A covenant of pain

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    • A covenant of pain

      Eine unnötige, aufgeschwatzte Zirkumzision und die schier unendliche Kette der Folgen:

      Seven years later, soon after our arrival in the United States, my father fell under the influence of some “Chabadniks,” Hasidic followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who were going door to door telling Soviet Jews in Brooklyn and Queens that they had to circumcise their boys.
      The reduction of sexual excitement remained a theme in Jewish commentary on circumcision, but it also took on a strange self-effacing aspect. Some Jewish scholars thought that uncircumcised men would prove too irresistible for Jewish women, and that men without a foreskin would not be led into constant temptation. “It is hard for a woman with whom an uncircumcised man has had sexual intercourse to separate from him,” Maimonides wrote
      Alex Moshkin, a comparative-literature professor at Koç University, in Istanbul, moved to Israel from Stavropol, in southern Russia. “Many fathers themselves did not do the procedure,” Moshkin told me. “They kind of pushed their kids to do it. The older people were, like, ‘I don’t think I need this.’ ”
      Shortly thereafter, I read a BBC article about Alex Hardy, a British man who had committed suicide in 2017 after being circumcised in Canada as a young adult. He did not share his travails with anyone after his operation, but in a long farewell note to his mother he wrote that “these ever-present stimulated sensations from clothing friction are torture within themselves; they have not subsided/normalised from years of exposure. . . . Imagine what would happen to an eyeball if the eyelid was amputated?” That analogy perfectly articulated my own experience.
      When it came to her own son, she opted for the brit-shalom naming ceremony (a version of which, sometimes called the brit bat, is also performed for girls). When her son asked her why he wasn’t circumcised, she told him, “You are a Jew in your head and your heart, not your penis.”
      For Senderovich, “the uncircumcised Jewish penis is not a problem that needs to be fixed.”
      What am I left with in the end? I hope I will continue to get better, though I doubt I will ever be completely right again. I may have to slather my genital with ointments for the rest of my life. There are new associated complications from the various medications, and the treatment of my post-traumatic stress will continue. Even with excellent insurance, I have spent many thousands of dollars for medical care and will continue to spend more.
      While discussing the topic with my friends, I came across four instances of pain and disfigurement as a result of late circumcisions or of surgeries to correct botched childhood circumcisions. In the Philippines. In Canada. In Portland. In a neighboring village.
      newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10…mcision-and-its-aftermath
      Ein Recht auf ein Leben mit vollständigen Genitalien muss in Deutschland möglich sein
    • New

      Als ich den Artikel von Gary Shteyngart las, ging mir sofort durch den Kopf: dieser Artikel müsste doch einige Leute zum Nachdenken bringen!

      Andrew Silow-Carroll, der Chief Editor der New York Jewish Week ist der Meinung, dass Shteyngarts Artikel eine große Resonanz in der Debatte über "Circumcision" finden wird. (Das ist zu hoffen!)

      Ultimately, he is asking some very difficult questions about a procedure that we Jews either take for granted or place at the very center of male Jewish identity.
      And that is why I predict Shteyngart’s story will resonate widely in the debate over circumcision. He is no polemicist. He raises challenging questions that rabbis and mohels will have to consider the next time a reluctant couple pays them a visit. “I only wish to expand the conversation for future parents,” Shteyngart wrote on Twitter, where a number of A-list authors congratulated him for his essay,


      72% of American Jews who married between 2010 and 2020 chose a non-Jewish spouse.
      The JTA article indicates that the same thing — and same pressures — might be coming to bear on circumcision: The growing number of interfaith families, even the majority raising children as Jewish, suggest that the number of those deciding to leave their boys uncircumcised is “likely to be growing.”
      Das wäre ja wunderbar! (nocut)

      More and more, rabbis and grandparents will have to decide between pushing reluctant couples away or looking past their decision not to circumcise in order to welcome their families into Jewish life.
      Soon we’ll all be drawn into this debate.
      jta.org/2021/10/11/opinion/we-…cumcision-for-a-long-time
      Ein Recht auf ein Leben mit vollständigen Genitalien muss in Deutschland möglich sein