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Old 08-09-2010, 08:26 PM   #41
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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To be sure; it's important to point out though that even if it is true it doesn't matter to us.
I agree but the in some of the published studies they call on for the global community to adopt a pro-circ policy for all males based on their warped findings in Africa.

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Old 08-09-2010, 08:29 PM   #42
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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I agree but the in some of the published studies they call on for the global community to adopt a pro-circ policy for all males based on their warped findings in Africa.
I've seen that too. Just wait and see, once we have a vaccine, you'll still see circumcision pushed for HIV protection.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:05 PM   #43
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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It doesn't decrease the risk of "complications"...it INCREASES the risk of complications, simply by the fact that it alters the natural state of the penis.
I agree. People suffer complications of interventions, they don't suffer complications of being born normal. That's like calling hangnails a complication of not having my fingers removed, or a yeast infection a complication of keeping my labia. What an odd perception.

This thread may be old, but it's interesting. On the topic at hand, I only have one son, but I grew up in a large, close (often naked, at least in childhood) family with one intact cousin and six circumcised ones. No one seemed to care, or even notice. There wasn't even any need to explain anything because none of the kids ever said a word about it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:09 PM   #44
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

A PP brought up the point I wanted to make about historical religious circ, but I just wanted to add:

Historically, they would use a piece of leather with a hole cut in it and only cut off the little bit of the foreskin that could come through the hole with the leather essentially "touching" the glans. The foreskin was never (when done correctly) forcibly removed from the glans - they recognized it was supposed to stay that way. If a baby boy had a shorter foreskin and no skin came through the hole in the leather, they would make a ceremonial prick on the foreskin just so a drop of blood would come. This was sufficient for the covenant. This was the correct circumcision called milah.

When older, circumcised men wanted to look more Greek, they began pulling their foreskins over their glans and tying it with a leather strap so as not to expose the "offensive" internal organ. Around 140 AD, the extreme religious leaders began to insist on a new & violent practice of removing the entire foreskin; this was called peri'ah. It's a construct of man, not God. This is analogous to today's "medical" circumcision.

Plus it's way healthier for it to be done in adulthood. Most of the time they don't use sufficient painkillers during or after the procedure and then the poor infant must deal with an open wound that's getting urinated and defecated on 12+ times a day. Adults get heavy-duty painkillers during and after, don't let their wound fester in a diaper, and the doctor doesn't have to guess as to how much to take off.

We circ'd our little guy and it's the one decision in my life I regret deeper than I thought imaginable.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:38 PM   #45
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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I don't think it's totally without merit but I do think it's an individual choice and that we, as mothers, should stick together and support each other's choices no matter what.
I can't "support" a decision that I am vehemently opposed to...sorry. I'm not going to dislike you (general you) for circing your child, but don't ask me to be supportive of your (general you) decision. Likewise, I don't expect you (general you) to be supportive of my decision. Just don't hate me for leaving my son intact.

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A PP brought up the point I wanted to make about historical religious circ, but I just wanted to add:

Historically, they would use a piece of leather with a hole cut in it and only cut off the little bit of the foreskin that could come through the hole with the leather essentially "touching" the glans. The foreskin was never (when done correctly) forcibly removed from the glans - they recognized it was supposed to stay that way. If a baby boy had a shorter foreskin and no skin came through the hole in the leather, they would make a ceremonial prick on the foreskin just so a drop of blood would come. This was sufficient for the covenant. This was the correct circumcision called milah.

When older, circumcised men wanted to look more Greek, they began pulling their foreskins over their glans and tying it with a leather strap so as not to expose the "offensive" internal organ. Around 140 AD, the extreme religious leaders began to insist on a new & violent practice of removing the entire foreskin; this was called peri'ah. It's a construct of man, not God. This is analogous to today's "medical" circumcision.

Plus it's way healthier for it to be done in adulthood. Most of the time they don't use sufficient painkillers during or after the procedure and then the poor infant must deal with an open wound that's getting urinated and defecated on 12+ times a day. Adults get heavy-duty painkillers during and after, don't let their wound fester in a diaper, and the doctor doesn't have to guess as to how much to take off.

We circ'd our little guy and it's the one decision in my life I regret deeper than I thought imaginable.
Thank you for sharing, and well written!
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:56 AM   #46
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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Circumcision has been proven to reduce AIDS rates in sub-Saharan Africa and the World Health Organization recommends that it be "considered as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy." I don't think it's totally without merit but I do think it's an individual choice and that we, as mothers, should stick together and support each other's choices no matter what.
Those studies were poorly done and even if the results were true it only was a 1.5% differencce compared to a 3.5% difference per incedence. There were many flaws in the studies. There were more drop outs than people who participated, they had education and free condoms and it was cut short due to ethical concerns. The later results were starting to even out. Circumcism doesn't offer true protection against HIV it only slightly decreased the chances that one incident would lead to it "if" the results are valid. Condoms and education and drugs all offer more protection for less money with no side effects. Even the authors of the study say circumcising the young men, boys and infants they are targeting makes no sense. It is not a good prevention strategy at all.The complication rate in Africa for circumcism is really high at 35% because of the health care there.The US is the industrialized nation with the highest cricumcism rate and the highest AIDs rate. Obviosuly it isn't working.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:39 AM   #47
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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Circumcision has been proven to reduce AIDS rates in sub-Saharan Africa and the World Health Organization recommends that it be "considered as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy." I don't think it's totally without merit but I do think it's an individual choice and that we, as mothers, should stick together and support each other's choices no matter what.
Questionable study aside, do you really find that to be a convincing reason to circumcise? Would you find it acceptable for your children to bank on some small protection factor when determining what they will do sexually? This is a life-altering, and often life-ending disease. To even consider circumcising as a benefit in this way is disturbing to me. My BIL is straight, born and raised here in the US, and circumcised. He has HIV. Growing up I knew 3 other men with AIDS, all circumcised. When you engage in risky behavior, you put yourself at risk for diseases such as these. Even if what they are claiming is true, you do realize that those who were circ'd also contracted HIV, right? If you partake in risky behavior, it will catch up to you. Some minuscule benefit is not going to protect you in the long run. As far as I'm concerned, such inferences are extremely dangerous in that they provide a false sense of security. HIV/AIDS is very real and isn't something anyone should gamble with. I've seen many people die of AIDS, and I've spent the last 10 years watching my BIL (so fortunate to be diagnosed in a time of life-saving anti-virals) struggle with the numerous and debilitating side effects of his medications and his condition. Circumcision isn't the answer. Education and prevention of high-risk behavior is.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:58 AM   #48
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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Questionable study aside, do you really find that to be a convincing reason to circumcise? Would you find it acceptable for your children to bank on some small protection factor when determining what they will do sexually? This is a life-altering, and often life-ending disease. To even consider circumcising as a benefit in this way is disturbing to me. My BIL is straight, born and raised here in the US, and circumcised. He has HIV. Growing up I knew 3 other men with AIDS, all circumcised. When you engage in risky behavior, you put yourself at risk for diseases such as these. Even if what they are claiming is true, you do realize that those who were circ'd also contracted HIV, right? If you partake in risky behavior, it will catch up to you. Some minuscule benefit is not going to protect you in the long run. As far as I'm concerned, such inferences are extremely dangerous in that they provide a false sense of security. HIV/AIDS is very real and isn't something anyone should gamble with. I've seen many people die of AIDS, and I've spent the last 10 years watching my BIL (so fortunate to be diagnosed in a time of life-saving anti-virals) struggle with the numerous and debilitating side effects of his medications and his condition. Circumcision isn't the answer. Education and prevention of high-risk behavior is.
I'm so sorry for your BIL. My cousin also has HIV. We are extremely close, and upon reading your post I called him to ask his penis status. Circumcised.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:27 PM   #49
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

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Proverbs 14:12 NIV
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Speaking from a faith perspective you are an observant Jew. God does not command us to do things that are not for our best benefit. I know that not circing seems right to man, but God says differently. I believe that those things that God commands for spiritual reasons also have very pratical applications, many of which I've had to live before accepting them.
(All life ends in death.)

I am an observant Jew, but I am not an orthodox/Chassidic Jew. The tradition I belong to within Judaism does not take Torahidic law as immutable; rather, it sees halachah (Jewish law) as a living, breathing body that must change in order to remain relevant (i.e., in regards to things like the ordination of women and gays and lesbians; the ability to get a religious divorce). Moreover, as Jews--and I believe this to be a fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity-- we are taught to interrogate teachings/texts. "wrestling with G-d" is considered a good thing, and doesn't always mean grappling with one's own feelings about G-d's "word." My Jewish education has taught me that the Torah is not seen as G-d's word, unedited, but as a body of work edited multiple times, by man, and therefore, cannot be interpreted strictly as G-d's word. Each year, we revisit the binding of Isaac, and remember that it was Abraham's unquestioning adherence to a demand he knew to be wrong -- the sacrificing of his only son with Sarah-- that ended his direct line of communication with G-d; it is not G-d that tells Abe to stay his hand, but an angel. Never again does Abe have that direct line he had many times before.

For me, the fundamental tenet of Judaism is Tikkun Olam (Repairing the world) and I cannot possibly (personally) help repair the world by violently taking a piece of my son's body before he is even given his name as a helpless newborn. And that is exactly how I experienced my first son's Bris, as a violent act; that's the experience I had at my nephew's, as well. The commandment to circumcise is upon me, not him; it is the father--the parents--who are commanded to circ their son, not the son himself. If my son decides that he wants to be circumcised to fulfill that religious commandment, then, of course, I will support that decision. But, it will be HIS choice. It will be a reflection of HIS commitment, of HIS religious conviction, not mine. In my perspective, relative to my family, I do not have the right to make that choice for him. If he makes it, it will be that much more meaningful for him, and he will be properly medicated.

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Considering the sexual aspect of things. What about oral sex? I'm thinking that you want your son to marry a Jewish woman? How would this effect his marriage, his faith, his covenant with God?
I, personally, do not care if my son marries a Jewish woman/man, but I did not grow up Jewish; I converted. As to his being uncirc'd and his covenant, marriage, faith. Well, that's between him and his partner/G-d, isn't it? If he feels compelled to be circ'd as a teen/adult, of course I would support him, because it would be HIS choice. My choosing not to circ him not does not preclude him from choosing otherwise later on; but my choosing to circ him now could not be undone.

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I know that I am a dissenter. I choose to follow God's commands because I fully trust Him. He has never failed me and He truly knows what is best for me, my children, my family. This is not a matter of "feelings" for us, it is a matter of faith.
IME, Jews and Christians take very different views on G-d's involvement with the minutiae of human life. I don't think I've ever heard a Jewish family member or friend talk about G-d in the way you did just above; perhaps they feel that way, but it's certainly not voiced in the circles I inhabit. We talk more about Jewish learning, and connection to tradition, which may, very indirectly, hearken back to what you are evincing, but it's not stated so boldly. IME, Christians embrace G-d as a father, whereas Jews see G-d as a partner of sorts, to be argued with.

Again, a fundamental difference between Christianity and Judaism: faith. Christianity heavily stresses the emphasis on faith; in Judaism, it's rarely evident. Tradition and learning are our strongest emphases, not faith. This is one of very few things that Jews are asked to take on faith alone, and I, for one, lack that kind of faith. Perhaps I would take a leap of faith of this type for myself. And really, my child's faith is his alone, to be developed as he matures.

Since you so kindly shared a book with me, I'll share this one with you: Leonard Glick's Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:06 PM   #50
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Re: A circ ?, especially for Jewish parents and those with both circ'd and intact son

I'm not jewish so I don't have any input about that, but I do have both circ'd and intact kids. And honestly, it has never come up. Not once. They are still young so it may come up as they get a bit older. But, I truly don't even think the older boys have noticed a difference.
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