With a lawsuit pitting a mother and father against each other over whether to circumcise their son, the Oregonian takes a look at the ritual – and the forces fighting against it.
In addition, the paper interviews a Jewish woman about her decision not to circumcise her son:
Was [the father’s] argument persuasive?
Well, I couldn’t get my mind around it. If I were having a daughter, why wouldn’t she want a visceral, spiritual experience?
Then I asked myself, would I really accept this practice without question? It’s not something I do, especially in regards to another person’s body. I had been doing so much to protect my son – eating well, walking, doing prenatal yoga. And no matter what people told me, I could not imagine a way in which circumcision would not hurt him.
What about medical arguments?
Research suggests no medical reason to do it. Why cut off a piece of a child’s body if I don’t have to? I didn’t believe this is what would make my son Jewish.
Celebrating Shabbat, keeping Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for “repairing the world”). Being Jewish is internal, a way of connecting to the rest of the world, to tradition and to history. It is a way of questioning as well.
What about the argument that circumcision connects generations of Jewish men to each other and to God?
I did think about the Holocaust, how people had not been able to practice circumcision – or risked their lives to do so. That was impressive to me.