Simply saying "no" to circumcision

Saying "no" to circumcision, if you are Jewish/Israelis like we are is a big "Oye vey" even if you are totally secular in your beliefs.

Our decision was that Boaz's foreskin is his, not ours. We consider circumcision elective cosmetic surgery and decided to let him decide whether or not to keep it.

Since making this decision, people have tried to tell us things like: "Your son is a goy". When we asked a dear old friend, who happens to now be a Conservative Rabbi to bless him, he respectfully declined.

My own father showed up at the airport waving a copy of "Judiasm for Dummies" which says something that will surely create the next generation of mindless dummies like: "until you are cut you can't join the club". Jeez, is that sour grapes or what? Who gives these "authors" and "learned men" the final word on such private matters? You decide. Then again, there are other Rabbi's who encourage a shift in consciousness.

Stepping back from cultural norms calls the status quo into question causing much discomfort and anxiety in certain members of my family and even in almost perfect strangers. God was a mother.

Today, when I cleaned Boaz, it seemed obvious to me that his forskin is there to keep him clean and to protect him, not to make him dirtier.

If you are looking for support around the issue of circumsision, Dana joined a fairly active Hebrew newsgroup (that is both pro and con) to get support around this issue and we both read an illuminating book called "Circumcision Exposed" "Rethinking a Medical and Cultural Tradition" by Billy Ray Boyd. I placed a link to this book above.

Karen Ehrlich, our midwife, (pictured here holding our newborn son) wrote a poem and kindly granted her permission to let me post it on this site.

circumcision

we have broken a child's spirit
he looked at me
before we began
and knew me for who i am
hey he said to me
in his gentle smile of recognition
hey you are the same as me
you must be who i am
and then i held down his legs
as we cut off his foreskin
infinitely sore tender life of orgasm
we rejected his life
force
power
he could not fight us off
despite the fact
that he fought with all his might
he gave up the fight
his legs lay beneath the ten ton fire
of my hands
and stayed there
with all his might drained
even after i had let him up

i cannot believe
that it does not harm so tender a life
to have his spirit broken
at this tender time of his life

at my hands
who has ushered in his life.

                                  -- Karen Hope Ehrlich

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