Even in Israel, Some Jews Reject Circumcision

Despite Religious Edict, Growing Minority Say No to Rite


By Reuters

Published November 28, 2012.
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Wald’s son was not circumcised.

“I have a very strong sense of Jewish identity and, believe it or not, having an intact son has only deepened it,” she said.

In Israel, where the vast majority are circumcised, the dilemma may be particularly difficult.

Although she is confident of the choice she and her husband made, Gali still has one concern.

“The main issue which still troubles me a little is the social one, that one day he may come to me and say ‘Mom, why did you do that to me? They made fun of me today’,” Gali said.

The Health Ministry does not keep records on circumcisions but estimates about 60,000 to 70,000 are held in Israel every year, which roughly corresponds to the number of boys born in 2010, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The ministry said it treats about 70 cases a year of circumcisions gone wrong, mainly minor complications such as excessive bleeding.

Kaufman said “people were shocked” to learn that her son is not circumcised.

“In Israel everybody does it, like a herd,” she said. “They don’t stop and ask themselves about this specific procedure which has to do with damaging a baby.”

Watching her son rummage through a stack of toys, Kaufman said: “The way he was born is the way his body should be.”


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