about bris milah.

I went to a bris and a young brother of the baby said he felt sad. He was compassionately distressed about it, maybe picking it up also from his parents. I said that it’s a special day because the baby is making a promise to Hashem. When you phrase it that way, it is amazing that just by being born and having parents who keep Torah, that promise is formed in a child’s life.

A lot of people are attacking it as against the child’s rights. Really the only question is whether God commanded it or not. But unfortunately some people think He didn’t and they are the ones responsible for making laws about the treatment of children. So now Jews are only asking for freedom to practice their beliefs within the secular standard, and that should only involve showing that a) it is not child abuse even by standards of those who don’t think it is a real mitzvah, and b) it exists within a system not motivated by or possibly escalating to cruelty to a child. That should be enough.

The very minor operation, the fact that even non-Jewish parents opt to do it for other reasons that aren’t urgent (in some hospitals it has been routine), and the fact that this comes out of love for the child… that should be answer enough to those issues. And if people continue to disagree then what they really object to is not the bris, but the freedom of parents to raise children in the Jewish culture and beliefs.

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