Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Milah(circumcision) is child abuse!!!

Apparently the video of the brit has really kicked off some interest. I would first like to thank all of my Roman Catholic brethren for their thoughtful and insightful four letter explicative filled comments slinging around words like child abuse and eternal damnation. Most brilliant were your many citations of varying Vatican decrees and papers. Truly it was an education in the diversity of usage possible with the F-word as well as the beauty of intolerance and various bigotry. So please bear with me while I respond.

First many civilized Western societies perform clinical circumcisions for various health reasons. A medical procedure, which I have viewed as part of my training takes between 15-20min to perform. The way it is done causes damage to the organ that takes up to 6 weeks to heal. Jewish ritual circumcision from start to finish takes about five minutes as demonstrated in the film(and I was going slow as it was my first actual procedure). The way it is done, we can(unlike the medical procedure) apply a local anesthetic immediately afterward(as well a giving the child pain meds an hour before). A properly done brit mila takes only two to three weeks to completely heal. Really considering that nothing was done that wouldn't be done as a matter of course in many civilized Western nations, calling me a barbarian is really kind of anachronistic.

Now on to the claims of child abuse. Really? This coming from Roman Catholics... Considering the seemingly weekly headlines of clergy child abuse and the Vatican endorsed sport of "Hide the Molester" I can only say that I was dumbfounded when I first read those comments. Friends, I mean this in the best possible way: look to your own house as there is plenty there to keep you busy for quite some time. However putting the less than stellar track record aside(or at least not overly dwelling on it). In case you hadn't noticed throughout this blog(or the Youtube channel) we are JEWS. So I commend you on your scholarship in relation to your own religion, however once again I am a JEW. My forefather made his way in the world by smashing idols, what in the world makes you think I would consider the opinion of men who build and bow down to idols of made of of wood and stone? As far as my child being now permanently cut off from your religion and the salvation supposedly only found there, do you really expect me to think that a bad thing? If you could do some minor act prescribed as necessary by your religion and thus ensure that your own child would never become a Hindu or Muslim, would that exclusion deter you or give you added incentive? Just food for thought.

To those of you who claim to be Jews who are making accusations of child abuse... well I have nothing to say other than I hope you enjoy your new religion.

16 comments:

tom said...

Well, indeed, I find it a bit strange to film a brith in such detail, let alone post in on the net for everyone to see...

I think you got a bit carried away by your enthusiasm. Perhaps there is also a dash of ego-promotion in all this.

What also took me aback is that the sandak barely relates to the child...

mekubal said...

Well, indeed, I find it a bit strange to film a brith in such detail, let alone post in on the net for everyone to see...

Well if you consider their were many friends who were not able to be with us, as well as most of our family and most of them keep in touch through my blog and facebook...

Besides the fact that there are great many brit mila videos on the web... you just haven't seen them yet.

As far as being in detail. The actual procedure yes it was(as is the case in those others that I mentioned). The rest of it, not at all, considering between 2/3 and 3/4 of the ceremony is missing.

Including the parts where the Sandek takes the child from me initially. Places him on the Kise Eliyahu. Prays for him and blesses him. Throughout the actual brit, if he seemed a bit distracted, that was what I expected. There are intense Kabbalistic Kavvanot for each of these procedures that flash by in a heart beat. The rest of the mekavvanim there had siddurim... he needed to do them entirely ba'al peh.

Tom said...

Still it looks strange to an outsider when a child is crying on a man's lap and he does not react in any way to it...

mekubal said...

Still it looks strange to an outsider when a child is crying on a man's lap and he does not react in any way to it...

Herein is the problem with Judaism today. To many "Jews" are worried about what non-Jews will think when they see our rituals. Then they cower away from their own heritage.

It is as though we are in the days of the Maccabees once again. But instead of fighting the Greeks(who coincidentally are not even trying to kill us for our beliefs) we are ready to surrender...

Brit Mila, from the time of the Gemmarra at least, has been called by our sages the greatest of all the commandments. According to Pshat it is equal to all of the other positive commandments combined. According to Sod it is equal to all 613 combined. It is a public event in which one is supposed to take part, and witness the event. Just food for thought.

Mentch said...

My invective to you was not for the Brit, but for posting a video of it. BTW, how would you like your own bris posted on the web.

mekubal said...

I wouldn't care.

Gary said...

HaMekubal,

Just wanted to say "Mazal Tov". Its always a joyful time when another child enters into the Brit.

Mentch said...

That you would not care does not give you the right to be mevater on another person's privacy. Even your own son.

mekubal said...

You need to learn some halakha. I am not mevater on anything. To be embarrassed about a Brit is an issur. Britot are al pi halakha supposed to be public and publicized events. There is a berakha and segula to see a brit, even on video. The Ben Is Hai explains in Lashon Hakhamim that we do not celebrate a boys birth, but a boy's brit, because that is the day he became a Jew.

Your misplaced indignation has no place in the Jewish religion.

Mark Lyndon said...

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:

http://www.jewishcircumcision.org/
http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/
http://www.circumcision.org/

mekubal said...

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

Actually no they are not Jewish. They are under a din of Karet until they have their child circumcised and the B"D is supposed to place them in an absolute Harem.

They have chosen a humanistic religion of their own invention over Judaism.

As I have already said... Have fun with your new found religion and the god you created in your own image.

Michael said...

"Actually no they are not Jewish. They are under a din of Karet until they have their child circumcised and the B"D is supposed to place them in an absolute Harem."

It is interesting how you emphasize this side of judaism, I would like to say "the more cruel side of the religion".

When you move on the spectrum from "completely indifferent/liberal/conservative/modern orthodox/orthodox/ultra-orthodox", you will see that the more liberal side tries to emphasize the "ethics/justice" side of Judaism and are almost ashamed of the "brutal sides" in the Torah. They will ask themselves (in case they come across those stories):"Did G-d really command us to slay all the Midyanite boys?" "Is there really a Mitzwah to kill Amalek as soon as you meet one?" "What about those canaanite slaves?"

They will rationalise that this was all done in a very distant past and will not identify with those commandments.

In the chareidi sector however, there seems to be real joy in displaying a hanged haman on Purim (which I never saw further to the left). There will be great identification with Pinhas and with Mitzwot like "do not let any Amalekite live), as well as with the many, very serious punishments in the Torah (death penalty for this, death penalty for that, corporal punishment for this, corporal punishment for that.

Recently, one Rabbi even decided to revive the 39 makot.

I sometimes ask myself what Judaism is really about.

Is it a religion a bit like fundamentalist islam, where homosexuals, unfaithful wives, heretics will be executed? Or has the religion evolved in two millenia of Galut where it was not possible to apply those punishments?

I get the impression: the further you move to the right, the more they want the religion back that looks like fundamentalist islam.

mekubal said...

I get the impression: the further you move to the right, the more they want the religion back that looks like fundamentalist islam.

It is an impression that speaks of a profound misunderstanding of Judaism.

Homosexuals execution- first we would need a Sanhedrin, the main Poskei HaDor say it is impossible to resurrect one, and the Sh"A agrees. Then you would need at least two kosher witnesses who, saw with their own eyes in person the actual act. In addition they had to try to restrain the people from committing said act, and warning them of the consequences of their actions. Even then only one specific act is indeed prohibitted, leaving a wide range of homosexual relations within the realm of permissibility(see the documentary Trembling before G-d for a more detailed explanation).

Adulterous women- Same as above, and also the same in the fact that only one specific act is prohibited(with a death penalty attached).

Heretics- There is no death penalty in the Torah for heretics.

Amelekites- The Gemarra says they no longer exist. Shteipler says that while they may still exist(Hitler and certain Nazis for example) that since we cannot know, hashgaha pratit will take care of them for us.

Even if we were to reconstitute a recognized Sanhedrin, the only way you would manage enforce death penalties, even if you really wanted to, within the bounds of Jewish law, would be if the people were attempting suicide via B"D. Even then, with the sole exclusion of murder, if the person confesses to the Sanhedrin and repents, they do not kill him.

Judaism, even at its most fundamental is a far far cry from fundamentalist Islam.

Michael said...

Thank you very much for your detailed answer.

It is very interesting that even you, who just wielded the "karet" argument, are anxious that Judaism should not be seen as a religion where capital punishment is doled out in large quantities.

However, your counter-arguments might be a bit misleading.

You might be right that it would be improbable to find a male homosexual couple in the act, where two independent witnesses can distincly see that penetration takes place.

On the other hand, death penalty also stands on Chilul shabbat ve Yom tov, eating on Yom Kipur (if not necessary for medical reasons) and a range of other things that are DONE in public today.

So, essentially, if a Sanhedrin existed and someone was caught driving a car on Shabbat, after having been warned, by two independent witnesses, the sentence could be carried out.

You would even come to an absurd situation where murder without the required witnesses goes unpunished, while the shabbat-desecrators get executed.

mekubal said...

You would even come to an absurd situation where murder without the required witnesses goes unpunished, while the shabbat-desecrators get executed.

I doubt that for a number of reasons.

1) Witnesses are required to try to physically restrain the people from committing said act, as well as warning. A warning alone does not a eidus make.

2) Secondly if a person(excluding murders) want to avoid the death penalty(if they don't want to die) they need only to confess and repent.

As I stated before, your arguments demonstrate a profound ignorance of Jewish sources.

Garnel Ironheart said...

1) Mazel tov. May the child know only health and happiness and may you only know naches and joy from him.
2) Kol hakavod on putting up the video. You wouldn't be ashamed of putting up his bar mitzvah video and that has no real importance but here you brought him into our ancestors' covenant. Good on ya!
3) I've seen Jewish and pediatrician circumcisions. Ours is far more humane, hands down.