Here is the link to the Jewish Star Here is the link to my blog
And here is the text for good measure:
by Rabbi Avi Billet
“…circumcision, itself a divine commandment (mitzvah), is emblematic of the Jews' fidelity to the God who formed them as a people and gave them the Torah.Levinson went on to discuss different opinions as to the prophylactic effects of circumcision, noting that they are irrelevant to the Jew who will be circumcising regardless of medical opinion. This notion was adequately noted by Herman Wouk in his "This is My God" where he wrote, “[F]or Jews circumcision … is not a detail of hygiene, [but] the seal of the pledge between Abraham and his Creator… The Jews have followed the Mosaic law with a confidence which modern medicine progressively ratifies. The medical endorsement is not, however, the glory of Judaism. It is a footnote."
"It is hardly surprising, therefore, that even in modern times, Jews across the denominational spectrum have continued to have the procedure performed on their sons on the eighth day of life, just as the Torah prescribes. What may be more surprising is the durability of circumcision among those Jews for whom traditional theology is unacceptable. All sorts of other practices bearing the warrant of tradition--Sabbath, dietary laws, daily prayer--have fallen by the wayside, but circumcision, [ ] britmilah [ ], endures."
In many Jewish circles, the question of circumcision is not a Hamletian question of "to circ or not to circ," but is merely a question of when and where. This is something the non-Jewish or the non-circumcising world, who view circumcision as barbaric, will never understand. Circumcision is a practice that has defined our people for thousands of years. We have done it openly, in secret, enjoying the support of local government or in defiance of laws against it. The practice has survived hatred, bigotry, persecution, and genocide for many reasons including those discussed in Talmud Nedarim 31b-32a (see also Shabbat 130a). It is the fulfillment of our side of the agreement of Bereshit 17, in hopes of the continued fulfillment of the promises God made to Avraham.
Many people who are anti-circumcision like to quote a passage of Maimonides from "The Guide to the Perplexed" [3.49 (118a), 609] in which Maimonides expressed how circumcision decreases physical sensitivity. But their quotation of Maimonides is always incomplete, and therefore intellectually dishonest.
In the part they don't quote, Maimonides outlines why we circumcise. Avraham was the first to recognize the power of the male "drive" and the need to have other pursuits in life [see Hilchot De'ot 3:2]. More importantly, in his day (certainly before any notion of routine circumcision that exists in the
The covenant forged with Avraham, in which God agreed "to be a God for you and for your children after you" [as described in Bereshit 17] is the source for declaring God's oneness.