To Cut or Not to Cut?
Posted by lchaimlover on June 28, 2007
18th century set of circumcision tools
According to a national poll, circumcision rates are dropping in the United States, down to 40% in the San Francisco area.
And this isn’t only among the non-Jewish population. According to recent AP article, Jewish families are celebrating “bloodless brit milahs”, no cuts, but keeping the party.
To be blunt, this is a shame, along the lines of a Bar Mitzvah with no synagogue or Torah. How does one reconcile keeping with the covenant, when they aren’t fulfilling one of the most important mitzvahs. In ancient Greece, when Hellenic culture was all the rage, Jews questioned circumcision. Some Jews even went through painful plastic surgery so as to appear uncircumcised. It didn’t help that the Greeks and Romans made circumcision illegal. But all that surgery still didn’t help the Jews when Chanukah time rolled around.
How important is circumcision to Hashem? According the story in Exodus, Hashem attempted to kill Moshe, his right hand man, because his son was not circumcised. Luckily clever Tzipporah figured out why Hashem was so mad, and performed the ceremony herself. One man in Oregon, who recently converted to Judaism, has gone all the way to the Supreme Court to defend his right to circumcise his 12 year old son. According to one of the previously mentioned articles, circumcision is still mostly popular among Jewish and Muslim communities, but with the ever decreasing popularity, will this hold out? Apparently only in the Midwest is it still very popular, with rates well above 80%. So it seems as if Chicago may be the new place to be…