A Blog Post About Circumcision That Resists the Temptation to Use the Word “Cut” in a Pun, and Ends Up Promoting a Washington DCJCC Program After-All


My wife is a blogger. She blogs mainly about family building and infertility and there are two topics she has learned to studiously avoid: breastfeeding and more to the point here, especially circumcision.  Why? People’s opinions on these two matters become quickly polarized and flame-filled comments inevitably ensue [ see below].

So it is with some hesitation that I even bring this up, but today’s Washington Post article about Intactivists by Dan Zak got me thinking. Particularly this excerpt:

Spend some time with intactivists and you will hear how circumcision is responsible for, among other things, the oppression of women, sexual disharmony, deforestation, militarization, the rise and fall of empires and the invasion of foreign lands for oil.

Here’s a little experiment. In the above paragraph substitute the words “intactivists” and “circumcision” with “anti-Semites” and “Jews” respectively and tell me if the result isn’t something that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Aryan Nation website.  I’m in no way equating the anti-circ crowd with anti-Semites, but the breadth of “crimes” that each assigns to their adversary is certainly resonant.

It also seems to me, reading the article that Zak went out of his way to avoid using the “J” word. (Acutally, Zak’s article basically read like an excuse to repeatedly print the word “penis” in a family newspaper.) Certainly both Muslims and Jews practice male circumcision — according to Wikipedia 68% of circumcised men are Muslims. But there has historically been an anti-Semitic fetishization of Jewish circumcision and Jewish sexuality. All sorts of nineteenth and early-twentieth century literature speaks of a close tie between Jews and the transmission of syphillis. Among the more hysterical claims was that circumcision was actually a means of transmitting sexual diseases for which Jews had developed an immunity. The explicit claim was that Jewish sexual diseases were infecting a pure culture from within, and that circumcision was both tactic and strategy in this conquest.

Anti-circumcision activists are more than conscious of this history and go out of their way to disown those who would conflate Jews with circumcision. And yet… It still sits weirdly with me. Does the article say that Jason Siegel and Zachary Levi Balakoff, two young men who are on a hunger strike to expose male genital mutilation, are Jewish? No. But, come-on.  And I immediately think, what better prop to deflect charges of anti-Semitism than two young Jewish men outraged over their mutilated genitals. Lots of young Jewish men like myself are circumcised, have had quite nice sex lives thankyouverymuch, and have chosen to circumcise our sons. It’s hard not to be defensive in the face of Misters Siegel and Balakoff’s outrage. But hey, we all have our conspiracy theories.

In any case, how you feel about circumcision is probably something you should work out with your mate prior to marriage, and hey, we just happen to be offering a Tying The Knot: Premarriage Workshop in April. If this is a more pressing issue for you, which is to say you’ve got a bun in the oven, then you can also puzzle through the bris issues in our two-part workshop L’Amazing Baby: Childbirth Preparation with a Jewish Twist which is coming up in June.

17 Responses

  1. Not all Jewish people believe in circumcision. Brit Shalom is an alternative naming ceremony to celebrate the birth of baby boys to Jewish families. These sites are all run by Jewish people opposed to circumcision:

    www jewishcircumcision org
    www jewsagainstcircumcision org
    www circumcision org

    • How does the rhetoric of some in the anti-circ movement strike you? Without questioning your good intentions, do you worry about your cause embracing some very old anti-Semitic canards?

      • No more than abortion rights activists are worried about their cause embracing some very old anti-Catholic canards.

      • Here’s a touchstone: although some Intactivists are willing to make an exception for religious circumcision, I don’t think there’s one who oppposes Brit Milah (and/or Muslim circumcision) but thinks routine infant circumcision is acceptable.

      • Anti-genital mutilation rhetoric? It seems exceptionally reasonable and sane, considering the pro-genital mutilation rhetoric out there: See:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/circumsexual/

  2. Sure, there are anti-Semites who are against circumcision, but I honestly don’t think most intactivists are anti-Semitic. Most of them are equally passionate, if not more so about female circumcision, and even about intersex people.

    • I totally agree with Mark. Having myself a few Jewish friends and even a freshly Jewish mother friend of a boy who chose not to circumcise. We are a group of people fighting for genital integrity of all girls AND BOYS, nothing to do with religion.

  3. “It also seems to me, reading the article that Zak went out of his way to avoid using the “J” word.”
    Why should he use it when 97% of US circumcision is goyish? He did say “a covenant with God, as conveyed to Abraham. ” and “They just want society to respect the bodies of everyone, with no disrespect to any religion.”

    Intactivists’ work would be a lot easier if we would just abandon Muslim and Jewish babies to their fate and say “We’re opposed to medical circumcision, but religious circumcision is all right” (and some do) but all babies are born equal and human rights inhere to all humans, regardless of their age or their parents’ beliefs. From the point of view of the baby’s human rights, the parents’ motivation is irrelevant.

    “But there has historically been an anti-Semitic fetishization of Jewish … sexuality. ” – but even more of black sexuality, and gay sexuality – it goes with being a marginalised minority.

    “All sorts of nineteenth and early-twentieth century literature speaks of a close tie between Jews and the transmission of syphillis.” Perhaps, but a doctor called Hutchinson helped secularise circumcision with the (false) claim that Jews had less syphilis than gentiles, so that literature hadn’t gained much traction.

    The hunger strike came as a complete surprise to most of the movement, so if they’re “a prop” I don’t know who’s propping them. Doesn’t every movement have its extremists? We remember Emily Wilding Davison (who ran in front of the King’s horse at Ascot in 1913) and we now all agree that women should have the vote, but was it really a cause worth dying for? We forget the many suffragists (the “-ette” came later to distinguish the activists) who worked tirelessly but conventionally – and probably more effectively.

    For a more measured overview of the issues, see the Intactivism Pages, http://www.circumstitions.com

  4. The reality is that far too many Jews grasp at any supposed “health benefits” they can find for circumcision, and promote them as if this is an unbiased answer, when this is not their motivation, and it is quite transparent to those who are on the other side of the issue.

    This becomes particularly problematic when these cultural biases enters the medical profession, where Jews comprise a disproportionate percentage of doctors, including pediatricians and OBYNs, and have correspondingly been the most vocal proponents of this procedure.

  5. Let’s get this straight: Jews are not immune from the so-called complications of circumcision, and what’s left of my Jewish penis is proof of that. I am opposed to circumcision, period. However it will never be possible to legislate the end of genital cutting: even in the U.S. and Europe, where cutting girls is illegal, it still happens.

    The persistence of genital cutting of boys in the U.S. proves that circumcision is a cultural phenomenon driven by the psycho-sexual changes that accompany circumcision. Only circumcised men and their female proxies are promoting it. And, in African cultures that cut girls, it is women who do the cutting and insist on the benefits, even while some “feminists” in the the U.S. actually defend male circumcision. Talk about damaged.

  6. This comment is in response to Zach’s suppossed Hunger Strike & Protest in Washington DC and opposition to circumcision. We are Zach’s parents Zach befriended this Jason in W. Long Branch NJ while attending a University there. Actually he hated Jason his freshman year because he betrayed him and made out with two girls Zach was dating. He said he was a freak and wanted nothing to do with him, he told his mother at Pier Village on the boardwalk. For whatever reason Zach re-befriended him his sophmore year.
    Zach told us about Jason’s obsession with circumcision back in Dec. when returning from a long semester abroad that Zach had in Australia.a $8,000 trip that we paid for from our savings & couldn’t even afford and this is the appreciation we recieve Remember Zach even commenting how will I ever pay you guys back, the great barrier reef & the east coast camping trip & Vacation of a lifetime. In Dec.according to Zach, Jason was obsessed with the fact that he couldn’t have an emotional relationship with his girlfriend and Jason was obsessed with being circumcized to a point of depression.Zach said he was depressed and his Father had him put on depression med’s. Jason wanted to visit our home around Dec.25th we said “NO WAY” Zach asked again we said “NO WAY”, He showed up in January anyways, Zach’s Mother had seen him once before on the boardwalk Zach’s freshman year when Zach pointed him out to her but told her “he wanted nothing to do with him” THAT WAS THE LAST SMART THING OUR SON EVER SAID TO US !!. Jason looked cute with short curly hair on the boardwalk. The Jason that walked into our house uninvited by my both us parents (because of his hangups) had long straight jet black hair was so pale and dissapated looking, skinnier then normal we swore we were literally frightened. Zachs Mom said Jason what happened to your beautiful short curly hair and he said I’LL NEVER CUT IT AGAIN.AS LONG AS I LIVE !!! She then proceeded to lock herself in the bedroom . My husband and I felt something dark and unbalanced about this young man. After a couple of days I told Zach it was time for him ,Jason to leave. Our son went back to school in NJ in late Jan. I literally lectured our son on the way back to college about not spending time with Jason even warned our son that there was a dark and unbalanced side to him. And I told him if he did spend too much time with this Jason he would bring him down. He didn’t listen. Two weeks ago we found out that Zach has been lying to us for 3 months. He quit school after a few weeks, moved in with Jason , whose Grandmother & family has informed us he has had mental illnesses since the age of 5. She must of spouted off 3 or more illnesses, Asperger’s syndrome, ADD, or ADHD and either Manic Depression or Bi Polar disorder or something on those lines.But she said he was on depression med’s and he’s doing much better ! Grandma even knew all about the Wash. D.C circumcision protest and didn’t even seem upset,talked about how it was a new movement of activists written up in Haddasah magazine. All we wanted was to get our son the hell away from this kid. Granted Zach has problems, he’s depressed whether he admits it or not, he has internalized depression from many sports injuries sustained in High schooland internalized grief from losing 3 very close relatives, and was extremely depressed from a
    terrible case of acne which effected his self esteem and made him major rebellious & has him desparately seeking an identity. HE FOUND ONE ALL RIGHT, but this circumcision obsession crap has been brought on to him by none other than the GREAT AND POWERFUL JASON . Zach if truth be told Dante’s right YOU ARE A COPY CATTER !!! Jason’s Father we hope you read this !!! WE ARE EXERCIZING OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH RIGHT ???? When I was fed up with all of this you said my son really didn’t have passion on this circumcission issue…bullshit ! And you said it .was ok that they were on u tube, YOU TOLD ME THEY HAVE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH.YOUR PROUD OF THIS ???? Your one man cult of a son, had our son go with him on a 3 DAY HUNGER STRIKE AND HE FIRST TOLD us this crusade is WHY HE QUIT SCHOOL TOO !!! AND FOR MOTHER’S DAY I GOT A HOUR AN 1/2 LECTURE ON WHY OUR SON WILL NEVER FORGIVE US FOR HAVING HIM MUTULATED AS A NEW BORN. !!! WHY DON’T YOU KEEP YOUR SON AWAY FROM OTHER STUDENTS BEFORE HE ENCOURAGES OTHER LOW SELF ESTEEMED, MIXED UP KIDS( LIKE OUR SON)TO TAKE ON HIS SICK OBSESSIONS !!!! You told us your not taking responsibility for our sons problem’s FINE, but THIS IS THE EMIS ONLY your SON PULLED OUR SON DOWN FOR THIS CIRCUMCISION CRAP, AND YOU’VE ALLOWED OUR SON TO LIVE, in your summer home for THREE MONTHS !!! REMIND US TO THANK YOU FOR ENABLING OUR SON TO NOT HAVE TO COME HOME AND GET HELP WHILE YOU LET HIM SMOKE POT IN YOUR HOUSE…….YOU JASON’S FATHER ARE A TOXIC ENABLER !!! YOU WERE EVEN GOING TO LET THEM AND PAY FOR OUR SON TO GO ON A THREE DAY SMOKE FEST ,BUT YOU CAN’T CONTROL YOUR SON, YOU SAID, THAT’S ONE DAMN THING THAT’S FOR SURE ,YOU LET HIM CONTROL YOU !! AND IF WE KNEW THE EMOTIONAL DAMAGE YOUR SON COULD OR WOULD HAVE CAUSED THIS FAMILY WE WOULD HAVE FILED A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST HIM & WE STILL MIGHT WE’ RE EVEN INSTALLING AN ALARMSYSTEM , BECAUSE OF YOUR SON. OUR SON ZACH, WE PRAY YOU READ THIS SINCE YOU QUIT SCHOOL, PRACTICALLY STOLE OUR MONEY AND CUT OUT OUR HEART & SOULS(NESHOMES) TOO, THATS RIGHT ZACH YOU MAY NOT HAVE HAD A MOEL TOOL IN YOUR HAND BUT YOU CUT OUT OUR HEART & SOUL,WILL WILLFUL DECEIT AND CONTEMPT. WE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME EVER AGAIN, YOU ALSO CUT YOURSELF RIGHT OUT OF OUR LIVES… YOU’VE LIED , MANIPULATED, CONNED, AND DEVASTATED YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR JEWISH HERITAGE, & SINNED AGAINST US & G-D, FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE !!!! EMBARRASSED US, HUMILIATED US, YOU THINK YOUR THE THIRD AND COMING IF YOUR ARE , MAY G-D HELP US ALL !!! WHEN YOU HAD YOUR FORESKIN REMOVED THEY MUST HAVE TAKEN YOUR BALLS TOO !!! TOO AFRAID TO FACE US AFTER ALL YOU DID TO US, CAN’T BLAME YOU WE’D BE TOO ASHAMED TOO FOR ALLTHE SINS YOU’VE DONE TO YOUR PARENTS AND BROTHER THAT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS, ALWAYS HONOR & RESPECT !! WE ARE SO TIRED OF YOUR CRAP PICKING UP THE PIECES OF YOUR FRAGMENTED LIFE, WE ARE TIRED OF DOING EVERYTHING FOR YOU,WE ARE TIRED OF YOUR EXCUSES, YOUR LAZINESS, YOUR LACK OF RESPECT , YOUR LACK OF GRATITUDE, YOUR LACK OF CONSCIENCE AND GUILT AND NO SIGN OF REMORSE FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO YOUR FAMILY, QUITTING SCHOOLAND DECIEVING US FOR THREE MONTHS.YOU HAVE DESTROYED OUR TRUST AND FAITH IN YOU !!! YOUR MOTHER, MYSELF AND YOUR BROTHER DON’T WANT YOU HOME, YOUR NOT WELCOME HERE EVER AGAIN UNTIL YOU DETOX WHATEVERS SCREWING UP YOUR HEAD AND GET COUNSELING. YOU THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING AND THE WORLD IS SUCH AN EVIL CORRUPT PLACE, MOM AND I
    & YOUR BROTHER DON’T EVEN FEEL YOUR DESERVING OF OUR LOVE ANYMORE, WE’VE HAVE DECIDED YOU ARE THE MOST STUBBORN OBSTINATE,SELF CENTERED, NARROW MINDED PERSON WE HAVE EVER MET ,AND A TAKER NOT A GIVER, YOU’VE PROVEN THAT FOR SURE THIS TIME, EVEN YOUR BEST FRIENDS FATHER CALLED YOU A LAZY MOOCH ! GET OVER YOURSELF, GROW UP, LEARN TO COPE,BE A MAN, NOT A WEAK COPYCATTER AND FOLLOWER. QUIT EXPECTING EVERYTHING IN LIFE TO BE THE WAY YOU WANT IT, AND HANDED TO YOU, YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL & INTELLIGENCE TO BE CAPABLE OF GREAT THINGS BUT WHERE IS YOUR COMMON SENSE ? THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND POSITIVE THINGS IN THIS WORLD. ALL YOU DO IS CONCENTRATE ON THE NEGATIVE , YOU WILL NEVER , EVER BE HAPPY IF YOU CONTINUE THIS OUTLOOK OR ATTITUDE. CONCENTRATING ON WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS WORLD, YOU BETTER CONCENTRATE ON WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU. YOUR SO NEGATIVE ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING .AND YOU DON’T EVEN SEE IT. YOU CAN’T FIX THE WORLD ZACH ,THE ONLY THING YOU CAN FIX IS YOU, AND YOUR ATTITUDE AND THE WAY YOU LOOK AT EVERYTHING. YOU THINK WE WANT TO CONTROL YOU OR YOUR LIFE ??NO ONE EVER CONTROLS YOU !! YOUR THE ONE WHO MAKES ALL THE BAD CHOICES AND DECISIONS ONLY YOU !! WE ARE ONLY “GUILTY” OF LOVING YOU, TEACHING YOU RIGHT FROM WRONG, (WHICH YOU REFUSE TO LISTEN TO),GIVING YOU EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED AND TRYING TO PROTECT YOU FROM HARMS WAY, HARMFUL PEOPLE, AND THE MOST HARMFUL THING IN YOUR WAY RIGHT NOW IS YOURSELF AND YOUR GREAT FRIEND WHO’S BEEN SICK SINCE HE WAS 5. YOU CAN’T FIX HIM EITHER NOR IS THAT YOUR YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, ALL YOU DID WAS LIFT HIM UP,
    MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER ABOUT HIMSELF, EMPOWERED HIM, BECAUSE YOU TOOK ON HIS SICK OBSESSION. AND HE BROUGHT YOU DOWN, HE FINISHED SCHOOL AND YOU QUIT. JUST LIKE YOUR DAD WARNED YOU ON THE CAR RIDE BACK TO SCHOOL.NOW YOU’VE EVEN CUT YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR FAMILY.THAT’S A MIGHTY BIG PRICE TO PAY FOR THAT FRIENDSHIP. WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, BUT IN A DIFFERENT WAY,REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU DO, THATS CALLED UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, WE ACTUALLY FEEL SORRY FOR YOU CAUSE YOU ARE THROWING AWAY EVERYTHING PRECIOUS AND DEAR, YOUR GOOD LOOKS, THE LOVE OF YOUR FAMILY, THREE YEARS OF EDUCATION AND YOU THINK WE WANT PAID BACK,WE DON’T WANT PAID BACK WHAT YOUV’VE TAKEN FROM US YOU CAN NEVER GIVE US BACK,
    YOUR 30,000 DOLLARS OF STUDENT LOANS THOSE ARE YOURS FOR THE KEEPING, A CONSTANT REMINDER OF HOW YOU CONTROLLED YOUR OWN COICES SO WELL.,OR ARE YOU PLANNING ON STICKING US WITH THAT TOO ???
    ITS SAD,WE HAVE BEEN HEARTBROKEN ENOUGH BY YOU AND WE ARE MOVING ON WITH OUR LIVES WITHOUT YOU. WE’VE ALREADY PACKED UP YOUR BEDROOM. WE WILL NOT HAVE OUR LOVE OR MONEY BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY YOU ANYMORE, OR BE A PART OF YOUR RECKLESS LIFE, LIFE STYLE, OR BE HURT BY YOU ANY MORE ! WHEN YOU HIT THE BOTTOM AND YOU WILL, YOU’VE ALREADY DESTROYED YOUR EDUCATION AND YOUR CREDIT, AND YOUR CREDIBILITY WITH THIS CIRCUMCISION CRAP AND WAIT TILL YOUR FRIENDS QUIT SUPPORTING YOU, YOU WILL GET JUST WHAT YOU DESERVE,WE ONLY GET OUT OF LIFE WHAT WE PUT INTO IT AND IN THAT CASE IT’S NOTHING. WHEN YOU FINALLY ADMIT TO YOURSELF AND TO US YOU NEED DETOX AND COUNSELING AND YOU NEED US WILL BE HERE,BUT UNTIL THEN WE DON’T WANT YOU IN OUR LIFE AT ALL, BUT WE WILL PRAY FOR YOU EVERYDAY. YOU’D BETTER START PRAYING FOR US TOO YOUR MOTHER ALMOST HAD A STROKE LAST WEEK , YOUR BROTHER HAD TO RUSH HER TO THE DOCTOR, AND YOUR FATHER ALMOST HAD A HEARTATTACK AFTER SUFFERING THE HUMILIATION OF UTUBE. AND YOUR BROTHER IS VERY DEPRESSED AND DEEPLY RESENTS WHAT HAPPINESS YOU’VE DESTROYED IN HIS VERY VERY HAPPY LIFE .SO PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT ! IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ONE OF US IT WILL BE ON YOUR CONSCIENCE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! RIGHT NOW YOU ARE TOXIC ENERGY !
    MOM ALREADY STARTED COUNSELING THIS WEEK
    TWO HOURS, ITS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF, HE’S A OLDER PASTOR AND HAS A MASTER DEGREE IN COUNSELING, WHEN YOU NEED HELP STRAIGHTENING OUT THE PROBLEMS OR OBSTACLES,OR DISCOURSE IN YOUR LIFE, YOU GET HELP. ACTUALLY HE REMINDED HER LOT OF POPPY !!
    HE DID SAY IF YOU KEEP SMOKING WEED IT WILL STUNT YOUR ADOLESENCE, WHICH IT ALREADY HAS, YOUR COMMON SENSE, YOUR LACK OF AMBITION, YOUR LAZINESS, IT BLOCKS THE PART OF YOUR BRAIN THAT HAS A CONSCIENCE, IT ALSO GIVES YOU DELUSIONS, DELUSIONAL THOUGHTS, AND ISN’T GOOD FOR YOUR SEX LIFE EITHER, MAYBE ITS THE WEED INSTEAD OF YOUR CIRCUMCISION THATS KILLING YOUR SEX LIFE, AND CUT OFF THE PART OF YOUR BRAIN THAT DOESN’T WORK.iT ALSO MAKES YOU ACT RADICAL, & DEPRESSED. YOU FIT THE BILL ON EVERY LEVEL!! AND BY THE WAY IF YOU DON’T GET HELP SOON YOU COULD END UP ON THE ROAD TO BEING PSYCOPATHIC, OR SCHIZOPHRANIC(ESPECIALLY WITH THE FRIENDS YOU HANG OUT WITH) IT TENDS TO RUB OFF OBVIOUSLY,AND WITH ALL THE ISSUES YOU’VE BURIED SO DEEP IN YOUR PSYCHE TOO. MOM ONLY CRIED FOR ABOUT FIVE HOURS ALMOST DROVE HERSELF TO THE HOSPITAL, BUT WENT TO THE TEMPLE INSTEAD AND PRAYED FOR YOUR SOUL FOR ANOTHER HOUR IN FRONT OF THE ARK AND THE TORAHS YOU SO DESPISE. G-D AND PRAYER ALWAYS GET HER THROUGH. JUST WHAT DO YOU HAVE FAITH IN ? THEN SHE WENT HOME READ A BOOK ON RELEASING THE ADDICT IN YOUR LIFE, ON NOT ENABLING, NOT BEING CO-DEPENDENT ON THEM FOR HAPPINESS, ETC. THE NEXT MORNING SHE PACKED UP YOUR ROOM, MONAGRAMMED SHEETS CURTAINS, BOOKS, TROPHIES, NEXT COMES THE CLOSEST AND WHEN YOUR BROTHER LEAVES FOR SCHOOL SHE TURNING IT INTO AN ART STUDIO.
    TODAY IS YOUR BUBBY’S UNVEILING, SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN 85, TOO BAD YOUR NOT A PART OF THIS FAMILY RIGHT NOW TO BE HERE TO HONOR HER MEMORY, BUT YOU CAN IN OTHER WAYS…
    WE HOPE YOU DON’T HIT ROCK BOTTOM TO HARD, IT’S YOUR CHOICE, YOU ARE THE MASTER OF YOUR OWN SHIP & FATE ZACH, LETS SEE HOW WELL YOU “CONTROL” YOUR OWN LIFE…
    MAY G-D BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU SAFE !

    • Wow, what a disgusting selfish diatribe.

      You amputate the best part of your son’s body and then blame HIM for victimizing YOU about it?

      I did not see any evidence of an apology in your silly tantrum. Not a hint.

      Despite his intense concern for this issue you obviously still haven’t bothered to find out what the foreskin is or does.

      You never felt your son had a right to his own body, and now you don’t feel he is capable of forming his own opinions about a gross human rights injustice?

      And only healthy people can be your son’s friend – by your edict? That’s not exactly the voice of compassion speaking.

      I’m sorry if he lied to you about school, but you act like it’s the end of the world. People often take 6 years off school and come back and finish when they’re ready. Hell, in Israel EVERYONE MUST take at least 2 years out to serve in the military.

      Learning about the extent of the damage he had suffered must have triggered some intense grief. You need to let him work through it.

      Nothing fails like prayer. You might instead try reaching out to Zach without judgment and without foisting superstitious mumbo jumbo on him.

      I’m proud to have met Zach. Despite being a grieving amputee, he was determined to help others even if he would never be healed. He seemed truly tapped in to the evolved need to leave the world a better place for future generations. What is the younger generation to you but a chance to flex your ego and demonstrate what you can control through these passive-aggressive pronouncements of disappointment and threats of monetary burdens.

      I think Zach should follow your advice and steer clear of toxic people – like you.

  7. My deepest condolences to your son.

  8. And it all started when these young men realized that their parents and the cruel religion they belong to disrespected their holy, whole and sacred bodies, their genitals, their most sacred places and sanctuaries for inner peace and love. It is so obvious what trauma, drama and conflicts this unholy and cruel act of genital torture causes in this world; this violent sexual assault on children’s genitals. You can see it right here as this family gets torn apart by what this father so precisely and angry calls circumcision crap. Now the boys are being blamed by this family for not approving with that cruel religion that caused the damage in their souls, bodies and psyches in the first place. It is time to wake up and think about how Zach and Jason and so many other children have perceived this world. Brutally attacked in their genitals during their first days of their lives or even later for something those sexual oppressed and violated victims of circumcision have been taught to call God’s will. This terrible cruel act is nothing else than slavery invented by cruel ancient and evil rulers that managed to blind people so they could profit and gain power and control over them; an ancient evil that managed to bring us all apart by forcing us to fear instead of loving each other; to change us from the angelic beings we were supposed to be into cruel monsters that cause pain in children’s genitals and human souls. Just think about it – is there anything more despicable then performing such cruel and disrespectful atrocity on defenseless children than sticking knives into their genitals and depriving them from the heavenly pleasure their holy, whole and sacred bodies were supposed to receive? I want to punish anyone that is too stubborn to see the logical consequences of that cruel and unholy act of genital torture and mutilation. If anybody needs to be prayed for then it is those who insist on not waking up; those who think they can continue with the inflicting of pain in other people’s first chakra and souls; those who destroy lives by not respecting the wholeness of the other and not respecting the perfection and holiness of their own children. It is time for you as parent to look at your own mistakes and to apologize to your children for all the pain you have caused in your children’s souls as you listened to the deceiving words of the ancient evil and not to the voice of your heart. That is the best way to be forgiven and loved again by your son.

  9. Biblical schollars have known for a long time that the covenant between Abraham and God (Genesis 17)was never original to the bible. It was added about 5000BC, over one thousand years after the time of Abraham.
    Scholars David Rosenberg and Harold Bloom have published a full translation of the original version of Genesis, which dates from about 950BC. Here, Chapter 17 is conspicuously absent.
    All we read is that:
    “It was that day Yahweh cut a covenant with Abraham: “I gave this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, Euphrates-of the Kenite, and Kenizzite, the Kadmonite; of the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Rephaim; of the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Girgashite, the Jubisite.
    As you can see, there is no mention of circumcision as a sign of this bargain. Along with biblical scholars, the only conclusion is that circumcision was never originally a part of Judaism.
    Rabbi and historian Lawrence A.Hoffman explains that by the late fifth century BC, at the time of the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity, the priesthood tried to confirm their status as the dominant political force among the Israelites. They did this by instituting a temple-centered sacrificial cult into which newborn males were initiated by circumcision.
    They created the Abrahamic circumcision myth and inserted it into the most important part of Genesis, pretending that it had been there all along. The priesthood maintained their grip on power until about AD 71, when they were overthrown.Unfortunately circumcision remained entrenched in Hebrew practice.
    Over the centries, Hebrew religious authorities have been very clear about their motivation behind the forced circumcision of Jewish babies. They have never pretended that this is a “medical proceedure” or even a a beneficial proceedure.
    The great rabbi and schollar Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), who is still revered today as one of the greatest of all Jewish thinkers, was very clear when it came to rtevealing one of the reasons for circumcision, Maimonides tellingly wrote:
    As regards circumcision, I think that one of its objects is to limit sexual intercourse, and to weaken the organ of generation as far as possible, and thus cause man to be moderate. Some people believe that circumcision is to remove a defect in man’s formation; but everyone can easily reply: 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. This commandment has not been enjoined as a complement to a deficient physical creation, but as a means for perfecting man’s moral shortcommings. The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired; it does not interrupt any vital function, nor does it destroy the power of generation. Circumcision simply counteracts excessive lust; for 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.
    During the nineteenth century, the courageous founders of the reform Judaism in Germany and the United States began the task of modernising Judaism. As part of their reforms, they sought to abolish circumcision. For example, Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), one of the most distinguished rabbis and scholars of the century, disapproved of circumcision, stating:
    I cannot support circumcision with any conviction, just because it has always been held in high regard. It remains a barbaric, bloody act, which fills the father with anxiety and subjects themother to to morbid stress. The idea of sacrifice, which once consecrsted the proceedure, has certainly vanished among us, as it should. It is a brutal act that does not deserve a continuation. No matter how much religious sentiment may have clung to it in the past, today it is perpetuated only by custom and fear, to which surely we do not want to erect temples”.
    Many prominent Jews disapprove of circumcision and have spared their children from it. The great Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) protected his sons from circumcision. Even Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), the founder of Zionism and the spiritual father of the state of Israel, dissaproved of circumcision and protected his own precious son from it.
    In many parts of Europe, Jews now protect their babies from circumcision, and yet they consider themselves active members of the Jewish community, Throughout the Soviet Union, circumcision was forbidden by law at the behest of politically active Jews themselves.
    Now that the Soviet Union has disappeared and Jews from these regions have migrated in large numbers to Israel and the United States, the majority are still hapy to remain genitally intact and to protect their children from circumcision.
    In recent years, observant Jews in the United States have developed new traditions to replace the circumcision part of the ceremony. Instead of a bris milah at eight days, they celebrate a bris shalom. Here, the joyous, beautiful, and deeply moving religious and spiritual aspects of the ceremony are retained and enhanced, but no one gets hurt. The baby is named and presented to the community and his penis remains intact. These gentle ceromonies are increasing in popularity. Jews are able to retain the best parts of their traditions, follow their conscience and their hearts in protecting their baby from unnecessary surgery while still affirming the spiritual ties to their community and history.
    Many Jews are embracing the core fundamentals of Judaism and finding that circumcision is incompatible with these ethical doctrines.Dr Jenny Goodman has written:
    “In Judaism, and in Islam, the human being is considered to be made in the image of God, and God is conceptualised as perfect. So one could argue that interferring with God’s perfect creation is a form of blasphemy. In Judaism there is a law of “Shmirat Ha Guf’, the guarding of protecting of the body. Body-piercing, tattooing and amputation are all forbidden for this reason. Further, there is the Talmudic concept of “Tsa “ar ba”alei chayyim,” compassion for all living creatures. If compassion in all its fullness were applied to 8-day-old babies, circumcision would be impossible.

  10. Zach,

    uuugh *puke*

    When reading that disgusting diatribe, as Ron Low so eloquently put it, I could not help but think that maybe I was reading something my mother had posted on the internet. My heart goes out to you – guilting, manipulative parents are very difficult to deal with. Here’s to hoping that one day they will realize that even if they disagree, they have not the right to label you/treat you in such dramatic terms as they have (my mother was/is the exact same way! Did I already mention this?). Apparently, because of my political/religious views (really my apostasy), I haven’t “turned out” yet. I know the whole marijuana issue isn’t really relevant here, but really? Addict to marijuana? Is your mother seeing shrink quack?

    To Zach’s parents: You really need to make an attempt, any at all, to see where your son is coming from. He’s not living under your roof anymore (regardless of how or where he is living) and he won’t respond to your guilting today as he did when he was living with you. Yes, he’s your son, but he isn’t your property, so you really ought to give not trying to control him a shot. Perhaps you ought to accept that parents have a stronger affect on children than children do on parents, and maybe look to some of the actions you have taken as reasons for your sons behavior and history of depression. No, I don’t think that you can be completely held responsible for everything he does, but you can’t deny your role in it either, especially his actions/condition when he was a child. I can almost guarantee you that he does feel guilty, but he also resents you for it (it being your manipulative behaviors). I don’t really like speaking for others, but I can almost assure you that he also very much appreciates the things you have done for him – but you have not bought his person with a paid trip to Australia! Nor have you bought the right to make his mind up for him.

    Okay, anyhow, no, I do not think that intactivists are anti-semitic. Sorry, but little Jewish babies are just like every other human baby – they feel pain and when you cut off a body part you’ve violated their bodily integrity. Thats really the extent of it. I realize there is a long history of persecution, but it as not as if this is some disguised Jewish persecution. It is about bodily integrity and ethical/moral issues of taking away a body part from someone who cannot and has not given their consent. And personally I can say that Judaism, Islam, Christianity/whatever is not the focus of the those opposing RIC.

  11. I am looking for someone to do an expose’ on a custom. I am a nurse in newborn nursery. The pain that sweet tiny baby boys go through during a circumcision horrifies me. It is surgery without anesthesia. It is 10 minutes of pure hell. The pain is so horrendous that many babies go into shock immediately. They just stare and make gurgly noises. They are the lucky ones. The others remain perfectly aware of the pain that goes on and on. Their piercing screams haunt me.

    In history, the earliest surgery was done without anesthesia. Just tie them down and do it quick. Some people were willing to have surgery once. But I’ve read that people refused to endure surgery a second time – even if it meant death. They knew how severe the pain was, and decided they would rather die than endure that pain a second time.

    How can intelligent, educated people not realize that a scalpel causes a horrendous, sharp, excruciating pain that no human being should ever have to endure. Tell me how a custom can be so strong that it overpowers intelligence and common sense.

    For example, the Chinese custom of “binding” young girls’ feet. The toes were forced down under the foot [ breaking bones, I believe ] and tightly bound forever. So the feet couldn’t grow. Forever small. Big feet were considered UGLY. No one would marry a girl with big feet. Can you imagine the pain? Americans are not under the influence of Chinese customs and from a distance, we are apalled! But in China, even after a law was passed against foot-binding, some parents would still do it – knowing that they were going to prison. That is how strong a custom can be. It can cloud judgement.

    The pain of circumcision wouldn’t be quite as bad if the foreskin was fully developed at birth. But it is still adhered to the glans [ head of the penis ] and does not separate naturally for several years. Mother Nature may be slow, but it produces an exquisitely sensitive sexual organ.

    The first step of a circumcision is to rip the adhered foreskin off the glans using a metal probe. But the two skins are still fused as one. And patches of skin are ripped off the glans in the process. I see the glans of these tiny penises with skin missing and the tissue exposed every day. The pain is supposed to be comparable to having a metal probe forced under your fingernail and ripping it back and forth until the fingernail comes off. Imagine the pain! It is now recommended that a pain block be used. But it is not a law. So only a few babies get it.

    So why do we do it? Because it is what we are used to. A custom. Explain that to a baby that is enduring a pain that no human being should ever have to endure!

    There are many other reasons not to circumcise. It is removing the best skin of the penis. The foreskin contains approx. 20,000 specialized nerves that enhance sexual pleasure. The skin remaining is crude and has only a fraction of the sensation. The foreskin is NOT extra skin. It is there so that the penis can get longer during an erection. It is designed to unfold and stretch out, allowing the penis to grow. In the process, the foreskin is pulled off the glans. The glans is then uncovered and now the intact penis looks the same as a circumcised penis. They end up looking the same during an erection. But the intact penis is larger and has more sensation.

    Over the years, doctors have invented excuses for circumcision and the public latches onto them. These excuses are false and misleading. There is no reason good enough to inflict such sharp, excruciating pain on someone you love. To forever decrease his sexual pleasure. To amputate the best, most sensitive part of his penis. To violate his human rights.

    As I watch parents hug and kiss their new babies. Then insist that their babies endure a pain that is comparable to a fingernail being ripped off with a metal probe. And then a scalpel cuts – with no anesthesia. I want to scream, “Do you love your baby, or hate him?”

    There are many organizations that would help you with an expose’. They are easy to find on the internet. Please help! Babies are weak. This custom is strong.

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