Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Oy.... More half-appropriations of Jewish Culture

First the food, then the Yiddish words, now the snipping.

The Jewish Daily Forward is running a story about non-Jewish families in New York (where else) using a Mohel (Jewish ritual circumciser) to perform circumcisions on their babies.

An excerpt:

When his son was born, Reverend Louis DeCaro Jr. was dismayed to learn that none of the doctors on call at Manhattan’s Allen Pavilion hospital had time to perform the circumcision. At a loss, the DeCaros turned for advice to their Manhattan pediatrician, Andrew Mutnick, who offered a simple solution: Hire a Jewish ritual circumciser, known as a mohel.

Mutnick put the family in touch with Cantor Philip Sherman, an Orthodox mohel working in the tri-state area. Sherman says he has performed more than 18,000 circumcisions in his 30-year career. There were no piles of bagels and lox waiting in the next room, no family members on hand to celebrate, but the DeCaros developed an admiration for the ancient tradition informing Sherman’s work.

“When [a circumcision] is done by a mohel, you appreciate the gravity, the beauty of the religious connotations,” DeCaro said in an interview with the Forward.

As an interfaith family, we wrestled with circumcision, and ultimately decided to have it done on Curious Boy. The boys in Philosopher Mom's (Catholic) family had it done, so she was comfortable with the idea. Being Jewish I was in favour of it. Our decision took in to account both the proposed health benefits as well as the cultural elements. Since we are raising the children as interfaith, we had the circumcision done at the hospital by the pediatrician.

Mohels Give Non-Jewish Babies a Slice of Tradition

Via Freakonmomics

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