Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The first cut

The word Bris means covenant; the word Milah, to cut.
Ritual circumcision is the covenant G-d has established with the Jewish people through the commandment of circumcision.
Bris Milah
Judaism views body and soul as holy partners in serving G-d. Therefore, the bris is performed on the most physical part, for all of man is holy before his Creator. Bris Milah joins the forces of body and soul together in serving G-d.

The Bris ceremony has two parts:
the actual circumcision and the naming.
It is customary to honor family and friends to participate in holding the baby at various parts of the bris. The highest honor is to be the sandak, who holds the baby during the actual circumcision. It is not required to have a minyan- a group of ten at the bris. The parents can choose to have a private ceremony on the eighth day and have a reception on a later day when they are more rested.

http://www.torahview.com/bris/html/the_bris.html

On the Ellen DeGeneres Show Feb. 20th, 2008 Christina Aguilera proudly spoke about her new son Max. The subject of his Bris was brought up. Much laughter and it was revealed that following tradition, a celebration was held in the form of a party. Christina says that her house was decorated in penis shaped balloons and giggled like a school girl over it. Beliefs and celebrations aside, who the hell goes on national television and openly laughs about their son's circumcision and the balloons. As was pointed out to me after discussing this with a friend, imagine how that child will feel when in 15 years his peers taunt him over it, will he be pleased that she announced to the world in the manner that she did. Wouldn't it be his choice to inform people of such a personal issue?

12 comments:

Tony said...

Wouldn't it be his choice to inform people of such a personal issue?

Why shouldn't it be his choice to make such a personal decision? His choice in having part of his healthy body removed versus his choice in having that (not) mentioned on television are hardly comparable.

Mark Lyndon said...

They could have chosen Bris Shalom which is a naming ceremony without the cutting.

These sites are all run by Jews opposed to circumcision:

http://www.jewishcircumcision.org/
http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/
http://www.circumcision.org/

Nunyaa said...

The posting isn't about whether you agree with circumcision or not. Its about how some parents feel the need to conduct themselves in the way she did with no thought to how her son will think when he is older.

Laura MacDonald said...

Her son may also ask why after choosing a pain free caesarian because of her a 'horror of tearing'....she happily sliced and tore his genitals without even an anaesthetic. This she described as 'sweet'. This has to be the hypocrisy of the decade Christina.

Tony said...

Nunyaa,

My comment was directed at the same thing. It's about how parents feel the need to conduct themselves in the way she did with no thought to how her son will think when he is older. The only difference is I stepped further back. There would be no story of balloons to tell if she (and her husband) hadn't had him circumcised. She can't know that he'll be happy about that, either.

Nunyaa said...

Tony, I think you fail to see what this posting is about. Once again it is not about whether circumcision is the right thing, that is another topic. This is about boasting and carrying on over it on national tv.

Tony said...

Nunyaa,

I didn't fail to see what it's about: the public revelation of a personal detail. I asked a related question, which you unintentionally demonstrated is appropriate when you wrote "some parents feel the need to conduct themselves in the way she did with no thought to how her son will think when he is older." That applies at least as much to what she did to his (healthy) penis as it does to her blabbing this on television.

As to whether or not circumcision is wrong, I have a clear understanding of the right answer. You may or may not agree, and, although I think I know your answer, I did not assume it because I don't have enough information (i.e. a direct statement from you). I may not have succeeded in making that clear, but that would be a question of my writing, not the legitimacy of the (rhetorical) question I asked.

Nunyaa said...

Tony, what you think and what you know are two different things. It is an age old debate that will never go away.

Laura MacDonald said...

Nunyaa - I'd be very interested to know what you think and know about the female 'bris milah' . Here is a link to a blog from a mother about cutting the foreskin off her daughter in the Far East as an example of a practice comparable to Christina's (no balloons but some terrible music ...). The mother herself seems to have been the 'sandak' who held the tiny helpless legs apart for the knife to reach her tender parts:
http://digg.com/health/Safely_Circumcised

Nunyaa said...

Do you see anywhere in this post where I agree with male circumcision or where I am against it? My opinion on the circumcision debate is of no relevance in this post as that would be off topic and not what I was posting about.

Tony said...

Nunyaa,

I'm not sure I understand the wording of your comment. What I think and what I know are the same. The former is informed by the latter is about as far as it makes sense to go in saying they're different.

I assume you mean that what I argue as the correct stance on infant circumcision isn't necessarily correct, that it's open to opinion. If that's what you mean, I assure you I am not mistaken. I'm willing to discuss it, but you've stated that you don't want the discussion, so I'm not trying to have it beyond the first rhetorical question I asked.

Instead, I'll say that there's an age-old debate over slavery. Is it possible to have one correct opinion on that, or should we validate multiple opinions?

Nunyaa said...

I see that sticking to the topic in posts like this is not likely to happen. :-)