Saturday April 19, 2014
In Israel, Some Rebel Against CircumcisionSalem-News.com
"The main issue which still troubles me a little is the social one, that one day he may come to me and say 'Mom, why did you do that to me? They made fun of me today'" - Gali, a nursing mom in Israel
(TEL AVIV ) - A report this week by The Indian Express cites how in Israel, more and more Jewish parents are saying no to the blade.
"It's such a taboo in Israel and in Judaism," said Gali, nursing her six-week-old son, about the decision not to have him circumcised.
"It's like coming out of the closet," the young mom said, who chose to use only her first name because she didn't want to deal with repercussions from her religious family.
While trends are changing rapidly, it is a fact that nearly all baby boys in Israel are circumcised. It isn't a matter of anything but a national, religious culture. It is also reported that most Israeli-Arabs also keep with a practice that is widespread in the Muslim world.
Jewish circumcisions are done when the baby is eight days old. The majority are performed by a mohel, a religious man trained in the procedure carried out in a festive religious ceremony called a "brit", Hebrew for covenant.
But an increasing minority fear it is a form of physical abuse.
"It's the same as if someone would tell me 'it's our culture to cut off a finger when he is born'," Rakefet Kaufman said. She did not have her son circumcised.
"People should see it as abuse because it is done to a baby without asking him," she said.
When Gali learned that she was carrying a baby boy, her instinctive reaction was that the boy would be circumcised, but then she started to consider what it really meant, after a conversation with a friend whose son was uncircumcised.
"She asked me what my reason was for doing it, was it religious? I said no. Was it for health reasons? No. Social? No. Then it began to sink in. I began to read more about it, enter Internet forums, I began to realize that I cannot do it."
Breaking With Tradition
"The phenomenon is growing, I have no doubt," said Ronit Tamir, who founded a support group for families who have chosen not to circumcise their sons.
"When we started the group 12 years ago we had to work hard to find 40 families ... They were keeping it secret and we had to promise them we'd keep it secret," she said. "Then, we'd get one or two phone calls a month. Nowadays I get dozens of emails and phone calls a month, hundreds a year."
Tamir says it is easier for Jews in Israel to break religious taboos these days.
"People are asking themselves what it means to be Jewish these days," she said, and that leads some to question rules of all kinds, including circumcision.
According to the article by The Indian Express:
Continue reading the article here
Special thanks to The Indian Express
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