Circumcision: Identity, Gender, and Power
"Circumcision is seen as the central mitzvah (or commandment) of Judaism. Even for nonreligious Jews,
circumcision continues to be perceived as the sine qua non of Jewish identity. And yet, unlike any other
controversial topic that we Jews address, the subject of circumcision is not to be challenged. We can calmly discuss whether there is a G-d or no G-d, if G-d is masculine, feminine, or neuter, or whether homosexuals should become rabbis. Yet, questioning circumcision has been out of bounds."
Intact and Jewish (Natural Parents Network)
"I started to research other options. I knew we weren’t the first Jewish parents to keep our child intact; what did everyone else do? The internet provided a few examples of Bris shalom ceremonies: welcoming covenants of peace. Right up our alley."
Lisa Braver Moss (Working Toward Open Inclusion of Non-Circumcising Families in Jewish Life)
"You're Jewish—and proud of it. But you're questioning circumcision. You're not alone."
No Circumcision For My Son (YNet-Jewish News)
"Rani Kasher decided not to circumcise his third son after conducting research; he is now an anti-circumcision activist and plans on writing a book on it."
Q. What Is A Brit Shalom? A Covenant Without Cutting (Jewish Business News)
"For over ten years, Mark Reiss, MD, an American Jewish doctor and co-founder of Doctors Opposing Circumcision has published a list of more than 130 Rabbis who will celebrate a bloodless Brit Shalom. Among the members on this list are Rabbis with intact grandsons and Rabbis who after decades of officiating at circumcisions, have come to the conclusion that they can no longer ethically continue. Many parents are also finding that their regular Rabbi or Cantor are happy to do so as well, even if they are not on this list."
Jewish Circumcision Resource Center (JCRC)
"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."
Celebrating Brit Shalom (Website/Book)
"Celebrating Brit Shalom is a remarkably honest, beautiful, and sacred offering reimagining one of the most highly charged Jewish practices—circumcision. Whatever your views on brit milah the ceremonies in this book are wise, sensitive, and poetic attempts to honor both genuine painful human experience and the desire to enter the covenantal drama of this people."
Why I Would Never Circumcise My Son (The Glow)
"Bodily autonomy means that each person should have the ultimate say in what happens or is done to their body... Infants cannot consent to having a literal piece of their genitalia removed, nor can they properly make an informed decision about whether or not they want the procedure done."
Erections for Circumcision (YWB)
"There has been speculation from those fighting against circumcision that healthcare providers might be purposely giving newborns erections before circumcising them in order to see where the glans (head of the penis) is located and thus be able to know where exactly to cut the foreskin off. It would take a lot of the guess work out of the 'procedure'."
Jewish Circumcision: An Alternative Perspective (CIRP)
"As a Jew, I used to take ritual circumcision completely for granted. I watched the procedure many times, when a son was born to family or friends. It is unusual for a woman to watch, but I was a young medical student, unafraid, curious and, eventually horrified. My concern about this issue has arisen slowly, simply from what I have seen."
Beyond the Bris (BTB)
"Welcome! Are you surprised to discover a community of Jewish people who are united in the belief that circumcising healthy children is harmful and unnecessary? Don't be—times are changing. We are the voices and faces of the pro-intact Jewish movement."
New York Baby Infected With Herpes (The Jewish Daily)
"A baby boy has been infected with neonatal herpes following a Jewish ritual circumcision in New York — the third such infection in two years tied to a controversial rite that involves the direct application of the ritual circumciser’s mouth to the baby’s genitals to suction blood from the wound."
Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective (Book)
"Endorsed by five rabbis, Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective is the first critical examination of the growing controversy of male infant circumcision with special attention to contemporary concerns of Jews. Consider these facts: Circumcision is not universal among Jews. Jewish press articles have questioned circumcision."
One Rabbis' Thoughts on Circumcision (Rabbi Nathan Segal)
"I have witnessed hundreds of circumcisions, the baby boy usually lies in bliss and blessing and as soon as his penis is touched it gets erect... and then he is held down... either with a restraining unit or by an elder, and then he is cut... and he screams, and cries..How is this event stored in memory? What are we doing to our children?... and why?"
An Open Letter to Mohel Michael Henesch (Shea's Blog)
"This is an email I just sent to the mohel who performed my circumcision 21 years ago today. My goal in sending this was to show him the perspective of someone who wished he hadn’t been circumcised, so that he would understand what his profession could do and maybe so he would question his continued participation in the field."
A Letter from a Father to a Son (Jews Against Circumcision)
"To my dear son Elijah, I write this letter to explain to you and my family & community why I choose not to perform a circumcision upon you. On your 8th day of life, I choose to have a Brit Shalom ceremony instead of a Brit Milah. The Brit Shalom ceremony is a ceremony acknowledging one's covenant with God without performing the ritual circumcision. As a Jewish boy I was circumcised according to tradition when I was 8 days old, but not by my choice."