Jewish "intactivists" in U.S. stop circumcising

I think that some of these people have some serious issues. I have never once felt cheated, upset or irritated at all about my own bris. I couldn’t have been prouder than at my son’s brit milah.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In most respects, Michelle Chernikoff Anderson is a rabbi’s dream congregant. She sings in the choir and takes classes at her synagogue.

But, like an increasing number of Jews in the United States, she has decided not to circumcise her son, rejecting the traditional notion that it is a Biblically prescribed sign of the Jewish relationship with God.

“I see circumcision as a blood ritual that I can let go of,” said Anderson, who lives in Southern California.

That is relatively meaningless lead and comment. It doesn’t give any sort of real detail or reason why she doesn’t want to do it.

Reiss, who calls himself an “intactivist,” maintains a roster of 50 officiants who conduct nonsurgical alternatives to the bris, traditionally performed on the eighth day after a boy’s birth. He says he fields as many as five queries weekly from conflicted parents.

Wow, five whole queries. Percentage wise that has got to be quite small. Certainly I understand that people are going to pick and choose the mitzvot that they follow, but there are some that you just do not ignore.

Judaism is divided on the matter of converts. Reform Judaism does not require it, Orthodox and Conservative movements do.

Circumcision’s detractors also claim the procedure reduces sexual sensation and endurance.

“I haven’t attempted foreskin restoration surgery, but I’ve thought about it,” said Matthew Taylor, an active Bay Area Jew who resents his own circumcision and who preaches on the evils of the practice to Jewish friends .

But author Julius Lester, who became a Reform convert to Judaism in 1982 and underwent circumcision to feel Jewish, said the procedure also boosted his sex life.

“Circumcised there are far more subtle sensations, and staying power is much, much longer,” he said. “From a sexual point of view, I wish I’d gotten circumcised many years earlier.”

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