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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Since When is Norway Such an Expert on Morality and Religion?

Norway has joined the international group of hypocrites trying to forbid the ancient religious and modern medically recommended practice of infant circumcision. 
Her predecessor, Reidar Hjermann, proposed setting 15 as the minimum age for circumcision.

As done according to Jewish Law at the age of eight days on a healthy, full-term infant, it's a fairly minor procedure.  All experts know that the older the male is the more complicated, traumatic and painful circumcision is.

You may feel you could help your son avoid some of these problems once and for all by having him circumcised early in life (the best time in the healthy baby is 7-10 days old). Not only is it a simpler procedure, needing no stitches, but he will not remember the event. He will also grow up never knowing anything different. Boys circumcised later in life may find it a more embarrassing experience. For a while afterwards they will feel the sensitivity of the permanently exposed glans, but will gradually adapt to it. Thus, circumcision in babyhood can be a very sensible decision - especially for a single mum with a boy and no man around the house. If you do circumcise your son, you must explain as soon as he is old enough to understand, what happened and why it was done. This helps acceptance and avoids ignorance. (complete article)

It's surprising how this campaign against infant circumcision has progressed, even though it's a medically recommended procedure in the western world, besides being a foundation of the Jewish and Muslim religions. 
This is an operation as old as mankind, highlighted today by Jewish and Muslim tradition in which all males are usually circumcised as part of their faith. It is performed worldwide by many tribes and cultures as an initiation rite and, despite some aggressive opposition, it is routinely done at birth for the majority of boys in the USA as well as many in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and much of the English speaking world - except, latterly, in the UK. Overall it is estimated that a quarter of the male population is circumcised - about 750 million males. They cannot all be wrong! Yet in Europe today there is widespread ignorance of its value.

In Israel after the large immigration of Jews from the FSU (former Soviet Union) where it had been forbidden, many male children and adult men requested to be circumcised.  Some of the hospitals set up special departments for it, because it isn't all that simple in older males.  Israel has always had specialists in adult circumcision, because most male converts need to be circumcised. 

In Shiloh we had a couple of large groups of male immigrants who studied Hebrew in a special program in the yeshiva.  Most of them were circumcised during that time, and not all had easy times recovering.  Later on when they moved on with their lives, married and had children, the boys had traditional and festive Brittot, circumcisions. 


Anonymous said...

Millions of people doing something proves nothing (yes they can and have been wrong, many times), nor does another religion or thousands of years of a tradition, or medical recommendations.

The Torah commands us to perform a brit on male babies. Period. Referring to anything outside of it does not strengthen the argument but weakens it.

Batya said...

a, we follow it because it's G-d's laws, but those who oppose it understand a different language.

Hugh said...

No national medical association in the world recommends infant circumcision, some condemn it, and the WHO only recommends VOLUNTARY ADULT male circumcision in areas of HIGH HIV PREVALENCE (based on some dubious studies).

Though it became fashionable in the English-speaking world in the mid-20th century, it is now rare in Australia (about 12% of babies are circumcised nationwide, much less in some states) and very rare in New Zealand - it's hard to find a doctor willing to do it - and there have been no outbreaks of any of the ailments it was supposed to be good against. Only in the USA are a majority of babies still circumcised non-religiously.

Whatever "all experts know", no studies have shown circumcision to be more complicated, painful or traumatic in adults. On the contrary, a tiny mistake on a baby is magnified when he grows up, sometimes disastrously affecting his love life. Even when done "properly" there is no dotted line and no guarantee that he will not suffer particular harm.

Be careful who you quote. The article you cite is copyright to the pro-circumcision Gilgal Society, wnose head was convicted earlier this year for possessing child pornography.

Batya said...

I don't need any national medical organizations to approve Jewish Law. National and international organizations never protected Jews against any form of discrimination, even during Nazi time. 12% is a very high number for such a voluntary procedure.
Of course adult, or even child, circumcision is more traumatic than infant. There's the memory of it.

Hugh said...

I was answering "it's a medically recommended procedure in the western world." It is not.

"12% is a very high number..."
That includes religious - mainly Muslim - circumcision, and the Australian figure is falling.
"...for such a voluntary procedure."
No baby volunteers for it.

"There's the memory of it." Taddio et al. found circumcised babies reacted differently to the pain of vaccination, months later. The body remembers.

Batya said...

Hugh, obviously you're among the anti-circumcision crowd. Sorry, I'm not interested. I'm a Torah Jew and you're not my expert.

Eliyahu S. said...

Are they also going to ban the barbarous practice of piercing little girls' earlobes? This disgusting custom of making holes in the body so that foreign objects can be inserted in, or dangled from those holes, has got to stop. And while some practitioners admit that infants are incapable of consenting, assuming that a two, three, or five year-old girl is capable of agreeing, a responsible parent should know that these same girls would happily jump off houses and try to fly.

Batya said...

Ahh... we did it before Bat Mitzvah, only if the wanted, and my daughter plans on doing the same.