Marie Antoinette, guillotined in 1793 for questionable decision-making abilities, said, "Let them eat cake," and that's exactly what I do, every time one of my Jewish friends invites me to a briss; a religious rite of passage; the celebration of the circumcision. Now, I don't know if the spectacle of lopping off the foreskin of a helpless infant should be followed by a buffet (with the tears, the screaming, and the blood) but somehow it doesn't seem to affect any body's appetite- except mine. So while everyone else watches with bated breath as some old Jewish guy (or woman, in some cases) with shaky hands and a few sips of Manischewitz on his lips carves some hapless newborns willy like it was Filet Mignon, I hang out by the sweet table. What can I say, I'm not squeamish but certain things don't need to be witnessed to be supported. And by supported I mean a parent's individual (or collective) choice to risk their child's future happiness (sexual enjoyment) and ability to shower in front of others without being ridiculed for the sake of tradition, or continuity, or health, or whatever else helps them to sleep through the night. It's a choice, plain and simple. But God knows it shouldn't be an easy one.
As someone who worked for many years in the pet industry, I'm amazed by how many people would never crop a dog's tail, or pin back a puppies ears because they believe it to be barbaric, but these same people have no problem subjecting their infant sons to a similar kind of barbarism in the name of religion, or personal hygiene. It's hypocritical to be against this kind of cruelty towards animals but be accepting of it on the other hand, for 'personal reasons,' to please a need to conform with one's family or peers, or a fear of going against conventional medical practices. Why don't we just take Shirley Jackson's classic short story, The Lottery, to heart and start stoning people... for 'health' reasons? Why don't we just lop off the tip of your pinkie finger and see how it feels? No? But its okay if we do it to kittens when we declaw them, and the equivalent when we emasculate our first born sons, and all our sons thereafter, by shaving a few millimeters off their schmeckles.
Look, I'm not judging anyone here. We all do what we have to do. We all make our own beds, and usually have no problem sleeping in them. And, maybe we should? If God made Adam and Eve in his own image, why does the Almighty get to keep his foreskin while all the sons of Israel do not? That hardly seems fair. I know God asks for some strange stuff, but sometimes he strikes me as some weird hoarder that has some odd peculiarities. Again, not judging, I'm just questioning an age-old practice that should probably come under review, possibly over a Bacon Cheeseburger or some Back Bacon and Eggs (that's an inside joke). I'm trying to relate here, but it's hard. I'm just the father of a daughter. I've never had to make such a difficult decision, on the fly, that would affect my child for the rest of her life. The hardest decision I've had to make so far is whether to put her in the black dress or the pink one (I like her to look nice when one of her friends is going under the knife, but I'm not sure if she should be dressed to party or dressed to mourn the loss of innocence). Can't decide.
Am I mocking tried and true religious practices? No. And I'm not mocking your resolve to do right by your kids either. I'm just a sounding board; the guy who put to paper the internal monologue every father has when the question of circumcision comes into play. It's a tough one to be sure. But I know you'll make the right decision for you and your family. I support your decision, either way. I just wanted you to mull it over, and educate yourself as best you can before the proverbial Sword of Damocles falls. And, hey, if the Mohel misses the mark, and your son becomes a unic, not to worry... there's always gender re-assignment surgery. And, how much could that hurt?
If you need some dresses, let me know? My daughter has a closet full of them. Until then, here are some links about the pros and cons of circumcision- unless, of course, you've already made up your mind?