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Old 10-27-2008, 01:17 PM   #1
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A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact sons

My wife is due in December with our second child, and we don't know if the baby is a boy or girl. We're (fairly) observant Jews -- keep a Kosher home, belong to a Conservative shul -- and we did circ our son, but are struggling with the decision this time, as well. We struggled with the choice last time, and, ultimately, kept with the tradition, but I, for one have regretted our decision ever since. We just attended a family member's bris (religious circ) and it further reinforced my feeling that it's not the right decision for our family. I've done some reading online and it seems that from a Jewish perspective, it is done for faith alone, but it also seems to run counter to quite a few few deeply held and revered Jewish beliefs/ideals.

I'd appreciate any insight or resources for religious Jews who decide not to circumcise. We do plan on talking with our Rabbi, but since I expect "the party line" from her, I'd like to have some talking points and questions going in to the meeting.

I'd also appreciate any alternative ceremony resources.

Finally, for those parents with both circ'd and intact sons, how have you discussed your decision to leave your younger sons intact with your older child?

If you're not comfortable discussing this in an open forum, please pm me.

Thanks.

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Old 10-27-2008, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

I know there is an organization for jewish families against circ http://www.jewishcircumcision.org/ I think you might find it very helpful!

Good luck and congrats!
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

Also MOthering.com has an amazing relgious and circ area, you might get even more help there!
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:25 PM   #4
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

For us, it's our older son that is intact, and our younger that is circ'ed. Surprisingly, the issue has never really come up. And if it makes you feel better, I've noticed no difference in raising the two boys.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

We circ'd our first ds but not our second. So far, our 6 yr old hasn't asked why his little brother looks different from him and his dad. When the time comes we just plan on telling them both that the came out with new information/studies about it being okay to not do it so we chose to leave Max intact. That and even if we hadn't circ'd they wouldn't look identical so we'll also tell them that we all look a little different all over our bodies even though we all have the same parts.

We're not Jewish but we do live in an area where circ'ing is by far the norm so had to defend our choice a bit - especially since we changed our mind in the hospital. Once he was here he just seemed perfect as was - I couldn't stand to be apart from him much less for him to go through a procedure that may cause him pain. The ped told us they'd come back at 3 pm for his circ and I just said, "No, we decided against it" and he just smiled and said, "I think that's just fine"
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

I am not Jewish either, but we're Christians, and I always thought it was "religious" for us too, until I further researched.

Our first son is circ'd and our second is perfect the way God made him. Circ's in the Bible were done VERY differently than they are today, the skin was pulled over the head and then cut just enough to expose the glands, so when you're doing a bris, you're not actually doing a "biblical" circumcision, what you're doing is very different. Also, your son might like to have the choice to have himself circ'd (or not) later in life. Then he can have the proper pain meds, before, during and after his surgery.

My first son has never noticed, and I didn't expect him to notice since one is a blonde, the other has brown hair, one is skinny, one is chunky, one is big and one is little...there are tons of differences on your children, why would they pick that one to notice if it's not brought up? It's just like any other difference IMO.

I too, regret the day we circ'd our oldest son, and I am so thankful, proud and happy about leaving our newest baby the way he was made...perfect!

Good luck with your decision, I struggled with this decision and it was very hard to decide.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

I wanted to say hats off to you for being a CDing SAHD!! You rock!
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:38 PM   #8
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

I'm jewish, and both my sons are circ'd. the second one had a bris, the first did not because he was a preemie and they had to delay it a bit.

For us, we did not see it as a choice. God commanded it and it is to be done, no question. That's why we did it. There is/was nothing wrong with our boys and they have been as healthy as a horse!
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:41 PM   #9
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

My first son is circ'd and my second son is intact. It hasn't come up in our house, either. Maybe as they get older it will (they are 3.5 and 2 years old right now) and I just plan on telling them that we did what we thought was best at the time. That is not entirely true--I was against circumcision with our first son, but dh insisted on it for religious reasons (he is/was Muslim.) Our second son was born at home so there wasn't an opportunity to have a circ done at birth and I sure as hell wasn't going to take him somewhere to have it done.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:30 PM   #10
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

You've already gotten one good link. definately look at www.mothering.com/discussions and go to the case against circumcision. They have alot of good links. There are several large groups within the observant Jewish community who oppose circumcision and are working on getting the word out. They also offer suggestions of alternative ceremonies, things such as cutting the tip off of a carrot as a kind of symbolic circ, or pricking the forskin to let a drop of blood as a ceremonial offering. I have to admit that I personally don't feel like a child's body should be altered to fit their parents religion. That is something a child should decide for him/herself when they reach adulthood.

My oldest son was circ'd at the hospital without my consent. I didn't know enough to even make a fuss about it at the time. My youngest is happily intact. So far neither has raised question as to why they are diffrent. I dont' think it is as big of an issue as people think it will be. I think alot of people just want an excuse as to why they "have" to have it done. Wether it be because Daddy has it done or because brother has it done or because all the kids in the locker room will have it done (it's about a 50/50 split these days).
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