In Israel, some Jews rebel against circumcision

November 28, 2012

(An ultra-Orthodox Jewish father (C) holds his son before his circumcision in Jerusalem September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun )

Circumcision is one of Judaism’s most important laws and for generations of faithful it has symbolized a Biblical covenant with God.

But in Israel, more and more Jewish parents are saying no to the blade.

“It’s such a taboo in Israel and in Judaism,” said Gali, nursing her six-week-old son, about the decision not to have him circumcised.

“It’s like coming out of the closet,” she said, asking to be identified by her first name only because she had not told her relatives yet.

Nearly all baby boys in Israel are circumcised. Be their parents ultra-Orthodox or totally secular Jews, it is by far the most common choice. Most Israeli-Arabs also keep with a practice that is widespread in the Muslim world.

Jewish circumcisions are done when the baby is eight days old. The majority are performed by a mohel, a religious man trained in the procedure carried out in a festive religious ceremony called a “brit”, Hebrew for covenant.

But an increasing minority fear it is a form of physical abuse.

“It’s the same as if someone would tell me ‘it’s our culture to cut off a finger when he is born’,” said Rakefet Kaufman, who also did not have her son circumcised.

Read the full story by Maayan Lubell here.
Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

I know several jewish men who are not circumcised and consider themselves very very lucky to have escaped the cutters. Traditionally jewish people tend not to circumcise if the culture around them doesn’t, a lot more voices of common sense and reason about child human rights need to be heard.

Posted by | Report as abusive

Sexually mutilating your child is a sickness. Religion is curable.

Posted by HotGlobe | Report as abusive