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Circumcision nowadays


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

15 Adar II 5763
Why are baby boys still being circumcised when science has proved that is is not needed, I think it is time Jewish laws changed and evolved and realised that this is a cruel act with no real justification, why hurt a child without good cause surely god would be happier to recieve them at death as he gave them at birth?
Medical or health concerns have never been considered the reasons for the Torah's commandments. Whether or not there are medical benefits to circumcision is a health issue and diffferent opinions and studies emerge every few years (some recent studies show that wives of circumcised men are less likely to develop cervical cancer). It is however interesting to note that one of the philosophical underpinnings for the commandment is the exact opposite of the feeling expressed in your question (Maharal of Prague, Tiferet Yisrael). The world G-d gives us at birth, the body that we are born with- are the "raw materials" that we are commanded to develop and improve. If we leave the world as we found it- what is the purpose of our existence? The role of Man is not to preserve Nature but to build upon it. G-d created a natural world; the role of Israel is to leave its spiritual imprint on that world by shaping it to its vision (No one wants to leave this world as they arrived in it. The only ones who leave this world as they came to it are still-born). The greatest cruelty would be depriving a Jewish baby of his birth-right by locking him into the prison of a physical reality that he is forbidden to alter.
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