Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


A Redemptive Nose Job?

Rabbi Grossman gets it just right on the issue of Judaism’s relationship to bio-ethical issues. Here Judaism radically differs with certain elements of the Christian tradition. Instead of looking for an all-embracing universal theory that runs through every situation–such as the Catholic belief in the concept of life–Judaism privileges the particular. Each situation is a world unto itself demanding a re-weighing and reevaluating of the myriad of values found in Jewish law and thought.

By focusing on the specifics of each case Judaism gives ultimate significance to the individual and his/her particular existence. That said, whose to say that there are not situations when a nose job, breast implants, or growth hormones might be enormously redemptive, allowing a person to live with themselves and stop looking at themselves in the mirror? The fact that every Jewish male receives a brit (circumcision) when they are born signifies that Judaism does not see human nature as an end unto itself. Human beings are meant to perfect themselves, and sometimes that means even their bodies.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
Jade

posted January 19, 2007 at 1:41 am


“That said, whose to say that there are not situations when a nose job, breast implants, or growth hormones might be enormously redemptive, allowing a person to live with themselves and stop looking at themselves in the mirror?” I believe you meant, “who’s to say”, dear rabbi. :)



report abuse
 

Rabbi Shael Siegel

posted January 20, 2007 at 12:54 am


The fact that every Jewish male receives a brit (circumcision) when they are born signifies that Judaism does not see human nature as an end unto itself. Human beings are meant to perfect themselves, and sometimes that means even their bodies. I don’t get the connection between circumcision which we are commanded to fulfill as an imperative, and cosmetic surgery. where is the logical connection between circumcision and perfecting one’s body?



report abuse
 

Kitten

posted January 22, 2007 at 5:42 pm


Surgery is a drastic solution to a situation of body perception. when is the surgery ever enough to reach that idea of perfection? My personal view is that whether surgery is sought as a treatment… is it “disfigurement” being reconstructed, attaining a desired ideal or image, or is it addressing a dismorphic perception within an individuals psyche? So much can be done around other issues of self perception and self esteem and self confidence. It is critical that a patient truly understand the issues involved when approaching surgery in the pursuit of perfection. I personally belive that “enhancement surgery” is the wrong approach, and that self love and self acceptance with good support groups have a far better success in addressing the core issues that give rise to the need for perfection. Many people find deep happiness with their “imperfect” bodies that they cose to see as god’s perfectionand infinitly lovable. The issues around being lovable and the ability to love are more at the heart of dismorphic perceptions.



report abuse
 

Chana Silverman

posted January 22, 2007 at 6:14 pm


This Blog just brings home again, the freedom we have in Judaism. Boundries and limits are put in their proper perspective, with the Law first and formost and then respect for individual choices – thanks Rabbi.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

The Task Is Never Finished
It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman's post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in postings over a time frame of days (rather than moments

posted 12:31:46pm Apr. 03, 2008 | read full post »

Some Parting Reflections
Well, loyal readers, all good things must come to an end and we’ve been informed that this particular experiment in blogging as a forum for creating wide-ranging discussion on topics of interest to contemporary Jews has run its course. Maybe it’s that blogging doesn’t lend itself so well to t

posted 1:00:29pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

Obama's Lesson and The Jewish Community
There are few times in this blog’s history when I have felt that Rabbi Grossman was one hundred percent correct in her criticisms of my ideas. However, a few weeks ago she called me out for citing a few crack websites on Barak Obama’s advisors. She was right. I never should have cited those web

posted 12:09:08pm Mar. 31, 2008 | read full post »

The Future of Race Relations
As a post-baby boomer, it is interesting to me to see how much of today’s conversation about racial relations is still rooted in the 1960s experience and rhetoric of the civil rights struggle, and the disenchantment that followed. Many in the black and Jewish communities look to this period either

posted 4:04:41pm Mar. 25, 2008 | read full post »

Wright and Wrong of Race and Jews
Years ago, as a rabbinical student, I was one of a group of rabbinical students who visited an African American seminary in Atlanta. My fellow rabbinical students and I expected an uplifting weekend of interfaith sharing like we had experienced in visits to other (largely white) seminaries. We were

posted 12:50:11pm Mar. 24, 2008 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.