Hitchens Chimes In On Metzitzah B'peh

Christopher Hitchens — <sarcasm>a nice Jewish boy if ever there was one</sarcasm> — writes in Slate:

I can never read the name “Michael Bloomberg” without an automatic free-association that flashes up in my mind. “Little putz,” is what my internal prompter always cues to me. Obviously this and other intuitions must be prompted by whatever grand intelligence originally designed me, because here’s what I read on page B5 of the New York Times on Friday, Aug. 26:

A circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews has alarmed city health officials, who say it may have led to three cases of herpes—one of them fatal—in infants. … The practice is known as oral suction, or in Hebrew, metzitzah b’peh: after removing the foreskin of the penis, the practitioner, or mohel, sucks the blood from the wound to clean it.

The continuing scandal of this practice, which most Jews abandoned many years ago, is newly illustrated by the death of one little boy from type-1 herpes, and the infection of two others, in Staten Island and Brooklyn, after they had been subjected to this ritual by the same mohel. Let’s be clear what’s involved here. The Times refers to an article published last year in the journal Pediatrics that argued that metzitzah b’peh carries a serious health risk and is, for that reason alone, a violation of Jewish law. (“We suspect … that this entity is underreported for cultural reasons and that the studies described here are only the “tip of the iceberg” of the true incidence of the disease,” the authors note). None of this should be hard to comprehend: If it risks the life or health of an infant, then no religious allegiance is or should be required for its condemnation. Q.E.D., as you might say.

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48 thoughts on “Hitchens Chimes In On Metzitzah B'peh

  1. actually, hitchens is jewish…he announced a few years ago that he discovered late in life that his mother was jewish (and i believe but am less certain that he is married to a jew)

  2. Sorry – but Hitchens has a point.
    After reading the NY Times article and other writeups – it’s clear to me that Bloomberg is trying to play politics and court the Orthodox vote. He should have stayed out of it and left it as a Health Department matter.
    I won’t even begin to discuss the chillul Hashem perpetrated by the know-nothing haredim in this case.

  3. Harav Mordechai Eliyahu, one of the current great rabbis of our generation, told my friend, a budding mohel who asked him about ‘sucking’, that if you see a mohel not ‘sucking’ (using an instrument) than he deserves to be kicked.
    I’ve seen several brisses in the past few years and never seen an Israeli mohel not suck.

  4. This is absolutely ghastly! No anti-microbial mouth wash can offer protection from a virus, which is what herpes is. Though it does not cross the placenta, it can, in rare cases, cross the blood-brain-barrier, causing encephalitis and sometimes death. Moms-to-be with histories of genital herpes, are given c-sections to prevent infection in the birth canal. As evidenced by the mohel’s history, herpes lasts forever; it simply goes dormant for periods. The report that a couple of the infants had ‘herpes-like rashes’ and were ok’d by their physicians for brit, stinks of cover-up. No way they would show such evidence so soon after birth, in the genital area, even if mom had active herpes and didn’t have a c-sex. As for Bloomberg’s pandering, well, virtually all politicans, and most journalists in the US are being yahoos for the ‘religious’ right…

  5. Also, the mouth is filled with microorganisms which belong in the mouth, not in broken skin. Even without the herpes on the neo-natal penis, it’s a filthy, infection-risking thing to do. There is absolutely nothing clean about saliva, ever, under any circumstances. The mouth is a very dirty place, which is why people with certain cardiac conditions need to take antibiotics prophylactically, before having dental work done. This procedure is shameful.

  6. two points:
    (1) the procedure should be stopped both legally and halachically — with that I don’t see how anyone can disagree
    (2) however … hitchen’s intimation that the rabbis are perverse and sick [comparing it to sexual abuse] is unfair.

  7. Hitchens is right. This is all coming from Menashe HaKaton Klein, aka the Ungvar Rebbe, the same man responsible for the concubine hotline, a moratorium on Jewish divorce for 10 years and marriage by proxy for minors, and he is also the man who put up the stiffest resistance to health regulation, along with the rest of the chassidishe community. The Agudah didn’t take a stance…but the truth is, again, hitchens is right.
    We pounded this one into the ground on mailistjewish. Most people use a glass tube.

  8. Surprisingly – given how much he writes – Christopher Hitchens has written only one autobiographical piece, the title essay of Prepared for the Worst (1988). It is self-revealing as far as it goes, but it covers only one small aspect of his life, the discovery of his Jewishness when he was 38. It happened when his brother Peter took his new bride to meet their maternal grandmother, Dodo, who was then in her nineties, and Dodo said, ‘She’s Jewish, isn’t she?’ and then announced: ‘Well, I’ve got something to tell you. So are you.’ She said that her real surname was Levin, not Lynn, and that her ancestors were Blumenthals from Poland.
    Christopher was thrilled when Peter told him. By then he was living in Washington and most of his friends were Jewish. Moreover, he felt that he had somehow known all along. He remembers an odd dream in which he was on the deck of a ship and a group of men approached him and said they needed a 10th man to make up a minyan (Jewish prayer group) and he calmly strolled across the deck and joined them. He insists that he is Jewish – because Jewish descent goes through the mother – though Peter Hitchens, who has traced the family tree, says they are only one 32nd Jewish. But wasn’t it odd of his mother not to tell him – or even tell his father? ‘I’m practically certain I know her motivation. Dodo had had quite a thin time in the hat business and encountered some prejudice. She looked Jewish, whereas my mother didn’t. And I’m sure she didn’t want me to go through any of that – her plan for me was that I was to be an English gentleman – you can judge for yourself how well that worked out!’

  9. Hitchens may be right, but his tone was disgusting. Describing the mohels as filthy old men was wayyyy out of line. I find the practice nasty on a personal level, but the again, so might circumcision be to outsiders.
    On another note, is engraved “k&y” making sense to anyone? i’ve seen a few of k&y’s posts and have never made heads or tails of any of that rambling… just curious if there’s some larger point i’m missing.

  10. An obvious anti-Semetic blood libel by Hitchens. How dare he. Metzitzah b’peh was good enough for my parents, and it was good enough for my son, when I have one. My wife and I have been having trouble conceiving, so I ask you all to send a brucha my way.

  11. “k&y” is a bastion of good sense and traditional learning. And as the old Hebrew folk song says: “Good jelly is tight like that” And if there’s anything k&y know about, it’s jelly

  12. As much as I disagree with his other articles, Hitchens got this one right. These mohels are filthy old men, in the non-sexual grimy way.
    There is no reason to do m’tzitzah b’peh with direct contact anymore. Certainly this mohel’s case of herpes moves the issue into pikuach nefesh, so that those little boys’ lives are not put in danger by his strict adherence to the law. If we can eat a nice pork chop to save a life, we can certainly maintain rigorous health standards in the bris ritual.
    This is worse than sexual abuse, because a child has died. It’s no longer a health department issue; it should be a criminal issue. The mohel obviously knows he has herpes- that he persists with doing m’tzitzah without a tube separating his mouth from the penis is halachically and legally indefensible.
    Mooser, may all the good will in the world flow to you and your wife as you try to have a child. I think only good thoughts for you and yours. And when, G-d willing, you have a beautiful baby boy, if the mohel has a cold sore and isn’t using a glass tube to separate his mouth from your child, I hope to G-d you put your fist through that bastard’s face.

  13. What, I should punch a Mohel? Nisht fur dich gedach! So I guess we should follow a revered tradition only when it suits us? You’re farblondzhetlike that uroligist which he tries to tell me all my troubles are due to a “botched” circumsision.

  14. You’re right, Mooser- sometimes risking the life of my child just doesn’t “suit me.” Allow me to be redundant- because of this practice, one child has ALREADY DIED. As far as I know, Judaism does not have a revered tradition of putting our children’s lives in danger. And consider that the mohel certainly knows he has herpes- every so often it blossoms on his mouth, which is when it’s contagious. So given that he knows that, and persists on performing bris milah when he has a cold sore in full bloom, what exactly precludes us giving him the status of a rodef? By that line of reasoning- fully supported by halacha (which I maybe rusty, but I believe it trumps revered tradition)- the mohel doesn’t deserve punch in the face so much as a bullet to the head.

  15. The tube doesn’t belong there, either. Any suction to a fresh wound decreases the risk of healing. I don’t remember Abraham sucking his son after the brit, and I KNOW that Zipporah certainly did not. As for some gentiles thinking that the brit may be weird, the health benefits are excellent; not only is the incidence of STDs much higher in the uncircumcised, the last time I checked the journals, there has never been a case of penile cancer in a circumcised man (penile cancer is quite rare).

  16. Miriam,
    The health benefits are dubious. Almost no one gets penile cancer anyway in western countries, circumcised or not. Why not note that circumcised Americans don’t usually get polio either?
    As ofr STD’s, a condom is much more effective against AIDS than circumcision.
    Think I’m coning from left field? Just wait. American gentiles have are increasingly growing wary about what is rightly considered genital mutilation.
    Best if we stop pushing this thing as a “health benefit” for the masses.
    But of course, we won’t. We Jews will be the only visible defenders left, on TV and elsewhere. And as women are increasingly the bulk of the circumcisers as the OBGYN’s who do this “preventative care” in the hospotals, the world will get to see some secular incarnation of your Zipporah heroine. Secular Jewish women will be seen as imposing a castrative and invasive and unnecessary amputation on little boys nationwide.
    And there will be hell to pay.
    And rightly so.

  17. This is all just part of a nefarious attempt to interfere with our religious laws and to destroy the reputation of Rav Fischer, a renowned baal chesed and a blessed and saintly man if there ever was one, whose only crime is that he tried to live by G-D’S LAWS. So one baby died. But it did NOT die because of anything Rav Fischer did. It died because it was the will of G-D and for NO other reason. The government has no right to be regulating metzitzah b’peh or any of our other relgious traditions! Metzitzah b’peh is a commandment from G-D! And like my brave, tough, strong, intensely proud Jewish ancestresses who fought and died for the right to practice bris milah during the reign of Antiochus, I, too, would rather fight to the death before I’d ever even dream of relinquishing bris milah with metzitzah b’peh — this beautiful and joyous ritual — this commandment from Hashem. Those who tamper with or mock our laws are doomed to suffer the wrath of Hashem, blessed be His name.

  18. Of course, Chaya. The NY State Health Dept. has a personal vendetta against Rabbi Fischer. We all do. It was motivated for personal reasons, and we hate him because he’s frum.
    Rabbi Fischer is merely the sheliach for the malech Hamaves. He is providing a service.
    And as you noted, it’s just one baby. Or thousands, throughout the ages.
    So what? Who needs ’em? THEY’RE JUST BABIES.

  19. Chaya, pikuach nefesh is a command from G-d. It overrides everything except idolatry, murder, and illicit sexual relations. You tell me where metzitzah b’peh fits in there. There is no other “reason” for the child’s death than G-d’s will. I am loathe to reference the Holocaust, but it was also G-d’s will that 6,000,000 died then. Does that mean the Nazis should been excused? How about terrorist organizations that kill innocent people? It may be G-d’s will that it’s those people’s time to die, but certainly those murderers have a choice of whether to strap those bombs to their chests and walk into a crowded marketplace. Doesn’t this rabbi have that same free will? How dare you trivialize the death of this child.
    I freely conceded that this rabbi is a baal chesed, and a good person. That does not mitigate his inexcusable behavior here.
    David, are you suggesting that secular hospitals and health organizations stop performing circumcisions, or are you extending that to mohels and brises as well?

  20. I am suggesting that secular hospitals and health organizations should stop advocating routine male circumcision, yes, and to inform parents that this is not a necessary procedure, even though it protects against Aids less than a condom does.
    I am not suggesting it should be outlawed, though others will certainly make that case, and that will be a fight eventually, and screaming anti-Semitism will not make it go away.

  21. Chaya Taub, you are an idiot. Worse yet, you are a mendatious idiot. “So one baby died,” you say? You’re sick. Your baal chesed, Rav Fischer, has herpes. You might stop a minute and wonder who he went down on to get it. Seems like Rav Fischer likes to perform metzizah bapeh on adults, too.

  22. David Kelsey, be careful mouthing off about Zipporah; when Aaron and Miriam did it, Miriam was turned into a leper…How did these comments turn into issues of ‘castrating women’? Dads usually want their boys’ penises to look like their own, so if dad is not, baby boy usually isn’t, either.

  23. Miriam,
    As the country turns against circumcision, and as Jewish women are increasingly the visible OBGYN defenders (non-Jewish OBGYN’s will not be as willing to go on record, though they may be just as happy to pocket the cash of this 1/2 billion dollar industry) , you can offer the Biblical lesson of Miriam, leperasy, and Zipporah as reasons for the secular gentile world to be more respectful of our call to continue routine male circumcision for the gentile infant masses, which is the interaction I was describing and decrying.
    Your Daddy theory, while an issue, did not prove a defining one in England, where circumcision never the less dropped off dramatically, as it did in Austrailia and Canada, and as it is now doing here.
    If you find me less than sympathetic in regards to Jewish women insisting that circumcision is the most wonderful thing ever for everyone – you might find I am actually underestimating the general reaction, if Penn and Teller’s show with a OBGYN and “mohelet” is any indication of what’s ahead.
    This is nothing compared to what is buried in the anti-circ sites, something that I suspect will grow more as they gain the upper hand.
    As Jews, we should back off advocating this religious ritual for the gentile masses with health and psychological reasons that have NOTHING to do with why we do it. That means you too, Miriam.
    For there are potentially serious resentments to be incurred, not all of them unfair.

  24. I have a hard time seeing the anti-circumcision movement gaining a strong enough foothold to outlaw circumcision in America.
    Do secular hospitals encourage circumcision? From my non-Jewish friends who have had baby boys, it doesn’t seem like there’s this huge backlash against it, nor does it seem like most of the advocacy is coming from Jewish women. Aside from the fact that there are many Jewish male OBGYN’s, I haven’t heard of non-Jewish doctors banding together en masse to protest the procedure. Although I do agree that without the religious underpinnings, it seems kind of silly.
    Miriam, how do you KNOW Tziporah didn’t do metzitzah b’peh? And it’s possible that there is a lower rate of STD’s among circumcised males because a significant minority of those circumcised are religious Jews, who tend not to be as sexually promiscuous. And you can’t see the similarities between male and female circumcision? Without the religious implications of the bris, I can see secular people equating the two.

  25. Charles,
    The push to outlaw male circumcision will not come from doctors any more than it did for banning female circumcision and other more severe forms of female genital mutilation. It came from feminist and child activists. it will here (respectively, not specifically feminists, obviously) as well.
    I am not saying that anti-circ activists will succeed in banning male circumcision. I am saying the policies,prevalence, and perception of circumcision (and its advocates) will change, perhaps quite dramatically. It already has the last few years. Even in Florida, where there is a significant Jewish population, joined 10 other states in electing to ban Medicaid funding for the procedure.
    This is just the beginning. But outlawing male circumcision is not my concern. The push to outlaw circumcision is my concern, and the Jewish community’s anticipated shrill and frequently dishonest “health” and “psychological” defense of it is my concern, as it will reveal who was behind much of its push, who was really behind much of its prevalence, and who–even now– is still advocating it for the masses for issues quite different than the secular ones stated.
    If a gentile was circumcized as an infant – and he is not happy about it – how will this debate affect him?
    I am worried there will be a lot of those, particularly once it drops below 50%, and the status quo defense of denial that anything was taken from them will therefore no longer as easily an option or norm.

  26. You are all a bunch of Hellenizers, assimilationists and self-hating Jews. You have no idea what it means to live according to the laws of Hashem. I thank G-d for giving us the great gift of bris milah with metzitzah b’peh and I am willing to do whatever it takes to fight for it just as my strong proud ancestresses did. Some things are worth fighting for and this is one of them.

  27. What a shock. The fundamentalist “So one baby has died”, has resorted to calling us “self-hating” jews by her second post on this issue.
    You’re one too late, Vilde Chaya. I would have expected you to use your overused trump card on your first shot.

  28. David,
    I don’t know of a single Jewish organization or group that proactively advocates circumcision for non-Jews. What would be the point? It doesn’t make them Jewish, and it’s not our concern whether they’re cut or not. And Medicaid not covering the procedure isn’t an issue for Jews either- we get it done outside the hospital, in shuls and living rooms and event halls, with bagels and lox and crappy wine.
    The protest coming from the Jewish community- if G-d forbid the day comes that there is a legitimate push for its outlaw- will be over the issue of regulating a religious practice. It won’t be about health- though there have been plenty of studies stating every position from harm to benefit and everything in between- and it won’t be psychological, althgough I’m not familiar with the psychological benefits of circumcision.
    The only concern Jews have about the larger population getting circumcised is the possibility that it will be outlawed, forcing the ritual into back alleys where abortions used to be performed when they were banned.
    David, you seem to have some serious issues w/r/t bris milah.

  29. Charles,
    Jews have promoted circumcision for non-Jews for “health reasons”. or perhaps other reasons. This is incontrovertable.
    Partially this is because secular Jews decided that the Chukkim were not that, but frequently were explainable according to logic – this can be seen in the interpretation of many that kosher was somehow healthier even though it has nothing to do with that.
    In terms of your question, “What would be the point?” I would refer you to the medresh of Joseph insisting the Egyptians perform the surgery, and reasons commentaries offer for this, including a goal of restraining sexual behavior of host gentile population. A more modern reason offered for our involvement in promoting general circ this time is reducing perception of being “other”.
    So there is precedent for this behavior. It didn’t end well. It won’t this time either.
    Yes, Charles, I have issues. I am not claiming I don’t.

  30. I haven’t seen this “incontrovertable” evidence, so I can’t speak to it. I can only say that my community is filled with both doctors and people with young children, and I haven’t once heard either a justification from Jews for circumcising non-Jews based on health reasons, or an intent to encourage non-Jews to continue circumcising their sons.
    And as I’ve said, there have been studies done supporting positive and negative views, unlike with female circumcision, which is roundly seen as a horrible practice.
    I also haven’t seen any basis for a universal, subconscious understanding that non-Jews should be circumcised so they look like us in the shower. And though I haven’t read that midrash, I doubt the intent there was to reduce the perception of “other.” It sounds to me more that the midrash is showcasing Joseph’s attempts to improve Egypt’s morality- and there is no subsequent indication that that was the reason for our subjugation. In fact, the only reason for our redemption was our maintaining our outsider status- with bris milah, our different clothes, and our Hebrew names.
    I’m surprised you didn’t bring up Shimon and Levi’s use of circumcision to weaken Shechem’s people before they slaughtered the city, man woman and child.

  31. The not being “other” is only a modern, secular urge – you are correct, it is not offerd as a reason for Joseph doing so.
    You are incorrect about the claims of health benefits for Female circumcision. Indeed, there are no such claims here where it is not done. But there are very similair claims in cultures who perform female circumcision.

  32. David: Exodus 4:25-26 — no mention of oral-genital contact by Zipporah.
    Female genital mutilation is done to keep females from having sexual desire (less chance of fornication).
    A July 6, 2005 article in the SF Chronicle reports on circumcision trials in Africa in AIDs prevention (it’s been noted since 1989 that the highest rates of infection were in the uncircked population). It is suggested that the cause is the high levels of white blood cells (big HIV target) in the foreskin.
    You would not want to be the rare man who loses his penis to cancer.
    What is the importance of foreskin retention? When erect, there is no difference in the appearance of the penis; you can’t tell which was/was not circumcised.
    Of course, there is also that other problem with demented men with bladder catheters who end up getting erections from retracted foreskin. If it stays that way too long, lack of circulation can lead to necrosis, and subsequent amputation (and having a stuck foreskin retracted is quite painful).
    Though I don’t think gentiles should be ‘forced’ into circumcising their boys, I do think that mohels who practice aseptic technique should be hired by hospitals to perform the procedure (thereby greatly decreasing the very little chance of genital mutilation, rare, but also, you don’t want to be that guy, either).

  33. Miriam,
    I went through this at the beginning – no one says circumcision is as effective as a condom. No one. So as we live in a society where they are plent, why would anyone opt for amputation for their gentile child instead?
    As for you insisting on pushing circumcision to “prevent” penile cancer, which is very, very rare- better to amputate Ashkenazic women’s breasts if they have a family history of it, and to castrate the boys if their is a history of prostate cancer.
    Miriam, you wrote,
    “Female genital mutilation is done to keep females from having sexual desire (less chance of fornication). ”
    Yes – just like male circumcision.
    For the foreskin’s function is not one of “appearance.” It protects the corona from bein rendered less sensitive, and it helps facilitiate intercourse. The penis is mean to be an internal organ, not an external one.
    For full explanation, go to nocirc.org or noharmm.org. They will explain the case in graphic detail.
    If this sounds contrary to Judaism, please see Rambam and Ibn Ezra. The latter says circ is punishment for Sin of Adam.
    Mohel for gentiles in hopsitals is very, very bad idea. They won’t like it – over time, bad bad feelings will emerge. Stop trying to encourage the the goyim to circumcize their sons, Miriam.

  34. David, I am voicing some well-researched evidence of the benefits of circumcision. I repeat: No man wants to be that very rare one who develops cancer.
    If circumcision prevented men from sexual desire, there would be no progeny born through the circked.
    It is irrelevent that a condom may be as good as circumcision in preventing AIDs, if the condom is not being worn (though I’ve had many patients complain of desensitivity from condoms, I’ve yet to hear complaints of same re: circumcision).
    Were the penis meant to be an ‘internal’ organ, it would be inside, don’t you think, like the brain or the heart?
    I’m sorry that some of the great rabbis had their neurotic impulses, and, on occasion, viewed God as Zeus on Olympus.
    Oh, yeah, the other guys most men don’t want to be, are the very seniors getting circumcised in their 70s and 80s, because foreskin got ‘stuck’ and was causing infection.
    I’ve only known of one botched hospital circumcision. That’s one too many, which is why I made the suggestion that hospitals hire competent mohels to do the job (after severely damaging the neo-nate, the geniuses decided to begin years of sex-change transformation).
    I will read your posted links.
    PS Why do you think it’s called a ‘putz’?

  35. Don’t worry Miriam, there have been numerous botched circumcision recorded, both at hospitals and by mohels.
    You wrote,
    “If circumcision prevented men from sexual desire, there would be no progeny born through the circked. ”
    It does not eliinate desire, Miriam, it lessens enjoyment, and it does not eradicate it, just like the milder forms of female circumcision.
    The corona is what is inside, except during erection, not the penis in its entirety. Please do not resort to cheap shots.
    You are grapsing at straws when you reach for penile cancer, and should logically concede that breast removal should be employed to prevent the much, much, much more prevalent and also deadly breast cancer if you approve of prevention by amputation for such a rare disease as penile cancer in the West. After all, no woman would want to be one of those unlucky victims, right?
    You claim that “(though I’ve had many patients complain of desensitivity from condoms, I’ve yet to hear complaints of same re: circumcision)” illuminates you have not studied the opponents arguement against routine circumcsion at all, not one bit, if you would actually make this claim.

  36. ya know jews have been around for for along time
    and in my humble opinion its mostly due to blind obedience to laws which we don’t fully understand
    I repeat we DON’T understand & and the bottom line being we don’t need to
    I hear you all yelling don’t be stupid blind what are we a bunch of lemmings?
    Well ya know lemmings are also still around
    Those who seek to explain the rational behind the miztvos will eventually change as they see fit
    Don’t change anything don’t pretend to be smarter than your predecessors!

  37. David, you speak in hyperbole, when you call removal of foreskin ‘amputation.’ The penis is not amputated; foreskin is removed.
    I have had patients who had double radical mastectomies for prophylactic reasons. Much more difficult recoveries than an 8 day circumcision.
    I think Abraham made a very good covenant, healthwise…

  38. Miriam,
    It was a test for Abraham, and a latter one – that is to say, a hard one. He didn’t want to do it. Seems Rambam and Ibn Ezra, whom you so rudely discard in pop-Freudian denigration fit into the text better than you. It is a Chok, not a mishput. It is not about health, if anything, it is quite contrary to it.
    We should be promoting this thing to the gentiles through lies about the risk of penile cancer, and pretending the foreskin has no function. You are as ignorant as a doctor as you are a Jew, but as a Mohelet for gentile boys, you are steering the Jews into a makor backlash when these and other victims of your knife grow to be men, and wonder why this was done to them.
    Bet you cut ’em as tight as you can, don’t you Miriam?
    Would that be not because of your fear of the virtually non-existent threat of penile cancer, but because you are an arrogant, ignorant JAP who simply translates her– wrinkle the cosmetically altered nose, forsekins are gross– feelings into medical policy, and seeks to gain personally from this very highly profitable 1/2 billion dollar industry?
    The talmud says even the best doctors go to hell. Well, you are certainly not one of the best. You don’t even bother to learn all sides.

  39. David,
    Notwithstanding the personal attacks between you and Miriam, but you seem to be holding Jewish women accountable for gentile circumcision. If only to avoid a truly Freudian stereotype, at least target Jewish doctors as a group, regardless of gender. Are there Jewish male docs who refuse, en masse, to circumcise gentile infants? And you still haven’t shown evidence that there is a mass Jewish conspiracy to foist circumcision on gentiles.
    You think a backlash is coming now? How about 2,000 years of Christian dogma rejecting bris milah? Trust me, if non-Jews were going to rise up against circumcision, they would have done it before now, when there is still a better than 50% circumcision rate for newborn boys. Non-Jews have had plenty of opportunities to punish us for our rituals, and when they’ve exhausted the real ones, they make ’em up, e.g. blood libels. Before antibiotics, when circumcision was probably fraught with disease and dull knives and shaky hands, you don’t think non-Jews, had they a problem with the procedure, wouldn’t have killed scores of Jewish doctors and mohels? Not something I remember about the Spanish Inquisition, when there were certainly Jewish doctors treating non-Jews. Or in France during the Enlightenment? When even Jews began hating Jews? Didn’t come up in any permanent way then, did it?
    And as for your claim the Jews advocate circumcision more so than non-Jews- where is the basis? Nor have you given a reason as to why we would do so.
    There are enough conspiracy theories out there already- we run the media, governments, the UN, the law, medicine… Do we really need one of our own starting another?

  40. David, I find it ironic that you should attack the mitzvah of brit, and then bring in commentary which ‘explains’ it as penance for Adam’s ‘sin,’ which was actually Chava’s promethian act (time to get out of the playpen, and I think Chava did it to set the standard for mothers to cut that psychological umbilical cord). I see no difference between their commentary, and the Jesus freak who came to the door, last week, saying that the Katrina catastrophe was the result of the same Adam’s ‘sin.’
    I will tread lightly here, in hopes that your rage against your mother (and maybe your father, for not ‘protecting’ you from her) will not explode onto a Jewish stranger who might have had a nose job*, because something about her reminds you of your mother. Sincerely, I recommend ‘A Good Enough Parent,’ by Bruno Bettleheim, M.D., camp survivor and psychoanalyst. It might help you work through your mom problems.
    This will be my last post on the matter, and I thank Mobius for posting his original comments.
    Though I have been called many things, ‘doctor’ has never been one of them. I am not, nor have I ever worked post partum, though I did a short rotation there, and got yelled at when I asked the doctors why they weren’t medicating the neo-nates before cirking them. The only person I’ve ever tried to talk into circumcision was a Jewish relative married to a gentile, who didn’t want it done. She’s the cause of my independent research on the topic, which led me to think, ‘Wow! How smart of Abraham!’
    I have yet to meet a Jewish dad who anguished before the brit; yet every Jewish mother I’ve known, had thoughts about running away with the baby, before the mohel arrived.
    I have though, taken care of that ‘rare’ penile cancer patient. Several years later, he was hospitalized for something else. He became ill in the bathroom, but refused my help until he was able to pull up his pants. He was still absolutely humiliated by his loss of particular body parts, as though his entire humanity were located there.
    I’ve also ‘rescued’ several of those stuck foreskins, in the previously mentioned demented senior men.
    And, yes, I think foreskin has no more use than the appendix.
    *your remark reminds me of Sholom Aleichem’s ‘Two Anti-Semites,’ and stinks of misogyny.
    PS Thank you, Charles

  41. Charles,
    Here is such as site – http://www.circumcisioninfo.co
    Look at how there is no “about” for this site, and too many links to ritual bris milah. These appear to be Jews pushing bris milah for everybody.
    We do it all the time.
    It is one thing to commit such a ritual on your own, quite another to do it to others.
    Things will heat up against us as Jews when it is a minority of men who have been circumcised, and no longer see themselves as the norm.
    If you want, I will compile a list of sites with rage at Jews already. Some are rediculous, others have, unfortunately, a lot of merit.
    You are a typical JewFeminist thug, seeking to silence questions and discussions by dismissing them with Freudian pop-psych.
    Your name-calling me is one thing, but pulling the same nonsense with the Rambam really reveals your anti-intellectualism.

  42. David,
    I only saw 3- of 14- links to Jewish websites, and, while it’s obviously a pro-circumcision website, it’s certainly not overtly Jewish. It would make sense that a pro-circumcision website would have links to Jewish sites, as we seem to be pretty seriously in favor of it. We’re blamed for so many things, real and imagined- I still don’t see how this is any more or less immediate than any other reason people hate us. And the first time I’ve seen that connection made is here, when you brought it up.
    Obviously, no one is going to convince you otherwise. This seems to be a more serious problem for you than would be resolvable on a blog. I can only hope you can get through it.
    No problem, Miriam. But next time you’re at a bris, take a look at the Jewish guys wincing, averting their eyes, or the cold sweat breaking out on the father’s forehead. There are many men brave enough to watch them, but every one of my friends who has recently become a father has considered grabbing their son and leaving. Let’s be fair here- while we can’t remember the bris itself, we certainly remember the last time we were kicked in the junk.

  43. Charles,
    Don’t you find it interesting that by far the highest rate of routine circ is in the northeast corridor, where Jews, already disproportionate in medicine, are absolutely dominant?

  44. What do you mean by absolutely dominant? Is it disproportionate to other large cities, like LA, Chicago, Miami? The northeast corridor is also fairly well educated- is that a correlation that should be examined, too? The more school you’ve finished, the likelier it is you don’t have a foreskin? The northeast corridor- excluding Philly, DC and NY- is predominantly white. Is there a greater prevalence among white people in general? Every state in that area can also be qualified as liberal- are people who believe in big government, equality, and a patients bill of rights also more likely to have been circumcised?
    Statistics- and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the whole “absolutely dominant” thing- can be used to prove anything. 14% of people know that.

  45. Charles,
    Secular Jews often erroneously believe that there is no function to the foreskin. In fact, they consider the foreskin technically “yucky,” as do many tribal people from the middle east and Africa, though Jews have a tradition that includes the most radical form of circumcision, and that was the form practiced here. They also frequently overstate the health “benefits” of circumcision. They also are disporportionately doctors.
    But the medical establishment is not filled with Somalians. It is heavy, however, with Jews. This leads to a situation where people outside our tribe are encouraged to cut off part of their son’s genitilia that they would not agree to if they had a well-educated medical team not biased by cultural heritage.
    In fact, white people as defined by European and Christian do not practice circumcision outside of the U.S. where there isn’t a heavy Jewish component to their medical establishment, and never did as much as we do here, even in the higher classes where indeed it was somewhat practiced, which you alluded to.

  46. I’ve read the posts pro and anti mechi sucking-I think I’m anti but it does prove one thing relgiious nuts are all over even in our releigion and Rabbi David Niederman sucks dick!

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