Circumcision in Real Life and in Slash - Mo's Journal
Circumcision in Real Life and in Slash|
|Date:||January 22nd, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)|| |
Well, first of all, it's bar mitzvah, not "bah mitzvah" and it doesn't work like that. You don't just show up and say "I want a bar mitzvah." You typically study for years, have multiple meetings with a rabbi, plan it for a long time, etc. In my shul, for example, kids need to be in Hebrew School of some sort from second grade on to be bar or bat mitzvahed and they need to be members of our community for two years by the time of their bar/bat mitzvah. It's a fairly serious intellectual exercise requiring study and preparation. An unaffiliated family would likely not go through this with their son. He might choose to have a Jewish education and a bar mitzvah ceremony as an adult (turning 13 is actually all it takes to be a bar mitzvah, but usually when we talk about "having a bar mitzvah" we mean the ceremony and possible a party) but if so he's going to engage in a course of study leading to it, and he will be asked if he's circumcised as part of the preliminaries. He can lie, of course, but why he'd want to do it enough to put the effort into it but be willing to lie to have it happen is beyond me.
As to a wedding, how much the rabbi will question the groom and/or his parents will vary from rabbi to rabbi. If the groom was not raised in a family that practiced Judaism, he is likely going to be very closely questioned about whether or not he had a brit, what his Hebrew name is, what if any Jewish education he has had, was his mother Jewish when he was born, and so on. He can, of course, lie.
I am agreeing with you that someone could deceive a rabbi and an entire shul community into believing that the young man is circumcised when he is not (because no one's going to look at his penis) if he is getting married among people he does not know. He actually probably could also - if not Jewish - deceive a rabbi into marrying him. I don't think most people would go that far to have a fraudulent ceremony, and I would wonder about a parental choice that kind of planned for it ("Well, we won't circumcise him because he can always lie and say he's circumcised when he grows up.")
Well, I know someone whose daughter is twelve in December and has been going to Hebrew school for a year - and the family have not set foot inside a shul in years - and aren't even married, so there's no marriage certificate, either.
Granted, the girl is a girl, so doesn't have to prove anything for her bat mitzvah, it's just something her mother fancies doing.
Maybe the UK is easier.
And I am an atheist and marrried in shul and I was never once asked if my family practised anything - I just had to bring in my mum's marriage certificate.
|Date:||January 22nd, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)|| |
I don't think I'm misunderstanding the mitzvah at all. Perhaps I was unclear? As I said, ime if the parents chose not to circumcise their son, ime the rabbi discusses it with them and makes clear that it will be required if they wish to have a bar mitzvah ceremony in shul.
And yes, I have found that men have been questioned as I said in order to marry. The questioning covers *both* Jewish ancestry and brit milah, precisely because non-ritual circumcision does not count. If there was not a brit milah, often there will be a ceremony (including a drop of blood) in advance of the wedding.
|Date:||January 22nd, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)|| |
I think we're kind of talking at cross-purposes. This will be my last attempt to explain to you what I'm saying, since I seem unable to make myself clear to you, so if it doesn't work this time, I'm going to give up.
I am not saying what you seem to think I'm saying. In my experience, brit milah is deemed very important and parents who choose not to do so for their sons really do end up limiting the son's Jewish practice, at least in communities with which I'm familiar. I am not saying that it's determining of the boy's Judaism *at all*. I am saying that if there is not a proper brit milah in my experience the man is required to undergo that in advance of a bar mitzvah ceremony or wedding, including tifat hadam, if there was a circumcision without brit milah. Clearly your experience differs.
As stated elsewhere, I don't think religion is the only reason to have a Jewish boy circumcised, but it is a potent one in the Jewish communities with which I'm familiar.
|Date:||January 22nd, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)|| |
LOL! Not quite, but close enough. You seem so hung up on "correcting" me for saying that an uncircumcised man isn't Jewish - which I never said, which I don't believe - that you can't seem to understand what I am saying. I don't think "halakhic conformity" is really the issue. Maybe I'll feel more able to get through to you another time, but for now I'm giving up.
Hey, I don't think I've seen you before. How did you come to be reading my journal and commenting?
|Date:||January 22nd, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)|| |
Perhaps you don't have experience of Jews who haven't circumcised their sons, so it hasn't come up in your community? FWIW I don't think I'm talking about "mean rabbis" at all.
In any event, I've already conceded that someone can deceive a whole community if the family so chooses, I just don't know why they would. Anyway, you seem stuck on what really is a side issue and not my point, which was that circumcision is as much about tribal, ethnic, and general belonging issues as it is about religion for many Jews.
|Date:||January 22nd, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC)|| |
Oh and thank you for letting me know where these HP people came from!