Monday, October 27, 2008

Jewish Circumcision Resource Center

Circumcision is a Choice:

Like the American cultural practice of circumcision, Jewish circumcision (bris or brit milah) is dependent on the acceptance of cultural myths. Of all the myths that Jews believe about circumcision, the one that is paramount is the belief that all Jews circumcise. With this belief, we put ourselves under tremendous pressure to conform.

Bound by this burden to comply with social expectations, most Jewish parents do not recognize that circumcision is a choice. Since open communication about circumcision is discouraged, there is virtually no awareness of others who feel similar conflicts and doubts around circumcision. Moreover, if a Jewish parent does decide not to circumcise a male child, it is not generally known to the rest of the community. As a result, many parents submit to the pressure and then discover only too late, perhaps after witnessing the circumcision of their son, that they wish they had chosen differently. Some parents report that if they could take back one decision, it would be their son's circumcision.

By Brad Trechak 11.14.05

Several weeks ago my brother's family had a boy, giving me my first nephew. He was born a week before Rosh Hashanah and to celebrate the Jewish new year, in keeping with traditions dating back thousands of years, my family hired a man with minimal medical credentials to snip off the tip of their baby boy's wee-wee with a scalpel.

Circumcision, the ritual removal of the foreskin of the male penis, has been practiced since long before recorded history. It is believed to have originated in eastern Africa since before the time of Abraham when it is believed to have been done for the suppression of the male sex drive. It has long since been a tradition for the Jewish people to circumcise each male child within eight days of birth in a ceremony known as a Brit milah or Bris Milah (Hebrew for "Covenant of circumcision" or "Covenant of the word").

According to WebMD, it may also

be done to treat some medical conditions that affect the penis of older boys and men, such as balanitis (inflammation of the tip of the penis), phimosis, and paraphimosis and other terrible sounding afflictions.
There is also one popular myth developed in 1985 by Dr. Thomas Wiswell is that it helps prevent urinary tract infection. It was determined that his methods were skewed and his conclusions were unreliable. However, even if it were true then such an infection would likely have a small statistical probability of occurrence, similar to getting an infection in your tonsils, which are only removed if necessary. The same theory should apply to the foreskin; it should only be cut off if it is causing a problem. To remove it beforehand is akin to removing your legs at birth because they might get crushed in an auto accident someday.

Circumcise Yourself in Four Easy Steps:

Does your penis look like Jesus' penis?

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