essential surgery being performed on non adults. You couldn’t be more ethnocentric if you tried”.

      i read some of the many comments over at the times of israel. a lot of jews are speaking up about it there (granted people who have strong feelings about this are more likely to be drawn to this discussion). but what do you think of the times of israel publishing that? or is it only ok publishing pro circumcision articles? are you really being fair when you write things like

      We’ll remember them next time we see that “I’m anti Zionist, not anti Jewish” slogan.

      seriously, is that a fair thing to say about a very controversial procedure that a lot of people are feeling anguish about and discussing. i would urge you to go read the comments over at TOI.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 15, 2018, 4:31 pm

        Annie,
        I have no problem discussing the issue.
        I do have a problem with any attempt to legally ban the practice.

  30. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 15, 2018, 8:34 am

    @Jons
    “On the other hand, it’s instructive to see the reactions. We’ll remember them next time we see that “I’m anti Zionist, not anti Jewish” slogan”

    As you have not clarified your comment I am assuming that you are thinking along the lines of ” I told you so it`s all about anti – Judaism na na na na na”

    I will try once more as I do believe that like the vast majority of Zionists when it comes to facing up to reality 2018 you are fundamentally a lost and confused soul.

    Ritual infant circumcision is a particularly horrendous form of child abuse whether it is practiced by Jews, Muslims or any other religious cult. I say particularly horrendous because it is structured and organised.

    Mondoweiss editors showed sound editorial judgement in publishing the piece as the the practice has lately been the subject of discussion in civilised Europe

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/18/iceland-ban-male-circumcision-first-european-country

    Hopefully very soon where Iceland has led others will quickly follow.

  31. jon s
    jon s
    March 15, 2018, 4:22 pm

    Child abuse is evil and malicious. Abused children are traumatised for life.
    The Jewish brit mila is a celebration of a new life, an act of love, and non traumatic.
    Too bad you don’t see the difference.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 15, 2018, 4:53 pm

      What is wrong with a male infant’s genitals? Why not simply leave them alone?

      And if it’s “non-traumatic”, tell us, what replaces what has been removed?

      “The Jewish brit mila…Too bad you don’t see the difference.”

      Gets you all famischt when the requisite philo-semitism isn’t displayed, donnit?

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      March 15, 2018, 11:21 pm

      @jon s

      You are delusional and enamored wirh your own self aggrandizement.

      But then you teach fake history so what else is new.

      Get your kids a good drug plan. Apart from potential trauma, damage, etc they will have 6 times the risk of erectile dysfunction. But what the heck, you had a great party. And the medical copycat drug company teva will ensure cheap generics.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 17, 2018, 5:35 pm

        old geezer,
        Delusional? Self-aggrandizement? Me? And just when I was thinking of granting you an audience here at the palace…

        Seriously, what are you talking about?
        And why do you think that I teach fake history? What I teach is pretty much the conventional , mainstream , historical narrative.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 18, 2018, 12:00 pm

        “And why do you think that I teach fake history?”

        Everybody knows that Jews never lie. Not for any reason in the world. And especially not for the same reasons most people lie.

        “Jon s” you haven’t told us yet what replaces the foreskin (and the rest of the stuff) removed in a ritual circumcision.

        And you still haven’t told us what effect circumcision is supposed to have. Besides an excuse for a party. I suspect (maybe I have a dirty mind) it’s got something to do with sex. Does it?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 16, 2018, 12:02 am

      “The Jewish brit mila is a celebration of a new life, an act of love, and non traumatic.”

      You keep saying that. But it is still cutting a bit off a baby boy for no good reason.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 2:11 pm

        “cutting a bit off a baby boy for no good reason.”

        No good reason? I’m sure they think there are very good reasons.
        It is hard to see someone subjecting their child to a ritual mutilation if they didn’t think the child would be improved by the change in their sex organs. Apart from the swell party and all.

        I’m sure “Jon s” can enumerate the benefits of infant circumcision to the infant, boy and man.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 16, 2018, 8:04 pm

        When they think at all, they probably do think there are good reasons. But what people think is not necessarily true, as Dubose Heyward noted.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 16, 2018, 10:13 pm

        “as Dubose Heyward noted.”

        Though the classic line was provided by Ira Gershwin.

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 18, 2018, 5:17 pm

        RoHa,
        Preserving jewish traditions and what has been a sign of Jewish identity for thousands of years qualifies as a good reason.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 19, 2018, 2:31 am

        “Preserving jewish traditions and what has been a sign of Jewish identity for thousands of years qualifies as a good reason.”

        No it doesn’t. Preserving traditions because they are beneficial or because they are harmless and fun is acceptable.
        Preserving traditions which involve harm (and cutting off a bit is harm) is not. And the only reason that has been “a sign of Jewish identity for thousands of years ” is tradition.

        (Why do Jews need “a sign of Jewish identity”, anyway? Especially one usually tucked out of sight under trousers.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 19, 2018, 12:11 pm

        “Preserving jewish traditions and what has been a sign of Jewish identity for thousands of years…”

        ♫”Shalom, shalom you’ll find shalom,
        The nicest greeting you know.
        It means “I’ll show you mine, if you show yours”
        And twice as much as ‘hello’.” ♪

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 19, 2018, 12:17 pm

        “No it doesn’t.”

        Awww, c’mon “RoHa”! Don’t disappoint “Jon s’s” expectation of philo-semitism. Remember, lack of philo-semitism is anti-semitism.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 19, 2018, 6:30 pm

        Mooser, I’m still puzzled about the “sign of identity” thing. How does it work?
        One morning, in the shower, you glance down and say, “Eyup, there’s a bit missing. Hey, that means I’m kosher. I’m a sheeny, a Red Sea pedestrian. Whoopee! I’m a member of the Chosen People!”

        Is that it?

        Here’s the bad news. You might just be a Muslim. It isn’t a very precise sign of identity.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 20, 2018, 12:42 pm

        “I’m a sheeny,”

        “He studied Studs Lonigan in the mirror, and discovered that he wasn’t such a bad-looking guy, and that maybe he even looked older than he was. He took a close-up squint at his mug and decided that it was, after all, a pretty good mug, even if he almost had a sheeny’s nose.” James T. Farrell “Studs Lonigan”

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 20, 2018, 6:46 pm

        MENDOZA. Now, we tolerate all opinions here. But after all, comrades, the vast majority of us are neither Anarchists nor Socialists, but gentlemen and Christians.
        THE MAJORITY [shouting assent] Hear, hear! So we are. Right.
        THE ROWDY SOCIAL-DEMOCRAT [smarting under suppression] You aint no Christian. Youre a Sheeny, you are.
        MENDOZA [with crushing magnanimity] My friend: I am an exception to all rules. It is true that I have the honor to be a Jew; and when the Zionists need a leader to reassemble our race on its historic soil of Palestine, Mendoza will not be the last to volunteer [sympathetic applause—Hear, hear, &c.]. But I am not a slave to any superstition. I have swallowed all the formulas, even that of Socialism; though, in a sense, once a Socialist, always a Socialist.

        Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 3

        I haven’t read Farrell. I do remember Life of Brian.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 20, 2018, 11:15 pm

        “RoHa”, I hadn’t thought of that paragraph in “Studs Lonigan” in over fifty years. Oh, how I puzzled over that word at the time. I had a bad habit of always trying to read above my weight when I was a kid.

  32. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 15, 2018, 7:09 pm

    Tribal initiation rites are actually pretty foreign to the modern mind. “Why don’t your rabbis decide to undo the rite?” I can’t think of a deafer response.

    I would place mila in the top 10 Jewish traditions:
    1. Justice and ethics
    2. the sabbath
    3. the holidays
    4. kosher
    5. a set of books
    6. marriage laws
    7. oneness of god
    8. mila

    Can anyone name one significant Jewish theological thinker who has backed the intactness movement? I doubt it.

    Rabbi Cardozo overstates the importance, but top 8 is also important.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      March 15, 2018, 11:15 pm

      @yonah

      Justice and ethics is number one?

      I could agree based upon the role Jewish people have played in human rights over the years.

      But only if you agree that it shows that zionism has sfa to do with Judaism and is one of the most vile political movements on the planet.

      I doubt you will do that, which shows your lack of sincerity, even though I hold Judaism and it’s role in high regard.

      There is nothing, not one tiny molecule or atom, in zionism, that has anything to do with justice or ethics. The exacr opppsite and much worse.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 16, 2018, 12:01 am

      Those are the top eight of the top ten?
      I would have thought “oneness of god” would top the list, rather than being relegated to number seven.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 16, 2018, 8:29 am

        || RoHa: Those are the top eight of the top ten? … ||

        Hush! It’s anti-Semitic to suggest that 8 is not 10.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 1:33 pm

        “I would have thought “oneness of god” would top the list…”

        That’s the one that tops mine.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 2:19 pm

        And beyond that I wouldn’t dare, or care to go. But of course, I’m no bal toyreh.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      March 16, 2018, 7:54 am

      It’s very interesting, Yonah, that your list does not include anything implying a Jewish sovereign state – seems to me to come from an era of Judaism before Z really arose and perhaps after medieval concern with kingship had waned. A list reflecting the interpretation of scripture that I ‘learned’ would have put sacral monarchy, with messianic expectations linked to it, in a fairly high place. This might be a list more friendly to Z than yours! The Church of England in Oxford had then and still has something of a Z atmosphere.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 16, 2018, 8:26 am

        || MHughes976: It’s very interesting, Yonah, that your list does not include anything implying a Jewish sovereign state … ||

        Zionists insist that Jewish is about more than just religion – it’s also about tribe, culture, ethnicity, people, nation and civilization – so one expects a short list of Jewish traditions to have at least a few that are not religion-based. But y.f.’s list does not. That’s interesting but not at all surprising given the Zionist penchant for contradicting themselves and reducing Jewish to religion.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 16, 2018, 11:04 am

        Eljay

        not at all surprising given the Zionist penchant for contradicting themselves and reducing Jewish to religion

        Because that’s the only thing that there is under that name. Not for lack of trying to invent myths.
        Unless you can come up with even one single non-religious element that you can call “Jewish” .

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 1:37 pm

        ” even one single non-religious element that you can call “Jewish”

        Hey, we’re bad, we’re nationwide. Don’t forget, there’s a lot of syncretism, borrowing, adopting and adapting in the religion, too!
        ( Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      March 16, 2018, 8:27 am

      Can anyone name one significant Jewish theological thinker who has backed the intactness movement? I doubt it.

      That is enough to condemn all Jewish ” theological thinkers” –as if their being theological were not enough.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      March 16, 2018, 8:48 am

      Waiting for messiah should have been included on the list. Zionism is a secular offshoot of waiting for messiah- as in “too much waiting, now let’s do something instead of waiting.”

      Survival- as in “continuity” should also be on the list. Zionism, from my point of view, is wrapped up in the urge to survive. The primary Jewish population of 1881 ( eastern European) has failed at survival (in place) has succeeded in physical survival through emigration. American jewry the primary location for that emigration has succeeded in physical survival, but not nearly as successful at cultural survival. One of the few cultural continuity successes has been mila. Zionism was an attempt at both physical survival and cultural transformation/continuity, exchanging Yiddish for hebrew, and exchanging tradition for nationalism.

      Yes, belief in one God should have led the list.

      Judaism did not give ethics to the world, but it did give and does give a set of books to the world that include some of the most memorable quotable passages extolling justice and ethics.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 1:41 pm

        “Waiting for messiah should have been included on the list. Zionism is a secular offshoot of waiting for messiah- as in “too much waiting, now let’s do something instead of waiting.”

        And a national project based on that basis, a basis both practical and idealistic, cannot possibly fail.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 17, 2018, 1:21 am

        “Judaism did not give ethics to the world, but it did give and does give a set of books to the world that include some of the most memorable quotable passages extolling justice and ethics.”

        I recall a few of those.

        Genesis 17:14
        Exodus 34:7
        Deuteronomy 20:10-15
        Deuteronomy 21:18-21
        Numbers 31:17-18
        Kings 23:20-25
        Leviticus 20:10
        Leviticus 25:44-46

      • jon s
        jon s
        March 17, 2018, 5:20 pm

        Yonah,
        I would suggest, as numbers 9 and 10 :

        9. community
        10. the connection to the historic homeland in Eretz Yisrael

        The point on the brit mila I would extend to include various “life cycle events”: brit mila, bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, funeral…

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 18, 2018, 12:07 pm

        “:I would include brit mila, bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, funeral…”

        Wow, Mankind was in a hell of a mess, really, on a level with the beasts of the field, till us Jews came along and showed mankind how to live.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 16, 2018, 2:29 pm

      “Yonah”, you left out number 9; ‘a second set of books’. And 10; ‘a third set of books’.

  33. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 16, 2018, 11:11 am

    @yonahF
    “Judaism did not give ethics to the world”
    Good to hear that you are not adding to the cherry tomato, hummus etc list.
    Zionist Jews to the contrary have been p…ing all over world ethics since they began their colonisation of Palestine.
    On the down side though :
    “One of the few cultural continuity successes has been mila”
    You are listing barbaric child abuse as a “cultural continuity success”. It doesn`t get much weirder than that in 2018 AD.

    To use the traditional Celtic saying Yonah you are truly”away with the fairies”.
    You need to take a break from the Hasbara Lite.

  34. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    March 16, 2018, 12:42 pm

    What is the point of circumcision?

    Wiki quotes
    “Of the Special Laws, Book 1, the Jewish philosopher Philo (20 BCE – CE 50) gives six reasons for the practice of circumcision.[88]He attributes four of the reasons to “men of divine spirit and wisdom.” These include the idea that circumcision:

    protects against disease,secures cleanliness “in a way that is suited to the people consecrated to God,”causes the circumcised portion of the penis to resemble a heart, thereby representing a physical connection between the “breath contained within the heart [that] is generative of thoughts, and the generative organ itself [that] is productive of living beings,” andpromotes prolificness by removing impediments to the flow of semen.

    To these, Philo added two of his own reasons, including the idea that circumcision

    “signified figuratively the excision of all superfluous and excessive pleasure,” and”is a symbol of a man’s knowing himself.””

    Cleanliness. .People of God..divine spirit ..wisdom

    And Israel. Filthy, disturbed, traumatised, hate filled.
    Israel has broken Judaism.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 16, 2018, 2:37 pm

      “Cleanliness. .People of God..divine spirit ..wisdom”

      I knew we would get around to the benefits sooner or later. People, men especially, aren’t perfect.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        March 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

        You need to have skin in the game, Mooser

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      March 16, 2018, 3:48 pm

      “signified figuratively the excision of all superfluous and excessive pleasure,”

      Do tell.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 5:07 pm

        “Do tell”

        Well, Philo ought to know. Or ought to know what they said it did.

  35. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 18, 2018, 2:24 pm

    @YF
    “I would place mila in the top 10 Jewish traditions”
    I notice that you stopped at 8. Could the missing 9 or 10 perhaps be the “metzitzah b’peh” or does that conjure up images of vampirism.
    Stills goes on in 2018 though I believe . So YF what are your thoughts on this 4000 year old tradition of post circumcision oral suction.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 18, 2018, 3:19 pm

      .” So YF what are your thoughts on this 4000 year old tradition of post circumcision oral suction.”

      Darn it, I just can’t help thinking this all has something to do with sex.
      I don’t know why I feel that way, but I think the two (circumcision and sex) are at least tangentially related.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      March 18, 2018, 4:07 pm

      i am against post mila oral suction. if the rabbis announced that from now on jewish males would wait until 18 years to get mila, I would not object. if individual jews oppose mila and feel they will double down on sabbath in order to make up for their dereliction that strikes me as a commitment to continuity.

      Those who await the disappearance of the jews with glee are overrepresented in the mw comments section.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 18, 2018, 5:51 pm

        || Yonah Fredman: … Those who await the disappearance of the jews with glee are overrepresented in the mw comments section. ||

        What puzzles me is why you insist on making the continued existence of “the jews” contingent on a questionable practice like circumcision and on support for a colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” when the only thing “the jews” need in order to continue existing is Judaism and, as far as I can tell, no-one here is awaiting the disappearance of that faith.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 19, 2018, 11:43 am

        “Darn it, I just can’t help thinking this all has something to do with sex.” “Mooser”

        “i am against post mila oral suction.” “yonah”

        Nobody is accusing you of “post mila oral suction”. That wasn’t the kind of sex I was talking about.

        (Jeez, the amount concern exhibited for the circumcisee is breathtaking. Why not use a doll? You could do whatever you want to it.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 19, 2018, 11:54 am
      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 19, 2018, 2:13 pm

        ” now on jewish males would wait until 18 years to get mila”

        Brit Mila” at 18?!?!? Are you kidding? Don’t want to get too graphic, but it’s an entirely different deal at 18. That would be one hell of a circumcision.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        March 19, 2018, 5:16 pm

        Let’s not exaggerate, Mooser.

        Not hell. Patient comes fasting, OR prepared, lead sturgeon, assistant surgeon, anesthetist, OR nurse, assistant nurse, full anesthesia, etc. Signature of informed consent.

        Not “hell” but somewhat expensive.

  36. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    March 19, 2018, 8:29 am

    @YF
    “if the rabbis announced that from now on jewish males would wait until 18 years to get mila”
    Nice try Yonah. Still haven`t addressed the basic issue. Do you believe that the circumcision of infant boys constitutes child abuse or not?If you believe it isn`t child abuse then IMHO you and those who share that opinion be they Jewish,Moslem,Christian or pagan are beyond the pale. As for Rabbis “announcing” or their equivalents the Imams “announcing” you are talking about theocratic states. In modern democracies democratically elected representatives make those decisions and enforce them though independent judiciaries.

    “Those who await the disappearance of the jews with glee are overrepresented in the mw comments section”

    Sorry but you sound like a selfish little child who has stolen all the other children`s toys whining about no one liking him

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      March 19, 2018, 10:35 am

      Ossinev- because of my lack of scholarship on the medical benefits or lack thereof, I do not feel competent to judge the utility to society of making this act prohibited. Such a law would be a game changer.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 19, 2018, 11:58 am

        “Such a law would be a game changer.”

        I guess that depends on who you are playing with.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 19, 2018, 1:05 pm

        ” because of my lack of scholarship on the medical benefits or lack thereof”

        They skipped you?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 21, 2018, 12:07 am

        ” because of my lack of scholarship on the medical benefits”

        “Scholarship”? What about personal experience? Each of us knows what circumcision has done for us, how it has benefited us.

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