As Jews, we are commanded to cut our sons’ genitals. We are also commanded to perform animal sacrifices, to stone those who do not observe the Sabbath, and to wed rape victims to their rapists. Fortunately we have abandoned these violent mandates, although they share the same sacred origin as circumcision, and the same holy imperative. Can you imagine if Jews requested a religious exemption from battery assault laws so that we may honor our commandment to stone those who do not observe the Sabbath? What about an exemption from anti- domestic violence laws, or anti-slavery laws? Now we face a similar predicament with circumcision. Some are requesting a religious exemption from the new German law protecting minors from bodily assault and permanent sexual disfigurement, all in the name of preserving the blood ritual of brit milah. In a climate of religious fanaticism, we would be wiser to follow in the footsteps of the visionary Theodore Herzl, who honored the legacy of Abraham and Isaac without making a human bodily sacrifice of his own son. I invite those who oppose my point of view to reply to this comment directly.
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