One Rabbis' Thoughts on Circumcision

By Rabbi Natan Segal

Greetings and Blessings in your Birthing, Blessed Baby Boy! May your life be full of love, wonder and joy! You are perfect as you are, a bright and shining Radiant Star. Welcome to this world Holy Child - we love you - may you grow in strength, gentleness, compassion, and PEACE. Boys and girls, your creator has made you as you are meant to be. May you be Happy, Healthy, Holy, and Free - to live.. to love.. to receive and give the love of your Creator in loving one another, in blessing the life you live.

I believe circumcision is a major mistake (male or female). We have so much pathology (sickness/disease) around our sexuality that it makes no sense to cut off parts of our anatomy whose function we do not understand. Boys are born with foreskins and girls with hymens (the sheath-like covering over the entrance to the vagina). They both have a reason and purpose. The prepuce on the penis has a purpose! (Say it ten times fast!!). We are sensual, tactile beings from before our birth. We are "sexual" beings in utero. Erections are common from five months in the womb to just before the tomb! And vaginal fluids and tissue swelling and stages of excitement are continually in flux. We are just beginning to explore the vast diversity and similarities for our passions and sex.

I believe males are born with a foreskin for the following reasons:

(1) Infancy protection for the sensitive, new glans - the foreskin does not need to be retracted at all during the first year, but it does need to get lightly cleaned and therefore it gets lightly touched and therefore it gets erect - what's a caretaker to do (?): not a whole lot (!): gentleness - acknowledgement - tones - sounds - tender touchings and tickles - top of the head kisses: the soft spot is where the energy life force goes up the spine to the soft spot at the top of the head. Yes, there is a connection between sex and brain. Sex is hardwired into our brains in ways beyond our imaginings. Even quadriplegics (those paralyzed from the neck down) will get erections at different times for different reasons, sometimes with touching and sometimes without - it's almost like it has a mind of its own! Yes, life is full of joyous pleasure moments.

(2) At one year, the infant has more than discovered his penis and he will stretch and pull on his foreskin and clean himself as he bathes. He will take charge of his organ, it's a unique mystery surprise package for him. Some foreskins become fully retractable in toddlehood and some have to wait till 17 years, a vast difference in the blossoming and individuation of the sex in nature and desire. Mind, heart, gut, sex, a continual birthing and evolving of creation in every human being, a new fountain of love and delight, joy and thanksgiving. Then when they get old enough to ask you to hold their wee wee or tickle their tummy, you are given the choice to yeah or nay.

(3) Penis in prepuce for Play, Protection, and Perfection. We become pro-active rather than repressed, and they get to say no and yes, and we all learn together. The parallel also applies to the female, the hymen ideally should be broken by her, with her will, volition and knowing.

. Let the children explore their own sexual organs all they want. It is their body, they must learn how to pleasure, nurture, and grow, and explore others with permission. If they want a circumcision at the age of thirteen that is their choice.

Why did the Creator give infants the capacity for orgasm? Wilhelm Reich was persecuted for posing that question, but it is a most basic question for our humanity. I believe the first year of life is the most important year of our sojourn here. If an infant does not receive the correct amount of touching, holding and bonding during the first year, it is very difficult to have a very successful "Rest of you life"! Many cultures (such as the Balinese) never put the infant down, someone is always holding the infant. But, then they live in extended families, with uncles and aunts and cousins and siblings and friends all over the place with grandparents and assorted elders who have the patience and delight to sit and hold these holy new beings of God's light. Show us your face, Oh Blessed one. Welcome to this world. You are loved and cared for. Hallelujah!

(4) In intercourse, an uncircumcised male needs to move very little to maintain a pelvic/pubic bone-clitoral connection, and the foreskin slides over the glans. Or, he has the option of retracting his foreskin and having "circumcised" intercourse.

The code of the Jewish law is called "halacha" (the way). Within the Code, there is a provision that if a mother looses a son because of circumcisim, she is NOT obligated to circumcise her next son. I extrapolate from this, the inter-connection of my human family, that enough deaths and maiming have occured because of circumcision. Therefore - circumcision is no longer a requisite!

Just as we no longer practice the animal sacrifices in the traditional temple, so let us not sacrifice an important piece of our mammal in the temple of tradition. Let us be holy beings in our sex and spirit - they are connected beyond our imaginings, and let us start with bright beginnings, wonder, prayer, gratitude, and grace. Spare the pain, nature will provide plenty of 'owie' opportunities. Let us comfort, console, love, and caress, and yes - Bless each other in holy love. Listen, Yah is One.

What really matters? Love - water - food - shelter! I choose life that I might live, to love Yah with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my might. And, I will love my neighbor as myself.


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