I was very pleased to be contacted recently by Dr. Mark Reiss, who maintains the website, cirumstitions.com. His site is committed to providing accurate information about the dangers of infant circumcision. It also promotes b’rit shalom (covenant of peace) ceremonies over the traditional b’rit or b’ris milah (covenant of circumcision). I hope to soon be added to his list of those who perform these circumcision-free ceremonies.
I have already written about my opposition to infant circumcision. Now, with the release of a new film and a new website, there is finally some momentum building among Jews to do away with this antiquated and barbaric custom. The film is called Cut. I am very anxious to see it. The filmmaker’s website provides a link to an article he wrote and some other information.
The new website, beyondthebris.com, is maintained by Rebecca Wald, who it seems is a lantsman (i.e., she lives in South Florida). It’s full of excellent information and I highly recommend it.
While I’ve said before that the effort to criminalize infant circumcision is probably a bridge too far, at least for the present, I’m glad that these efforts have expanded this conversation. The liberal movements have never really been engaged by this issue. Even the nineteenth century reformers, who opposed so many ancient rituals, never properly discussed it.
I cannot imagine why any sane person would put their baby boy through an unnecessary and painful surgery without even the benefit of anesthesia. Yet, until recently, no one in Jewish leadership has challenged this obsolete and primitive ritual.
On a personal note…it’s another reason I’m happy that I only have daughters.
UPDATE: Dr. Reiss contacted me with a correction. The website circumstitions was actually created by Hugh Young, an “intactivist” from New Zealand. He hosts the celbrants page for Dr. Reiss.