Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jewish Intactivism: Circumcision Resources

Part 2:

Part 3:

"I've put together a comprehensive collection of intactivist material as it is relevant to Jews. You are welome to add them to your links page or to your website. Few people have seen these perspectives and I would like to share them with as many as possible."

The Growing Movement of Jewish Intactivism
“Coming from a European background… where many Jews reject a brit milah as an archaic and barbaric ritual… This author grew up in France in a traditional Jewish family. Not a single male of her generation or her children’s generation within her large family (or in her circle of Jewish friends) was ever circumcised.”
- Nelly Karsenty, Humanistic Judaism, 1988.

“Judaism has always been a core piece of my identity, even though my practice and understanding have evolved over the years. I have great reverence for what we hold as spiritual. When the authorities of my tradition define the sacred in a way that violates the most elemental and life-giving forces, mothers and babies, then something is very wrong. That which is not ethical, cannot be spiritual. That is a basic Jewish tenet… It is Judaism that has taught me that reverence for life, the principle of pikuah nefesh, and the mandate incumbant upon all of us to distinguish (l’havdeel) between what is holy and what is profane. It is precisely these fundamental tenets of Judaism that have led me to conclude that circumcision is not holy in terms of Jewish ethics.… What is most satisfying to me is knowing that I have helped a number of parents, particularly Jewish parents, come to the conclusion that they can be good Jews and leave their baby intact.”
- Miriam Pollack, 
Defying Convention: An Interview With Miriam PollackBeyond the Bris, July 27, 2011

“The practice of circumcision predates Judaism. Peoples as diverse as the Jews, Muslims, and South African Xhosas all practice it, but none of them invented it. The specific origins of circumcision are lost in antiquity, but the earliest records of the ritual are from Africa…. Circumcision was never universal in Judaism. Notable Jews from Moses to Theodore Hertz (the founder of Zionism) declined to circumcise their sons. Today in Sweden only 40% of Jewish boys are circumcised.”
- Norm Cohen, What About Religious Circumcision?, 
NOCIRC of Michigan

"I am confident that my people have such an abundance of life-enhancing, life-affirming and mind-opening traditions, that our identity and sense of cultural self-heed will happily survive our outgrowing of circumcision, a cruel relic which has always felt to me like an aberration at the heart of my religion."
- Dr. Jenny Goodman (UK), 
Challenging Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective

Jewish Organizations for Genital Integrity
Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective A book and organization run by Dr. Ron Goldman.

Jewish Books and Media Opposing Circumcision A blog for Jews opposed to circumcision for moral reasons.

Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision A Film by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon
The Measure of His Grief by Lisa Braver Moss A novel exploring Jewish intactivism. 

 Dr. Mark D. Reiss: List of 50+ Intactivist Moyels Rabbis and others who perform Brit B’lee Milah (Jewish welcoming and naming without cutting) ceremonies.

Israeli Organizations for Genital Integrity Giving Up Brit Milah (Tel Aviv, Israel) Intact Son - the Israeli Association Against Genital Mutilation (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Af-Mila: An Israeli Magazine for Jewish Intactivists (Israel)
Gonnen,org: Protect the Child (Israel)

Jewish Arguments for an end to Circumcision
Israeli Hebrew Scholar: Vadim Cherny: How Judaic is circumcision?  It’s not, he finds.
Outlawing Circumcision Good for the Jews? By Eli Ungar-Sargon Published in the Jewish Daily Forward.

 Miriam Pollack: Circumcision : A Jewish Feminist Perspective Published in Jewish Women Speak Out.
Eli Ungar-Sargon & Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on the Ethical Problems of Circumcision At the Manhattan Jewish Experience.
Lisa Braver Moss: Evolving Jewish Practices Published on Beyond the Bris.
A Case for Bris without Milah.
Brit Milah: Inconsistent with Jewish Ethics? Written by a Jewish parent.
Jewish Parents are Swapping Brit Milah for Peaceful Covenants
Jenny Goodman, MD: An Alternative Perspective
A Progressive Jewish Movement to Abolish Brit Milah: Part 1
A Progressive Jewish Movement to Abolish Brit Milah: Part 2
A Progressive Jewish Movement to Abolish Brit Milah: Part 3
Rabbi Nathan Segal Calls for an End to Circumcision A Progressive Rabbi urges us to move to non-violent covenants.
Lisa Braver Moss: The Jewish Roots of Anti-Circumcision Arguments
Defying Convention: An Interview With Miriam Pollack Published on Beyond the Bris.
Moshe Rothenberg: Being Rational About Circumcision and Jewish Observance

Voices of Some Jews who Oppose Circumcision

 Jewish mom : Circumcision spiritually wounds, breaks bonds and trust Published in the East Valley Tribune.
 Shea Levy: To the Mohel Who Cut Me Published on Beyond the Bris.
 Jewish Women’s Feelings: Jewish Intactivism
@ Female Intactivists : Women’s Perspectives 
 The History of Circumcision: Dr. Leonard Glick explains how he came to write Marked In Your Flesh
 Jewish Historian and Intactivist, Leonard Glick, MD, PhD.
Lisa Braver Moss: The Measure of his Grief A novel on the subject of Jewish Intactivism.

 Jonathan Friedman: On Circumcision Authority, and the Perpetuation of Abuse Published on Beyond the Bris.
Progressive Jews speak out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors 

 Howard Stern: Jewish Intactivist Published on Beyond the Bris.

Voices of Jewish Parents who refuse to circumcise their Sons
 Dear Elijah: A Conservative Jewish Father's Letter to His Intact Son Published on Peaceful Parenting.
 Sarah Rockwell: Lucking Into Bris Shalom Published on Beyond the Bris.
 Stacey Greenberg: My Son: The Little Jew with a Foreskin Published in Mothering Magazine.  
 Michael S. Kimmel: The Kindest Un-Cut: Feminism, Judaism, and My Son's Foreskin Published in Tikkun.
 Diane Targovnik: How "Cut" Saved My Son's Foreskin : A Movie Review Published on Beyond the Bris.
 Moshe Rothenberg: Ending Circumcision in the Jewish Community?
 Laura Shanley: A Jewish Woman Denounces Circumcision 
 The Naming Published on Very, Very Fine.
 Intact and Jewish Published on the Natural Parents Network.

Sample Peaceful Covenant Texts

 Dr. Mark D. Reiss: List of 50+ Intactivist Moyels Rabbis and others who perform Brit B’lee Milah (Covenant without cutting) ceremonies.
 Brit B'lee Milah (Covenant Without Cutting) Ceremony
@ Sample Intact Jewish Welcoming Covenant #1
 Sample Intact Jewish Welcoming Covenant #2
 Song for an Intact Jewish Boy’s Welcoming Ceremony
 Our Son's Bris Shalom, or Welcoming Covenant By Brenda Platt
 Norm Cohen: A Brit B’eee Milah (Intact Jewish Baby Welcoming) Ceremony
 The Brit Shalom (Intact Jewish Baby Welcoming) Ceremony

1 comment:

  1. Reading Nelly Karsenty and Miriam Pollack changed my life. Many years later, the witness of Diane Targovnik and Sarah Rockwell moved me again. One name is missing above: Iris Meirav in Israel.