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I’m bumping up my post of a few weeks back, The End of Circumcision, because it’s generated a huge outpouring of thoughts, from men and women (lots of women commenting on circumcision and what it does to the appearance of the penis), Jews, Christians, and Muslims, those for and against. A few comments that jumped out at me.
1.Medical: Reduced medical problems for men and women (documented)2.Appearance: The uncircumcized penis is less attractive (opinion)
3.Tradition: If it’s worked for thousands of years…..
4.Hygiene: Does the word “smegma” say anything to you? You don’t get
this after circumcision.
Why not circumcize?
1.Medical: Risk of damage to the penis. True- BUT this is exceedingly
rare. Do you think this practice would had endured for
thousands of years if there was a significant risk?
There are NO documented medical problems that are helped with circumcision. In 1999 the American Academy of Pediatricians REMOVED their recommendation of routine circumcision. There are lots of myths but the reality is no medical advantages. Has it “worked” for thousands of years? Do some research and see that an intact penis “works” better.
Unless you bathe less than once a month there is no smegma issue or other cleanliness issues. There are lots of books on the subject – written by Jews – where you can learn the facts. I do not advocate or object to circumcision but I do hope people make informed decisions by getting the facts first.When my son and daughter in law told me that my soon to be born (at that time) grandson would not be circumcised my husband and I were totally shocked and distraught. We spent weeks and weeks doing research and came to understand how they feel. Medically and morally not circumcising wins.
For those who believe that the 613 mitzvot are the word of God – then circumcising wins. Note that there are Rabbi’s who do not believe God meant to remove the entire foreskin when he told Abrahahm to perform a circumcision. That is yet another issue.
Jewish circumcision is a required religious rite. It is a fundamental tenet of Judaism. Any health or physical benefit is simply an addition to the necessity of the commanded ritual. If people opt to pick and choose which parts of Judaism they wish to follow, no one can stop them, but doing so does not change the basics of Judaism, which has always and will always practiced circumcision.