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Is circumcision child abuse?
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Brit Shalom
Covenant of Peace


Brit Shalom is a non-cutting naming ceremony for newborn Jewish boys. It may be performed by a Rabbi or an experienced lay leader. If desired, Celebrants can aid parents in devising their own ceremony. This ceremony replaces Brit Milah (ritual circumcision). It has also been termed Alternative Brit (or Bris), Brit b'li Milah (Covenant without cutting) and Brit Chayim (Covenant of Life). It is similar to the naming ceremony for girls.

In the 613 mitzvos, we are commanded to:

(N 41) Not imprinting any marks on our bodies (Lev. 19:28)
(N 45) Not making cuttings in our flesh (Deut. 16:1)


Loving Kindness

Among the great strengths of Judaism are its rationality, its commitment to learning and scholarship, the tradition of gemilut chasadim, acts of loving kindness, and the prohibition on deliberately causing pain. Cutting off part of a baby’s penis violates all of these traditions and strengths.
The Covenant

The argument that Jewish babies have a right to have part of their penises cut off before they are old enough to give or withhold consent, because to do otherwise would deprive them of their heritage, is irrational. Heritage here means doing what we have done. It may seem, at first, to insult one’s ancestors to do other than what they did, but it is equally an insult to our own and our descendent’s intelligence, to cling blindly to customs of the past.

To be meaningful, a covenant must be entered into by a consenting adult who intellectually understands the covenant. A newborn baby is incapable of this understanding. Therefore, if a man decides to be circumcised later in life — based on his adult understanding of the Covenant — only then is the covenant valid.

Additionally, halacha provides for the ceremony of hatifat dam berit (shedding of a token drop of blood) for babies who can not be circumcised due to health reasons. This is deemed to be completely valid in marking the Covenant.

Even the great Rabbi Mainmonides recognized the problems with circumcision:

”...How can products of nature be deficient so as to require external completion, especially as the use of the foreskin to that organ is evident?

The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired...there is no doubt that circumcision weakens the power of sexual excitement, and sometimes lessens the natural enjoyment; the organ necessarily becomes weak when it loses blood and is deprived of its covering from the beginning.”

Rabbi Moses Maimonides, The Guide of the Perplexed, The University of Chicago Press, 1963
Literalism

Some people believe that God commanded that Abraham circumcise himself, his family and their heirs forever, yet there are many doubts to this belief.

What kind of covenant is it that is marked on the body of a baby, who has no choice in the matter and no understanding?
Would the Almighty focus on the mutilation of a baby’s penis?

Modern Jewish scholars have found that circumcision is not even mentioned in the earliest, “J”, version of Genesis nor the next three rewrites by other authors. Most importantly, the story of Abraham is there in its entirety, except the part about the Covenant being “sealed” with circumcision. So do not be afraid of divine punishment. God did not mandate circumcision.
Identity

Being circumcised is not a condition of being Jewish. Girls do not need to be circumcised to receive the gifts of covenant, i.e., being bat-mitzvahed. A boy is Jewish if his mother is Jewish from the moment he is born. In fact:

A boy may be excused from circumcision permanently if his health would be endangered by it (for example, hemophilia).
Jewish boys in countries where routine circumcision is not common, such as Holland, may be left intact and yet remain Jews in good standing.
In Sweden, 60% of Jewish boys are intact.
Many Soviet Jews, left intact for fear of communist persecution, have chosen to remain so, even though communism no longer exists.
Contrary to popular opinions, an intact boy may have a Bar Mitzvah. As one rabbi simply put it, “We don’t check.”
Since many American Christians practice circumcision, it does not distinguish the Jewish boys from the non-Jewish.

Thus, the claim that circumcision is essential for the survival of the Jewish people is, therefore, invalid.
Healing the World

A central purpose of Judaism is tikkun olam, repairing the world. Much of the pain in the world is a result of repeating old harmful patterns of behaviors. Forgoing circumcision contributes to our healing. As we heal from this pain, we will be better able to heal others, and reach our ethical and spiritual potential.
Tradition

Many people invoke the power of tradition. The following acts are traditionally punishable by death according to the Torah:

Cheating on your husband (Lev 20:10)
Fornicating — if you’re female (Deut 22:21)
Homosexuality (Lev 20:13)
Blasphemy (Lev 24:16)
Insulting one’s parents (Exod 21:17)
Disobeying one’s parents (Deut 21:18-21)

Obviously, we no longer apply capital punishment for committing the above mentioned acts because we are no longer a primitive society and we have come to believe in human rights.

Other practices sanctioned by the Torah that we no longer permit because we are educated and enlightened are:

Slavery (Exod 21:1-11, Deut 15:12-18)
Animal and human sacrifices (Lev 4:3, 4:23)
Divorce for men only (Deut 24:1)
Female subservience to men including obedience to every order and no right to refuse sex, (Gen 3:16)

Many of our traditions have been abandoned, changed or modified over the centuries. Even the tradition of circumcision has been changed over the years.

There is some evidence that radical circumcision — periah — was not instituted until the second century CE, to prevent Hellenized Jews from concealing their status. Evidence shows prior to that, Milah was much milder — only the removal of a sliver of foreskin from the tip of the penis.
Metzitzah — sucking the baby’s penis to remove blood from the wound by mouth — was a long-standing and essential part of the ceremony until the end of the 19th century, when it became clear that mohels with TB or STDs were transmitting the diseases to the babies and many babies died as a result.

Take Responsibility

Do not be afraid to be the first to change and lead your parents, family and community into modern times! Your primary responsibility is to take care of your son, not to satisfy other people’s need for tradition. Your community will eventually see the light.
Do not be afraid to think for yourself. Circumcision is barbaric and you are a better parent for not mutilating your son’s penis.
Don’t be afraid to question tradition rather than blindly accepting it. Circumcision continues in our faith because of indoctrination, fear of change, and so-called tradition. Remember that our religious leaders are the products of this same indoctrination.
If you were told to circumcise your daughter’s vulva, would you blindly obey? Or would you question the order and choose to protect your daughter? Shouldn’t we treat our boys with the same consideration and respect?

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/
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shinto-male wrote:

Brit Shalom
Covenant of Peace


Brit Shalom is a non-cutting naming ceremony for newborn Jewish boys. It may be performed by a Rabbi or an experienced lay leader. If desired, Celebrants can aid parents in devising their own ceremony. This ceremony replaces Brit Milah (ritual circumcision). It has also been termed Alternative Brit (or Bris), Brit b'li Milah (Covenant without cutting) and Brit Chayim (Covenant of Life). It is similar to the naming ceremony for girls.

In the 613 mitzvos, we are commanded to:

(N 41) Not imprinting any marks on our bodies (Lev. 19:28)
(N 45) Not making cuttings in our flesh (Deut. 16:1)

Loving Kindness

Among the great strengths of Judaism are its rationality, its commitment to learning and scholarship, the tradition of gemilut chasadim, acts of loving kindness, and the prohibition on deliberately causing pain. Cutting off part of a baby’s penis violates all of these traditions and strengths.
The Covenant

The argument that Jewish babies have a right to have part of their penises cut off before they are old enough to give or withhold consent, because to do otherwise would deprive them of their heritage, is irrational. Heritage here means doing what we have done. It may seem, at first, to insult one’s ancestors to do other than what they did, but it is equally an insult to our own and our descendent’s intelligence, to cling blindly to customs of the past.

To be meaningful, a covenant must be entered into by a consenting adult who intellectually understands the covenant. A newborn baby is incapable of this understanding. Therefore, if a man decides to be circumcised later in life — based on his adult understanding of the Covenant — only then is the covenant valid.

Additionally, halacha provides for the ceremony of hatifat dam berit (shedding of a token drop of blood) for babies who can not be circumcised due to health reasons. This is deemed to be completely valid in marking the Covenant.

Even the great Rabbi Mainmonides recognized the problems with circumcision:

”...How can products of nature be deficient so as to require external completion, especially as the use of the foreskin to that organ is evident?

The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired...there is no doubt that circumcision weakens the power of sexual excitement, and sometimes lessens the natural enjoyment; the organ necessarily becomes weak when it loses blood and is deprived of its covering from the beginning.”

Rabbi Moses Maimonides, The Guide of the Perplexed, The University of Chicago Press, 1963
Literalism

Some people believe that God commanded that Abraham circumcise himself, his family and their heirs forever, yet there are many doubts to this belief.

What kind of covenant is it that is marked on the body of a baby, who has no choice in the matter and no understanding?
Would the Almighty focus on the mutilation of a baby’s penis?

Modern Jewish scholars have found that circumcision is not even mentioned in the earliest, “J”, version of Genesis nor the next three rewrites by other authors. Most importantly, the story of Abraham is there in its entirety, except the part about the Covenant being “sealed” with circumcision. So do not be afraid of divine punishment. God did not mandate circumcision.
Identity

Being circumcised is not a condition of being Jewish. Girls do not need to be circumcised to receive the gifts of covenant, i.e., being bat-mitzvahed. A boy is Jewish if his mother is Jewish from the moment he is born. In fact:

A boy may be excused from circumcision permanently if his health would be endangered by it (for example, hemophilia).
Jewish boys in countries where routine circumcision is not common, such as Holland, may be left intact and yet remain Jews in good standing.
In Sweden, 60% of Jewish boys are intact.
Many Soviet Jews, left intact for fear of communist persecution, have chosen to remain so, even though communism no longer exists.
Contrary to popular opinions, an intact boy may have a Bar Mitzvah. As one rabbi simply put it, “We don’t check.”
Since many American Christians practice circumcision, it does not distinguish the Jewish boys from the non-Jewish.

Thus, the claim that circumcision is essential for the survival of the Jewish people is, therefore, invalid.
Healing the World

A central purpose of Judaism is tikkun olam, repairing the world. Much of the pain in the world is a result of repeating old harmful patterns of behaviors. Forgoing circumcision contributes to our healing. As we heal from this pain, we will be better able to heal others, and reach our ethical and spiritual potential.
Tradition

Many people invoke the power of tradition. The following acts are traditionally punishable by death according to the Torah:

Cheating on your husband (Lev 20:10)*
Fornicating — if you’re female (Deut 22:21)
Homosexuality (Lev 20:13)
Blasphemy (Lev 24:16)
Insulting one’s parents (Exod 21:17)
Disobeying one’s parents (Deut 21:18-21)

( Wrong:
So, at least theoretically, the Torah can be said to be pro-capital punishment. It is not morally wrong, in absolute terms, to put a murderer to death… However, things look rather different when we turn our attention to the practical realization of this seemingly harsh legislation. You may be aware that it was exceedingly difficult, in practice, to carry out the death penalty in Jewish society… I think it's clear that with regard to Jewish jurisprudence, the capital punishment outlined by the Written and Oral Torah, and as carried out by the greatest Sages from among our people (who were paragons of humility and humanity and not just scholarship, needless to say), did not remotely resemble the death penalty in modern America (or Texas). In theory, capital punishment is kosher; it's morally right, in the Torah's eyes. But we have seen that there was great concern—expressed both in the legislation of the Torah, and in the sentiments of some of our great Sages — regarding its practical implementation. It was carried out in ancient Israel, but only with great difficulty. Once in seven years; not 135 in five and a half.
—Rabbi Yosef Edelstein, Director of the Savannah Kollel


In practice, however, these punishments were almost never invoked, and existed mainly as a deterrent and to indicate the seriousness of the sins for which they were prescribed. The rules of evidence and other safeguards that the Torah provides to protect the accused made it all but impossible to actually invoke these penalties… the system of judicial punishments could become brutal and barbaric unless administered in an atmosphere of the highest morality and piety. When these standards declined among the Jewish people, the Sanhedrin… voluntarily abolished this system of penalties.
—Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Handbook of Jewish Thought, Volume II, pp. 170-71
)

Obviously, we no longer apply capital punishment for committing the above mentioned acts because we are no longer a primitive society and we have come to believe in human rights.

Other practices sanctioned by the Torah that we no longer permit because we are educated and enlightened are:

Slavery (Exod 21:1-11, Deut 15:12-18)
[Slavery is permissible, and under the condition slaves were treated kindly, not sanctioned]

Animal and human sacrifices (Lev 4:3, 4:23)
[There is no temple to sacrifice to, once the holy temple of Jerusalem is restored, it is sanctioned that Jews must sacrifice animals]

Divorce for men only (Deut 24:1)
[Wrong, men may only divorce a woman should he find some uncleanness in her, thus he may divorce her if she had broken the laws]

Female subservience to men including obedience to every order and no right to refuse sex, (Gen 3:16)
[Does not say that: To the woman He said, "I shall surely increase your sorrow and your pregnancy; in pain you shall bear children. And to your husband will be your desire, and he will rule over you." Gen 3:16, show me where they have no right to refuse sex]


Many of our traditions have been abandoned, changed or modified over the centuries. Even the tradition of circumcision has been changed over the years.

There is some evidence that radical circumcision — periah — was not instituted until the second century CE, to prevent Hellenized Jews from concealing their status. Evidence shows prior to that, Milah was much milder — only the removal of a sliver of foreskin from the tip of the penis. show evidence rather than say it
Metzitzah — sucking the baby’s penis to remove blood from the wound by mouth — was a long-standing and essential part of the ceremony until the end of the 19th century, when it became clear that mohels with TB or STDs were transmitting the diseases to the babies and many babies died as a result. The Metzizah is merely to draw blood from the circumcised penis, the Metzizah B'peh is to do so orally, as such, most Mohels in the modern age, with the exception of the Charedi community, uses a glass tube of sorts to draw this blood. In addition, it isn't so much a requirment as it is traditionally used to for the safety of the child.

Take Responsibility

Do not be afraid to be the first to change and lead your parents, family and community into modern times! Your primary responsibility is to take care of your son, not to satisfy other people’s need for tradition. Your community will eventually see the light.
Do not be afraid to think for yourself. Circumcision is barbaric and you are a better parent for not mutilating your son’s penis.
Don’t be afraid to question tradition rather than blindly accepting it. Circumcision continues in our faith because of indoctrination, fear of change, and so-called tradition. Remember that our religious leaders are the products of this same indoctrination.
If you were told to circumcise your daughter’s vulva, would you blindly obey? Or would you question the order and choose to protect your daughter? Shouldn’t we treat our boys with the same consideration and respect?

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/


As the author has shown himself entirely unlearned in his own culture, let us take into consideration the Rabbis, who are actually knowledgable.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1014930/jewish/The-Mitzvah-of-Circumcision-Part-I.htm

The Mitzvah of Circumcision (Part I)
Parshat Lech Lecha


By Aryeh Citron

The first mitzvah that is performed on a Jewish baby boy is the mitzvah of circumcision. In Hebrew this is called brit milah (lit., “the covenant of circumcision”). This mitzvah is referred to, in the blessing recited by the father at the circumcision, as “the covenant of Abraham,” as it was to Abraham that G‑d commanded1: “This is My covenant, which you shall observe between Me and between you and your seed after you, that every male among you be circumcised.”

Reasons for this mitzvah
Many reasons are given for this mitzvah. Several of them are:

It establishes a sign, affixed in our flesh, that we are believers in the one G‑d.2
It is akin to a branding that, in days of yore, masters would oftentimes imprint upon their slaves. It acts as a reminder for us that we are in G‑d’s service, and must follow His ways.3
Sefer HaChinuch4 explains that just as Jewish souls are different than Gentiles’ souls, G‑d wanted there to be a difference in our physical bodies as well. He explains further that G‑d left this sign for us to make rather than creating us with it, in order to symbolize that just as we can and must perfect our bodies, so too we can and must perfect our souls.
Why was the reproductive organ chosen for this imprint?

To symbolize that the covenant with G‑d is eternal and must be passed on to the next generations.5
It weakens sexual desire and pleasure, hopefully giving a person more strength to restrain himself from engaging in forbidden sexual encounters.6 In a similar vein, Nachmanides writes7 that the brit reminds us to only use the male organ in a permissible and positive way.
The reproductive organ was chosen, since it is in the merit of our uniqueness and devotion to G‑d that we continue our existence as a race.8
Why the eighth day?
Several reasons are given as to why the Torah commands us9 to wait until the eighth day before performing the circumcision. (Though these may be part of the reason, ultimately we do it on the eighth day—not earlier or later [unless medically necessary, see below]—because this is what G‑d commanded.)

Some of them are:

To allow the baby to gather strength before going through the pain of the circumcision.10
The Talmud11 says that the reason is so that the mother can—technically—be cleansed from her postpartum niddah (ritual impurity) state, which lasts a minimum of seven days.12
The Zohar13 explains that the baby must experience a Shabbat before being circumcised. This imparts to the baby the special soul of Shabbat—as preparation for the brit.14
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains15 that the number seven represents the natural order of this world, exemplified by the seven great heavenly bodies (the sun, moon, and five visible planets), the seven days of the week, and G‑d’s seven emotional attributes—the building blocks with which the world was created. The number eight, on the other hand, represents G‑dly revelation that is completely beyond this world16—the source of the supernatural.17 The brit is a manifestation of the Jew’s connection to G‑d on a level that is completely beyond this world.18
We do not wait beyond the eighth day, because it will be more difficult for the parents to do this to their baby as he grows older. In addition, the older the boy is, the more painful the procedure becomes. And, as explained above, the number eight has special spiritual significance.19

The importance of the brit
G‑d made thirteen covenants with Abraham concerning the brit milah.20 Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains21 that this indicates that the brit milah evokes the revelation of G‑d’s Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.

Despite Abraham’s great devotion to observing the mitzvot of the Torah, he was not called tamim—“complete”22—until after his brit milah.23

Our sages go as far as to say that if not for this mitzvah, G‑d would not have created the heavens and earth;24 it is the greatest of the positive mitzvot;25 and considered the equivalent to all of the mitzvot of the Torah combined.26

According to some opinions, Abraham circumcised himself on Yom Kippur. In that merit, every year on Yom Kippur, G‑d “sees” the blood of Abraham, and forgives the sins of the Jewish people.27

The rewards for observing this mitzvah
In the merit of the continued observance of this mitzvah, the Jewish people are assured the continuation of the interrupted Davidic dynasty with the arrival of Moshiach, of their continued possession of the Holy Land, and of the continued presence of the shechinah (divine presence) amongst the Jewish people.28
One who is circumcised will be saved from gehinnom (purgatory)29 by our forefather Abraham, who will prevent him from being brought there.30
The Midrash asserts that it is healthier to be circumcised.31 Many health professionals concur, and say that circumcision gives extra protection against urinary tract infections, various sexually transmitted diseases, and even certain types of cancers.32
This mitzvah is one that one continues to “do” throughout one’s life—for one always remains circumcised.33 Thus, even when one is in a place where it is forbidden to do other mitzvot (e.g., the bathroom), one is still doing this mitzvah.34
The blood of the brit milah is stored in a special place in heaven. When G‑d is upset at His people, he looks at this blood and has mercy on them.35
The Jewish soul of a baby boy begins to enter the baby at the time of his brit.36 For this reason, it is better to start washing negel vasser (ritual handwashing upon waking in the morning) with a baby boy after his brit milah.
The consequences of not observing this mitzvah
One whose father did not circumcise him and who, upon reaching adulthood, willfully never circumcises himself, is punished by having his soul cut off from its divine source (karet). As the verse states37: “And an uncircumcised male, who will not circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that soul will be cut off from its people; he has broken My covenant.”38 This is one of only two positive commandments whose neglect carries this punishment. The other is the Paschal sacrifice.39

Girls
The Talmud says the Jewish women are considered naturally circumcised.40 This means that they do not have to go through this painful mitzvah in order to achieve all of the objectives of the brit (outlined above). For them, these are inborn traits.


The Date
The brit (circumcision) should be performed on the eighth day of the baby's life1 (remember, the Jewish date begins and ends at nightfall!) unless the baby is unwell—in which case it is performed at the first possible opportunity. One should consult with one's doctor and with the mohel (circumciser) in this regard.

If the baby was born in the evening, during the period between sunset and the emergence of three stars, we do not perform the brit until the eighth day counting from the following morning. This is because we are not sure whether that time period (known as bein hashmashot) is considered part of the preceding day or if it is the beginning of the night.

Brit on Shabbat

If the eighth day is a Shabbat, the brit is performed on Shabbat.2

Exceptions:

A brit that was delayed for whatever reason.3
A baby born via C-section.4
A baby that is undergoing conversion.5
Some say that a baby that was conceived via modern reproductive techniques such as artificial insemination or IVF6 is not circumcised on Shabbat.7
As explained above, if the baby was born after sunset but before the emergence of three stars, the brit is performed on the eighth day following the next morning. Nevertheless, such a brit does not override the Shabbat; i.e., if a baby is born between sunset and the emergence of stars on Friday evening, the brit is postponed to the following Sunday, nine days later. This is because on the chance that the time of birth is still considered to be part of Friday, the following Shabbat would be the ninth day. And, as explained, a brit which is postponed doesn't override the Shabbat.

The Time
A brit must be performed during the daytime hours. Although any time from sunrise to sunset is acceptable, it is preferable to perform the brit in the morning in order to show enthusiasm for the mitzvah.8 If a larger crowd will come to a brit later in the day, some say it is preferable to postpone it, especially if as a result of the delay one will also have an opportunity to inspire the assembled crowd towards greater devotion to G‑d.9

Before the Brit – To-Do Checklist
Find a qualified mohel who will perform a traditional brit with skill and professionalism. Make sure that the mohel will not use a clamp. This device causes unnecessary pain to the baby, and its use is forbidden according to many halachic authorities.10
Make a shalom zachor. This is a feast on the baby's first Friday night in this world which celebrates his safe arrival.11
Let friends and family know about the brit. It is proper to have a least a minyan (ten Jewish males above the age of Bar Mitzvah) present.12
Prepare a post-brit feast. This celebrates the induction of this newest member into the Jewish people.13 The feast should include bread. Some say that it should also include meat and wine.14
Decide on the honorees (see below).
Decide on the baby's Jewish name.
Prepare nice clothes for the baby. It is customary to dress the baby in nice clothes in honor of this mitzvah. Similarly, the parents, mohel, and all those receiving important honors should dress in fine clothes.15
Make a vach nacht. The custom is that on the night before a brit, young children come to recite Torah verses by the baby's bedside. In addition, the father stays up the entire night studying Torah (certain parts of the Zohar are recited). Sephardim serve a meal on this night and study these passages in a group; this is called brit Yitzchak. This custom gives the baby extra (spiritual) protection at this auspicious time.16
The Honorees17
The sandek holds the baby during the brit. His feet upon which the baby lies are considered to be like an altar of G‑d.18 This is the greatest honor at the ceremony and should preferably be given to a person of extraordinarily good character19 (it is said that the baby has a good chance of growing up to be like his sandek!20). Close relatives may also be honored.21
a. It is customary for the sandek to immerse in the mikvah before the brit,22 and to receive an aliyah on the Shabbat before the brit and/or on the day of the brit. (The same applies to the father of the baby and the mohel.23)
b. It is traditional for the sandek to give a substantial gift to the parents and/or the baby.24 In fact, when G‑d was the sandek for Abraham, He gave him the land of Israel as a gift!25
The standing sandek holds the baby during the blessing that follows the circumcision and during the naming of the baby.26
Mevarech v'notein et hashem—this person recites the blessing that follows the circumcision and gives the baby his name.27
Kiseh shel Eliyahu—this person places the baby on the chair which is designated as the "Chair of Elijah the Prophet."
Me'al hakiseh—this person picks up the baby from the chair of Elijah.28
Kvatter—this is an honor given to a couple. The wife takes the baby from the mother (or from other women who are honored with passing the baby on) and gives him to her husband. He then brings the baby to the mohel. (Other people may pass the baby in between for extra honors.) It is traditional for a woman not to be a kvatter if she is pregnant or if she is a niddah (ritually impure). Some say that the reason for this is that the pregnant woman might be jarred by the sight of the brit ceremony which might harm her (unborn) baby.29 Others say that the reason is that there is only supposed to be one kvatterin (female kvatter) and a pregnant woman is considered to be "two."30

http://www.jewfaq.org/birth.htm

Brit Milah: Circumcision
Of all of the commandments in Judaism, the brit milah (literally, Covenant of Circumcision) is probably the one most universally observed. It is commonly referred to as a bris (covenant, using the Ashkenazic pronunciation). Even the most secular of Jews, who observe no other part of Judaism, almost always observe these laws. Of course, until quite recently, the majority of males in the United States were routinely circumcised, so this doesn't seem very surprising. But keep in mind that there is more to the ritual of the brit milah than merely the process of physically removing the foreskin, and many otherwise non-observant Jews observe the entire ritual.

The commandment to circumcise is given at Gen. 17:10-14 and Lev. 12:3. The covenant was originally made with Abraham. It is the first commandment specific to the Jews.

Circumcision is performed only on males. Although some cultures have a practice of removing all or part of the woman's clitoris, often erroneously referred to as "female circumcision," that ritual has never been a part of Judaism.

Like so many Jewish commandments, the brit milah is commonly perceived to be a hygienic measure; however the biblical text states the reason for this commandment quite clearly: circumcision is an outward physical sign of the eternal covenant between G-d and the Jewish people. It is also a sign that the Jewish people will be perpetuated through the circumcised man. The health benefits of this practice are merely incidental. It is worth noting, however, that circumcised males have a lower risk of certain cancers, and the sexual partners of circumcised males also have a lower risk of certain cancers.

The commandment is binding upon both the father of the child and the child himself. If a father does not have his son circumcised, the son is obligated to have himself circumcised as soon as he becomes an adult. A person who is uncircumcised suffers the penalty of kareit, spiritual excision; in other words, regardless of how good a Jew he is in all other ways, a man has no place in the World to Come if he is uncircumcised.

Circumcision is performed on the eighth day of the child's life, during the day. The day the child is born counts as the first day, thus if the child is born on a Wednesday, he is circumcised on the following Wednesday. Keep in mind that Jewish days begin at sunset, so if the child is born on a Wednesday evening, he is circumcised the following Thursday. Circumcisions are performed on Shabbat, even though they involve the drawing of blood which is ordinarily forbidden on Shabbat. The Bible does not specify a reason for the choice of the eighth day; however, modern medicine has revealed that an infant's blood clotting mechanism stabilizes on the eighth day after birth. As with almost any commandment, circumcision can be postponed for health reasons. Jewish law provides that where the child's health is at issue, circumcision must wait until seven days after a doctor declares the child healthy enough to undergo the procedure.

Circumcision involves surgically removing the foreskin of the penis. The circumcision is performed by a mohel (lit. circumciser; rhymes with oil), a pious, observant Jew educated in the relevant Jewish law and in surgical techniques. Circumcision performed by a regular physician does not qualify as a valid brit milah, regardless of whether a rabbi says a blessing over it, because the removal of the foreskin is itself a religious ritual that must be performed by someone religiously qualified.

If the child is born without a foreskin (it happens occasionally), or if the child was previously circumcised without the appropriate religious intent or in a manner that rendered the circumcision religiously invalid, a symbolic circumcision may be performed by taking a pinprick of blood from the tip of the penis. This is referred to as hatafat dam brit.

While the circumcision is performed, the child is held by a person called a sandek. In English, this is often referred to as a godfather. It is an honor to be a sandek for a bris. The sandek is usually a grandparent or the family rabbi. Traditionally, a chair (often an ornate one) is set aside for Elijah, who is said to preside over all circumcisions. Various blessings are recited, including one over wine, and a drop of wine is placed in the child's mouth. The child is then given a formal Hebrew name.

It is not necessary to have a minyan for a bris, but it is desirable if feasible.

As with most Jewish life events, the ritual is followed by refreshments or a festive meal.

http://judaism.about.com/od/birthtomarria2/f/bris_ideology.htm

Question: What is the Ideology behind Jewish Ritual Circumcision (Bris)?

Answer: Dear Cyndi,

You told me in your letter about a Jewish friend who did not have a B'rit Milah (Bris) for either of her two boys because "she didn't agree with the ideology." You ask for information you can share with your friend to "show her the other side of the coin."

There is no question that ritual circumcision is a difficult choice many Jewish parents. Some Jewish families once comforted themselves with the idea that circumcision would have medical benefits for their children. Nowadays, that belief has come into question as most doctors are neutral on the subject of circumcision.

As circumcision becomes less common in the American general population, Jewish parents must confront the choice -- perhaps as was always intended -- whether they will mark their boys as being "different" from non-Jewish boys. On the other hand, many Jewish parents are drawn positively to the distinction of having their sons "look like" their fathers and other Jewish boys.

B'rit Milah does carry an "ideology," as you put it. In Jewish tradition, circumcision serves as a sign of the covenant between God and Israel. Since this is a covenant that links generation to generation, it is appropriate that the mark is on a "generative" organ. From shortly after birth, Jewish boys are marked by the covenant in a way that prefigures the eventual passing of that covenant to the next generation.

The whole idea of B'rit Milah also seems to say something about the Jewish attitude toward our human bodies. Jewish tradition holds that human beings are not "perfect" as we are born. Before we can become our truest and best selves, we require spiritual discipline, growth and development that nature alone cannot provide. Circumcision can symbolize the ways in which we need to complete what nature has given us.

Is this a difficult ideology to accept? I think that many find it so. I don't apologize for it. I don't think it is meant to be "easy." B'rit Milah reinforces the message that choosing to raise a child as a Jew means making difficult choices, especially in a society that makes it so easy to ignore the wisdom of our tradition.

Some have concerns about the pain caused to the baby by circumcision. Many mohelim and mohelot (those who perform Jewish ritual circumcision) use safe and effective local anaesthesia before performing the circumcision. This is an option for those who are worried about causing their babies pain.

Others object to B'rit Milah because of its implicit sexism. Tradition holds that we enter boys into the covenant with circumcision, but do nothing for our girls. I believe that this legitimate concern is best addressed by creating new rituals for welcoming baby girls into the covenant and new understandings of the nature of the "sign of the covenant."

In my own family, my wife and I created a public covenant ritual in which we brought our daughters under the same huppah that we had used at our wedding. Some offer the explanation that girls do not require a mark of the covenant on their bodies because they already carry a sign linking them to future generations -- the eggs that baby girls have in their ovaries from birth. To me, these are appropriate responses to the sexism of rabbinic B'rit Milah, and better responses than simply rejecting it.

I don't know that there are books or courses that would convince someone to make the Jewish choice of having a B'rit Milah for his or her baby boys. It is not an intellectual choice, but a choice of the heart and spirit. Two books that I find useful are Berit Mila in the Reform Context, edited by Lewis M. Barth (Berit Milah Board of Reform Judaism, 1990), and Covenant of Blood: Circumcision and Gender in Rabbinic Judaism, by Lawrence A. Hoffman (U. of Chicago, 1996).

With best wishes,
Rabbi Jeffrey W. Goldwasser

http://urj.org/about/union/governance/reso/?syspage=article&item_id=68500

Resolution
On
Anti-Circumcision Initiatives

Adopted June 13, 2011
URJ Board of Trustees - Brooklyn, NY

BACKGROUND

Male circumcision is the oldest ritual connected with Judaism. It ties us to Abraham and the covenant that exists between God and the Jewish people: "God further said to Abraham: 'As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your offerings to come throughout the ages. Such shall be the covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your offspring to follow. Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. At the age of eight days, every male among you throughout the generations shall be circumcised" (Gen. 17:9-13).

As Reform Jews, we have affirmed the rite of circumcision. A 1977 responsa issued by the Central Conference of American Rabbis stated: "We strongly urge parents to have the circumcision on the eighth day, even if it might take place at home. Hundreds of generations have observed this rite on the eighth day. Through the observance of this ritual on the eighth day, we teach each new generation the importance of the keeping of the covenant of Abraham."

A proposal to ban the practice of male circumcision will be on the ballot in San Francisco this fall, and similar efforts are expected elsewhere. These initiatives are an attack on the American commitment to religious liberty and the Constitutional protection of the free exercise of religion, which has been a source of strength and pride since the United States' founding. The URJ has long been a vocal defender of First Amendment rights, and has noted, in the past, opposition to "all attempts to weaken the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or to erode the protections it provides" (Resolution on First Amendment Rights, 1995).

THEREFORE, the Union for Reform Judaism resolves to:


1.Reaffirm male circumcision as an integral part of the divine covenant (brit milah) that has existed for five thousand years between God and the Jewish people;
2.Continue to support the Constitution's First Amendment commitment to religious liberty and free exercise;
3.Support the right to male circumcision as a core manifestation of free exercise of religion for Jews and others who hold it as a central religious ritual; and
4.Express our opposition to legislation, ballot initiatives or other measures that would make the practice of male circumcision, including ritual circumcision, illegal.
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Health: More parents opt out of circumcision
The number of circumcisions in the United States is declining
By Aimee Heckel Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 11/16/2011 09:47:49 AM MST
Updated: 11/16/2011 04:12:27 PM MST



The topic is controversial. Yet Michelle Iturrate says it was an easy decision for her. The Boulder woman did not choose to circumcise her two sons.

"There was just no good reason," she says. "The foreskin is there for protection, just like an eyelid."

Still, the choice stirred concern with her parents, who said it was a family tradition and were concerned her sons wouldn't fit in with other kids. But even that wasn't a good reason, Iturrate says.

"As a mom, my biological instinct is to protect my kids, and I naturally wouldn't do anything to harm them purposely, so why would I circumcise?" Iturrate says. "My husband and I had a lot of angst just over the heel prick in the hospital, so imagine that very same day, taking them and cutting their foreskins."

And the truth is, her sons may not be all that different anymore. The number of circumcisions in the United States is slowly on the decline. In 1999, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, reported about 63 percent of boys were circumcised. That number dropped to 57 percent in 2008.

Data from the Charge Data Master, as printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association, show rates continued to drop to 55 percent last year.

However, these numbers don't reflect home births or children who are circumcised after leaving the hospital, such as Jewish boys who are undergo the procedure at a ceremony eight days after birth. Some statistics indicate about 95 percent of Jewish boys are circumcised.

This controversial topic -- about whether or not to surgically remove the foreskin of the penis -- has heated up in recent months, with ballot attempts to ban circumcision in California and Massachusetts, and the procedure is being dropped from Medicaid coverage in 18 states, including Colorado on July 1. The change was part of a series of budget cuts, essentially asserting that circumcision has no medical justification.

And this is leading to changes. A study at UCLA found that circumcision rates dropped in states without Medicaid coverage. The study estimates that if all 50 states dropped the coverage, rates would plunge to about 39 percent.

Still, circumcision is the most common medical procedure on children in the United States, and it has deep societal, historical and religious roots.

The Centers for Disease Control says it's still developing its recommendations on the topic, including whether circumcision should be recommended as a means of reducing HIV infection. Some studies have suggested it may reduce transmission of STDs.

Last month, the Boulder Jewish Community Center was host to a panel about the choice to circumcise, and showed a 70-minute documentary called "Cut: Slicing through the myths of circumcision." The screening was part of a national tour, promoting a critical look at circumcision from a religious, scientific and ethical perspective.

Morah Yehudis Fishman, at Boulder's Aish Kodesh Open Orthodox Jewish congregation, sat on the discussion panel afterward. She says "by an interesting stroke of fate," she also taught the filmmaker, Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, 30 years ago when he was in elementary school.

From her perspective, there is no question about whether or not to circumcise: The act is central to her religion.

"The Orlah, the foreskin, represents a barrier between a Jew and his connections both to Torah, to his fellow human beings and to G-d," Fishman wrote, in a recent essay, after she says she didn't feel like she was able to express her thoughts "in the given time frame" at the panel. "Removing the foreskin reveals the inner levels of the soul and therefore opens the channels to a holy relationship with all three."

Fishman says she believes a primary purpose of a Jew's existence is to close the gap between the spiritual and material realms, and the Brit Milah, or "covenant of circumcision" ceremony, "imprints the divine ineffable Name on the reproductive male organ responsible for the continuity of life in this world." To her, circumcision is a holy act that has brought positive values to the world.

But religious freedom ends where another person's human rights begin, says Gillian Longley, of Boulder, an area neonatal nurse who refuses to assist in circumcision. She says her decision to not circumcise her two sons, and her activism in the topic, came from seeing parents agree to "have part of their son's penis cut off" without having substantive information on the risks, long-term affects and pain involved.

It's not just a "little snip," says Longley, who recently completed her master's degree, in which her thesis research was on informed consent for neonatal circumcision. The foreskin is 15 square inches of skin on an adult male, with a double layer of skin, and has the densest concentration of light-touch nerves than any other part of the penis, she says. She says removing it affects sexual function and puts a child at risks for unnecessary complications. She adds that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommended routine circumcision.

Not to mention the ethics involved with making this choice for a non-consenting child, she says.

Beyond religious reasons, Longley says the procedure came to American in the sexually repressive Victorian era as a way to prevent boys from masturbating -- "before a modern-medical understanding of disease -- and human rights."

"Now, we just have this habit of continuing and self-perpetuating it through defense mechanisms that you don't want to believe you've been harmed or that you harmed your child," Longley says. "These are ways to justify it because it's too ugly to look at, if you look at it in an honest sense."

Miriam Pollack is a Jewish woman in Boulder who has been active in the movement to end neonatal circumcision for about 20 years. She thinks it is also a woman's issue.

"When a culture, be it American or Jewish, tells a newly birthed mother that she must and is expected to hand over her brand new baby to have his male organs altered and cut, she is also implicitly being told her instincts to protect that baby have to be subservient to this rite, and in doing so, it is a way of creating a male dominant society and family," Pollack says.

She says increasingly more Jews are struggling with the topic -- even holding Brit Milah-influenced ceremonies without the cutting.

Tara Faith Brockman, of Lyons, is a Jewish mom who decided not to circumcise her son, despite family and religious norms. Instead, she says, when her son was 31/2 months old, she organized a special ceremony for him. The rabbi, in St. Louis, played the guitar and did blessings, Brockman and her husband washed her son's feet and gave him his Hebrew name and family members brought items to bless, put in a medicine bag and give to the child when he's older.

Brockman says it was a difficult decision, yet an instinctual one. She says it wasn't easy to go against the grain, but she believed her son had been born with the body he was meant to have. Plus, as an acupuncturist, she says her understanding of Eastern medicine suggested the act would create trauma for his body.

Maybe the act of circumcision is actually a metaphor for opening your heart to God, Brockman says.

"I feel like my understanding and connection with God -- my God wouldn't really ask me to do this. It's a belief that I feel is very old," she says. "I feel like this is really my son's choice. If it's something he wants to do in the future, I'll be by his side."



http://www.dailycamera.com/lifestyles/ci_19340534
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Like AIDS? Then You Will Love The Anti-Circumcision Movement In San Francisco

Want to cloud a health and privacy issue? Label it "male genital mutilation" and wage an expensive marketing campaign to get it outlawed.

If you have no taste for irony, do not consider the fact that San Francisco, which practically has "women have the right to choose" in the city charter, would look odd telling women that the right to choose only applies to making babies dead and not giving them a circumcision.

There is no dearth of anti-science fundamentalism in the political fringes - human embryonic stem cell research and global warming on one side and anti-vaccine and anti-GMO people on the other side. But this is something special because it is not only anti-science, it is simultaneously big government and anti-Separation of Church and State. That is a quackery trifecta! Ignoring the health benefits of circumcision, a 60% reduction in HIV transmission and every other sexually transmitted disease, is downright crazy in a city that was as hit by HIV and AIDS as anywhere. Circumcision is practically a surgical HIV vaccine, notes Beryl Benderly.

But I wouldn't tell people they have to do it because I am not, you know, a militant kook in Frisco.

This may be the kind of issue that both sides of the American political spectrum can agree on when it comes to rights and choice. As Alex Berezow of RealClearScience puts it:

Bipartisan concern over Americans' right to privacy should make it obvious that the government has no place in regulating a small flap of skin on baby boys. If the circumcision ban initiative makes it to the ballot in San Francisco, voters would be well-advised to reject the proposal.

http://www.science20.com/cool-links/aids_then_you_will_love_anticircumcision_movement_san_francisco-76949

The Benefits of Male Circumcision
Essential information for men, couples, parents and especially single mums with sons...





Dr David Hawker, a GP, discusses an operation that has become a taboo topic.

Prompted by a lifetime of clinical observation, plus personal experience, he provides commonsense reasoning
together with old and new evidence in favour of this time-honoured procedure.

We live in an age of daring, often unwise, sexual freedom, talking openly about all manner of sexual matters. We know about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which are rapidly increasing, and the threat of HIV and AIDS. We can talk of gay and straight, lesbian, transexuals and more. We are used to seeing naked women on TV, in magazines and newspapers - but not naked men! We men are very private, both in pictures and talk. We don't talk about the penis, let alone circumcision. Most of us are ignorant. These are strangely taboo subjects in this sexually enlightened age.

Let's open the book on circumcision...
This is an operation as old as mankind, highlighted today by Jewish and Muslim tradition in which all males are usually circumcised as part of their faith. It is performed worldwide by many tribes and cultures as an initiation rite and, despite some aggressive opposition, it is routinely done at birth for the majority of boys in the USA as well as many in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and much of the English speaking world - except, latterly, in the UK. Overall it is estimated that a quarter of the male population is circumcised - about 750 million males. They cannot all be wrong! Yet in Europe today there is widespread ignorance of its value.

The common view in Britain...
As part of being untaught we take the attitude: If it ain't broken, don't fix it, ie, if there is no immediate problem do nothing. Only circumcise if something goes wrong - often reluctantly as a last resort after painful and prolonged treatment. This is in stark contrast to the rest of healthcare where the motto: Prevention is better than cure is stressed. There is a problem with thinking as we do. When does circumcision become necessary?
There are a few situations where it is clearcut. If there is only a small opening in the foreskin so that passing urine is difficult, or when the foreskin is painful to pull back during an erection or won't return forward again. The latter is an emergency situation needing urgent surgery to avoid really serious consequences.
But there are many other situations where circumcision helps prevent future disease or discomfort. We should seek to prevent problems arising, rather than deal with the problems once they occur. Let us look at some of these, in no particular order.

1 Where the foreskin cannot comfortably be pulled back over the glans (knob) of the penis. Now, up until the age of five or six, many boys cannot retract their foreskins - mums and dads beware - if you try too early you may do some damage. Above the age of six or seven, it is important that boys be taught how to clean under the foreskin, making sure the skin is pulled right back. If your son cannot do that he may need circumcising. Boys frequently forget or deliberately avoid this routine and run into difficulties.

2 If the foreskin cannot easily be moved when the penis becomes hard, or if that causes pain - this is not only a childhood problem. At puberty, as the penis grows and masturbation begins, problems may emerge. Some men have pain on intercourse, which they then try to avoid for that reason. If so, you (and your partner) will benefit from your circumcision just as many boys do. Some men are afraid to admit to this problem, but it is curable by circumcision.

3 Where you and your partner keep getting 'thrush' infections.Some call this 'sexual ping-pong'. One keeps passing it back to the other. Of course, you may first try creams or tablets from your doctor or chemist, but if it keeps coming back, circumcision will cure it. It did for me. The foreskin is a warm and moist incubator under which infections can easily develop.

So as you can see, although things aren't actually broken, they may need fixing to eliminate misery and promote a more comfortable trouble-free life. How long does it take to fix? About 20 minutes!

Are there benefits from circumcision?
There are several:

1 Many older men, who have bladder or prostate gland problems, also develop difficulties with their foreskins due to their surgeon's handling, cleaning, and using instruments. Some of these patients will need circumcising. Afterwards it is often astonishing to find some who have never ever seen their glans (knob) exposed before!

2 Some older men develop cancer of the penis - about 1 in 1000 - fairly rare, but tragic if you or your son are in that small statistic. Infant circumcision gives almost 100% protection, and young adult circumcision also gives a large degree of protection.

3 Cancer of the cervix in women is due to the Human Papilloma Virus. It thrives under and on the foreskin from where it can be transmitted during intercourse. An article in the British Medical Journal in April 2002 suggested that at least 20% of cancer of the cervix would be avoided if all men were circumcised. Surely that alone makes it worth doing?

4 Protection against HIV and AIDS. Another British Medical Journal article in May 2000 suggested that circumcised men are 8 times less likely to contract the HIV virus. (It is very important here to say that the risk is still far too high and that condoms and safe sex must be used - this applies also to preventing cancer of the cervix in women who have several partners.)

A BBC television programme in November 2000 showed two Ugandan tribes across the valley from one another. One practised circumcision and had very little AIDS, whereas, it was common in the other tribe, who then also started circumcising. This programme showed how the infection thrived in the lining of the foreskin, making it much easier to pass on.

5 As with HIV, so some protection exists against other sexually transmitted infections. Accordingly, if a condom splits or comes off, there is some protection for the couple. However, the only safe sex is to stick to one partner or abstain.

6 Lots of men, and their partners, prefer the appearance of their penis after circumcision, It is odour-free, it feels cleaner, and they enjoy better sex. Awareness of a good body image is a very important factor in building self confidence.

7 Balanitis is an unpleasant, often recurring, inflammation of the glans. It is quite common and can be prevented by circumcision.

8 Urinary tract infections sometimes occur in babies and can be quite serious. Circumcision in infancy makes it 10 times less likely.

What about my son?
Dads - you are responsible for discussing these matters with your sons as soon as they reach an age when you can communicate with them. And, single mums - so are you, because nobody else will do so. There is no examination of the penis in school medicals.

Your teenage sons, especially the younger ones, will have almost total ignorance. They may secretly be having problems. Maybe they wish they had been circumcised for either body image or medical reasons. Help them to be informed and aware of their options. Don't cop out, there are leaflets available to help you.

You need to check your younger sons (age 5+) and teach them hygiene and be sure all is working properly. Try to cultivate a situation in which they will be comfortable to share any concerns they may have - like soreness. Remind them to pull back their foreskins whenever they pee as it helps to keep the foreskin clean. It also makes it easier to aim and assists them to avoid spraying the toilet - just as circumcision does.

What about infant circumcision?
You need to think about this calmly, because some people are getting angry about it in the USA, even using inflamatory words like 'genital mutilation'. Make sure you are fully informed because you as the parent have the responsibility to make decisions on behalf of your child - like the big decisions about vaccinations, knowing that for long term benefit to the child and others, the pain of the injection and often the fever which follows are worthwhile.

Having read this leaflet, you are in a better position to make decisions. Circumcision can become an emergency, or the foreskin may cause considerable problems, not least when sexual intercourse starts or in older age. Remember, it may be a taboo subject for most people - but it should not be so for you.

You may feel you could help your son avoid some of these problems once and for all by having him circumcised early in life (the best time in the healthy baby is 7-10 days old). Not only is it a simpler procedure, needing no stitches, but he will not remember the event. He will also grow up never knowing anything different. Boys circumcised later in life may find it a more embarrassing experience. For a while afterwards they will feel the sensitivity of the permanently exposed glans, but will gradually adapt to it. Thus, circumcision in babyhood can be a very sensible decision - especially for a single mum with a boy and no man around the house. If you do circumcise your son, you must explain as soon as he is old enough to understand, what happened and why it was done. This helps acceptance and avoids ignorance. (I used to think some of my friends were born with a very different penis from mine until I learned about circumcision at age 13.)

You might equally sensibly decide to wait and see, but do be ready to take action quickly if problems start to arise.

If you are thinking about infant circumcision, there are leaflets describing it in detail. You would need to discuss it with the midwife or doctor before birth to plan it. You may encounter opposition - there is currently an irrational anti-circumcision culture in the medical profession. Remember- it is your choice to do what you think best for your son in the long term. If you have any difficulty arranging circumcision on the NHS, the local Jewish circumciser, (môhel - pronounced 'moil') will often oblige you (as may a Muslim doctor). Some even offer to visit and do it in your home. You can contact the Gilgal Society for a list of circumcising doctors and môhels. The procedure takes only a few minutes.

Finally what about yourself?
Most men won't talk about their sexual problems, or even their desire to be circumcised. Try discussing it with your partner who may have definite views! Sexual pleasure is not diminished but often enhanced by the slightly reduced glans sensitivity making it easier to control orgasm. If circumcision is the right decision for you, do make arrangements. You will never regret it.

The adult procedure takes 20-30 minutes under local anaesthetic. Any embarrassment will quickly pass. Afterwards there can be some pain, as with any cut, but it can be managed with Paracetamol. Some of us felt no pain at all. The stitches will dissolve, but if any are left after 2 weeks, the practice nurse should remove them. Sure, it will be swollen at first, but intercourse can resume after 4 weeks and careful masturbation earlier.

If you have a good medical reason, your doctor may refer you for circumcision under the NHS. Recurring use of creams or pills will only briefly help, so don't be put off with these if you would rather be circumcised. Trying to persuade your GP may be difficult as not all are sympathetic for their own reasons. Though you should listen to his/her advice, you have the right of a direct private approach to a doctor for a second opinion - a doctor known to be sympathetic towards circumcision. If you encounter resistance, contact the Gilgal Society who will try to put you in touch with someone more supportive. It is important to be able to discuss everything with a sympathetic surgeon,and make sure you have a full, not partial, circumcision, which should leave your glans exposed at all times to get maximum benefit.

If your circumcision is mainly for aesthetic reasons you will almost certainly have to go and pay privately. Again The Gilgal Society can provide a list of doctors who will circumcise you.

Your penis a very important part of you. Make the most of it!
http://www.circinfo.com/benefits/bmc.html
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some people are just lazy to wear a condom and why is that the U.S.A and circumcised populations in Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh and Africa has such High HIV rates? why is that uncircumcised Japan and Europe have the lowest HIV rates in the world. parts of the U.S.A have HIV rates which rival some parts of Africa


circumcision does not protect women who have higher HIV rates than men, it also does not protect men having sex with men. HIV live inside blood and semen how does cutting genitals prevent HIV which live inside bodily flluid. only the circumfetish and mutilationists can't explain these only dehumanize and insult those who simply advocating condoms which are plentiful and cheap and available on convenient stores and pharmacies and can be bought online with credit card. why do you people have such an aversion to condoms? European and japan have no problem with condoms they unlike circumfetish U.S.A(80% of men cut) which the Highest HIV rates in the developed world are not obsessed with mutilating males





USE A CONDOM














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shinto-male wrote:

some people are just lazy to wear a condom and why is that the U.S.A and circumcised populations in Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh and Africa has such High HIV rates? why is that uncircumcised Japan and Europe have the lowest HIV rates in the world. parts of the U.S.A have HIV rates which rival some parts of Africa


circumcision does not protect women who have higher HIV rates than men, it also does not protect men having sex with men. HIV live inside blood and semen how does cutting genitals prevent HIV which live inside bodily flluid. only the circumfetish and mutilationists can't explain these only dehumanize and insult those who simply advocating condoms which are plentiful and cheap and available on convenient stores and pharmacies and can be bought online with credit card. why do you people have such an aversion to condoms? European and japan have no problem with condoms they unlike circumfetish U.S.A(80% of men cut) which the Highest HIV rates in the developed world are not obsessed with mutilating males





USE A CONDOM
















Just because Condoms exist, and provides protection, doesn't mean all other means should be discounted. You repeat the same meaningless drivel about how these nation with large circumcised population have lots of HIV, which, as shown before, does not show anything unless you corrolate it to circumcised people and uncircumcised people. All this is Common Sense. Of course, Common Sense was never your forte.
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HIV lives inside blood and semen mutilating male genitals does not prevent the spread of HIV











KENYA: Circumcision forced on men and women - boy dies for refusing


AllAfrica.com
May 16, 2012
Kenya: Tigania Gang Terrorises Residents

By Kirimi Murithi

Residents of Buuri sublocation in Tigania East district staged demonstrations protesting against a gang that has been kidnapping people fighting archaic traditional practices. The gang kidnaps people who oppose female genital mutilation and support an alternative rite of passage for boys. They have been harassing human rights activists and kidnapping women who have refused to undergo the cut and men who have not passed through traditional circumcision.

The residents said last week a form three student at Nchuui Secondary School was stabbed to death for refusing to undergo training for traditional circumcision. They claim Eliud Mutuma resisted his kidnappers and they stabbed him. He died while undergoing treatment at Tigania Mission Hospital. "The gangs have been harassing women and young boys who are opposed to traditional rites of passage.

"We have tried to seek help from the area assistant chiefs but nothing has been done," said Geoffrey Karauri one of the residents. "The gang is advocating for circumcision of boys to be done in the fields by traditional circumcisers. Our children and wives are under threat and we need security," Karauri added. Karauri said his son was a victim when he was abducted and lost his phone and clothes to the gang and the local administrators have not been able to arrest the perpetrators of the crimes.

According to Daniel Kanake a victim of the gang, the group broke into his home and demanded that he prepares a traditional brew for them for the initiation of his son for taking his son to hospital for cut against their customs. "They waylaid my son and stormed my home demanding traditional brew. We are not ready to go back to the retrogressive rites. The chiefs seem to be protecting crooks as we suffer," Kanake said.

Ms Monica Mwari said the boys who have circumcised the traditional way have no respect for teachers in school since they have been taught that they are mature men. "Some circumcised boys have refused to remain in lower classes. They are also threatening to beat up teachers who reprimand them," she said. Evangelist Peter Thiribi urged the government to take stern action against the persons responsible since they are trying to take Kenya backwards. Last month there was anxiety in the same area after a group of women allegedly kidnapped and forcefully circumcised married women who are opposed to female circumcision.


ZIMBABWE: Youths bribed with soccer to get circumcised

Bribery, peer pressure....

the Herald (Zimbabwe)
May 17, 2012
Zimbabwe: Changing Lives Through Soccer

THE power of soccer is the ability to keep humans knocking the ball around.

...

The power of soccer has not only left people in packed stadiums excited, it has marked its place in the management of HIV and Aids by thousands of youths in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo.

...

GRS communications officer Tanya Sibanda said since 2002, more than 25 000 youth have graduated from GRS Zimbabwe programmes

...

The GRS curriculum, she points out, is also designed to strengthen relationships between the coaches and the youth participants and comprises of ten 90-minute sessions.

Each coaching pair (i.e. a male and a female coach) works with a maximum of 25 youths.

One session is done per week meaning these two role models will see the same 25 youth once a week for 10 weeks, enabling them to build strong, trusting relationships.

Ms Sibanda said the curriculum is also designed to foster maximum interaction between GRS coaches and participants.

...

... GRS received a three-year programme grant in 2005 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its work.

"GRS now operates flagship sites in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia and has worked through partnerships in 18 countries worldwide," she said.

...

She revealed that GRS and PSI Zimbabwe will be hosting Bulawayo's first-ever male circumcision soccer tournaments to promote male circumcision from April to June.

Ms Sibanda said health partners at the events will offer free referrals for medical male circumcision including appointment bookings and free transportation to the PSI male circumcision clinic on site, with free HIV counselling and testing as well. [So what choice will the boys have?]

Soccer celebrities spearheading this campaign include some of Bulawayo's hottest talent -- Bantu Rovers' squad, which is fresh from a tour of the United States. From April 1 to 8, Bantu represented Zimbabwe at the 33rd annual Dallas Cup tournament in Dallas, Texas.




Newsday (Zimbabwe)
May 18, 2012
175 MPs to be circumcised

By Veneranda Langa Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Some 175 MPs are set to getcircumcised, while almost the same number will go through voluntary HIV testing and counselling, chairperson of Parliamentarians Against HIV and Aids (Zipah) Blessing Chebundo said yesterday.

In an interview, Chebundo, who is also Kwekwe Central MP, told NewsDay the MPs planned to be circumcised by the end of June to encourage Zimbabweans to take preventive measures against HIV/Aids.

These were resolutions that came out of a recent HIV/Aids workshop for MPs in Kadoma and we made three resolutions, that we will walk the talk as role models and lead by example to embark on voluntary HIV testing and male circumcision, as well as to inspire young people to do the same, Chebundo said.

We need to go down to constituencies, provinces, districts, wards and villages as Zipah to spread messages to fight HIV/Aids and encourage males to undergo voluntary circumcision.

Chebundo said the programme would be done publicly, adding 20 MPs had already filled in forms to get circumcised.

Almost 175 MPs who are members of Zipah are in support of this and also 25 members of staff at Parliament. We are still updating the list of volunteers.

Obviously female MPs are not going for male circumcision, but we have encouraged their spouses to join us, Chebundo said.

However, there are still pockets of resistance in the House, with such MPs as Felix Magalela Sibanda (Magwegwe) saying in Parliament on Tuesday that the programme was misguided.

HIV should be a syllabus for the youths at a tender age not to tell us here in Parliament when I am already 65 years old and you tell me to go and get circumcised when I have sired 18 children without circumcision, Magalela Sibanda said.



Zimbabwe 2005-6

HIV Rates:


Circumcised men


20%


Intact men


19%
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BOTSWANA, LESOTHO, SWAZILAND, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE: Men resising circumcision
News Medical
May 14, 2012
National program in Botswana focuses on increasing male circumcision rate
Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all have launched national campaigns urging men to undergo circumcision to help reduce their risk of contracting or transmitting HIV infection, but "all the countries are lagging far behind their targets," Agence France-Presse reports in an article focusing on efforts in Botswana. A three-year-old campaign in Botswana, aimed at convincing 460,000 men to get circumcised, "has reached only seven percent of this figure," the news agency notes, adding, "Now the government has enlisted the help of top musicians and launched a new series of advertisements touting 'safe male circumcision' as a lifeline."

According to AFP, "Botswana has no tradition of circumcision, giving the government a tough sales pitch -- even for a procedure done with local anesthetic, taking only a few minutes and requiring only a few days recovery." The news service notes most men say they fear the pain of the procedure, that the recovery time will be long, and how it will affect their sex lives.
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Posted 5/20/12
1. Yes, circumcision protect.

2. This is going to turn into that other post, isn't it, the one about sexism, racism, and whateverism in holywood or something, where Shinto-Male does nothing but post, and post, and post, and post, and post unendingly.
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i used to not believe uncut ppl when they said they felt better during sex
but having a girlfriend made me think maybe its possible they r right
because sometimes the uncut part of me feels alot better than the cut part when doing certain things
sometimes
i dunno
blah
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Posted 5/22/12

ChrisNP wrote:

i used to not believe uncut ppl when they said they felt better during sex
but having a girlfriend made me think maybe its possible they r right
because sometimes the uncut part of me feels alot better than the cut part when doing certain things
sometimes
i dunno
blah


The hell? Are you circumcised or not? Or is it half and half? And of your girlfriend...how the hell does she know how it feels as a man during sex?
Posted 5/27/12
Yes. It's clearly mutilation.
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eh i changed my mind again. lol.
circ good.

blah.

i cant keep my mind on one thing so i will stop posting here.
Selden 
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Posted 6/2/12
I see there is a large rage about HIV, which is nice and all, but circumcision also helps prevents UTI's for males, and also works well helping the body recover from certain STDs. If the argument here is that "is it mutilation", would not a parent piercing the ear of their child as an infant be mutilation as well? This is not intended to be a red herring, but a comparison to circumcision. Cutting or piercing, it is both causes pain and can arguably "disfigure" a child, where as an ear piercing has no health benefit. The health benefit of circumcision is relatively smaller than what we thought in the past, so I don't care much if it happens or not to a child.

Condoms are great and all, but they aren't the answer to everyone's prayers. They can break.

HIV is rampant for a multitude of reasons, it's not just spread by sexual contact. Any form of bodily fluid can transmit the virus. Looking at field tests (in Africa of all places) is not a good experiment to use when debating something like this. A controlled environment (no other way to contact aids but through sexual intercourse) would be best, but none have been conducted most likely, and will probably never be conducted with humans. HIV is a monster we know so little about, so I see it's point in this debate moot...ok bye bye ^__^
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http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/urinary-tract-000169.htm




Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria and are 10 times more common among women than men. More than 50% of women will have at least one UTI during their lifetime; for most of these infections, patients need to see a doctor and be treated with antibiotics. About 30 - 40% of UTIs recur within 6 months after the initial episode. When UTIs do recur, it is often because the treatments used to suppress bacteria seem to work at first, but do not produce a lasting cure. UTIs can also recur when a woman is infected again by different bacteria.
Signs and Symptoms:

Pain or burning during urination
The need to urinate more often than usual
A feeling of urgency during urination
Blood or pus in the urine
Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
Chills or fever (fever may be the only symptom in infants and children)
Strong smelling urine
Pain during sexual intercourse
Nausea, vomiting, and malaise

What Causes It?:

Risk factors include:

A new sex partner or multiple partners
More frequent or intense intercourse
Diabetes
Pregnancy
Escherichia coli (E. coli)
Staphylococcus saprophyticus
Use of irritating products, such as harsh skin cleansers
Use of irritating contraceptives, such as diaphragms and spermicides
Use of birth control pills
Heavy use of antibiotics
A blockage in the urinary tract (benign masses or tumors)
A history of UTIs, especially if the infections were less than 6 months apart


Read more: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/urinary-tract-000169.htm#ixzz1wjYBEBxr




A[rchives of]Diseases of ]C[hildren] Online
September, 2008
Is ritual circumcision a risk factor for neonatal urinary tract infections?

Dario Prais, Rachel Shoov-Furman and Jacob Amir

Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Israel

Objective: Although circumcision is commonly believed to protect against urinary tract infection (UTI), it is not unusual in neonates in Israel, where almost all male infants are circumcised. The aim of the study was to evaluate the burden of neonatal UTI in Israel and its relationship to circumcision.

Design: Medical records of neonates (?T2 months old) hospitalized with UTI were reviewed and demographic and clinical data were collected. The second part of the study consisting of a telephone survey to assess timing and details concerning the circumcision, included two groups: the study group consisting of parents of male infants, aged 8-30 days, hospitalized with UTI and a control group consisting of healthy neonates.

Results: 162 neonates (108 males, 54 females) were hospitalized with UTI. Mean age at admission was significantly lower in males (27.5 vs 37.7 days, p=0.0002). The incidence of UTI in males peaked at 2-4 weeks of age, i.e. the period immediately following circumcision. In females, the incidence tended to rise with age. Accordingly, male predominance disappeared at 7 weeks and the male-to-female ratio reversed. In the second part of the study, 111 males (?T1 month old) were included: 48 post-UTI and 63 as a control group. While evaluating the impact of circumcision technique, we found that UTI occurred in 6 of the 24 infants circumcised by a physician (25%), and in 42 of the 87 infants (48%) circumcised by a religious authority; the calculated odds ratio for contracting UTI was 2.8 (95% CI: 1-9.4).

Conclusions: There was a higher preponderance of UTI among male neonates. Its incidence peaked during the early post-circumcision period, as opposed to the age-related rise in females. UTI seems to occur more frequently after traditional circumcision than after physician performed circumcision. We speculate that changes in the hemostasis technique or shortening the duration of the shaft wrapping might decrease the rate of infection after Jewish ritual circumcision.








Protective effect of breastfeeding against urinary tract infection.
Mårild S, Hansson S, Jodal U, Odén A, Svedberg K.
Source

Department of Paediatrics, The Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden. staffan.marild@pediat.gu.se
Abstract
AIM:

To assess the possible protective effect of exclusive breastfeeding against first-time febrile urinary tract infection (UTI) in children.
METHODS:

Two children's hospitals and local child health centres in the Göteborg area, Sweden, participated in a prospective case-control study. In total, 200 consecutive cases (89M, 111F), aged 0-6y, presenting with first-time febrile UTI were enrolled. The mean +/- SD age was 0.98 +/- 1.15 y. As control subjects, 336 children (147M, 189F) were recruited from the child health centre of the case, matched for age and gender and included consecutively for each case during the first days after diagnosis. The duration of exclusive breastfeeding was obtained from the case and controls by a standardized procedure.
RESULTS:

Ongoing exclusive breastfeeding gave a significantly lower risk of infection. A longer duration of breastfeeding gave a lower risk of infection after weaning, indicating a long-term mechanism. The protective role of breastfeeding was strongest directly after birth, then decreased until 7 mo of age, after which age no effect was demonstrated.
CONCLUSION:

A protective role of breastfeeding against UTI was demonstrated. The study provides statistical support to the view that breast milk is a part of the natural defence against UTI.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15046267




Condoms usually break when they are not used properly
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