The Circumcision Referendum: A Liberal Jewish Perspective June 9th, 2011

“Orthodox Jews argue that prohibiting the circumcision of children would be a restriction on religious freedom. However, the state has regularly restricted religious freedom when it is felt that such practices would be deleterious to minors. The obvious example is the over-riding of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ ban on blood transfusions for their children. The issue with circumcision is not one of life and death*, but it does seem to me that the San Francisco referendum would not ipso facto be unconstitutional.


Despite having circumcised my two sons, the more I think about the issue, the more likely – were I a resident of San Francisco – I would support the referendum.”

Full writing here:

*Note: Circumcision causes immediate damage to the penis, has resulted in numerous cases of botches which require surgery or additional medical treatment, and it has also been known to kill.

2 thoughts on “The Circumcision Referendum: A Liberal Jewish Perspective June 9th, 2011

  1. Many, many Jews are questioning circumcision from many perspectives including religious, ethical, and spiritual as well as men, women, and parents.

    Beyond the Bris: Faces of the Jewish Intactivist Community

    Outlawing Circumcision: Good for the Jews? by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon
    The Forward, The Jewish Daily 5/20/11

    Challenging the Circumcision Myth by Jan Jaben-Eilon
    The Jerusalem Post, 4/10/11

    To the Mohel Who Cut Me by Shea Levy

    The Circumcision Referendum: A Liberal Jewish Perspective by Sandford Borins, Ph.D.

    Ending Circumcision in the Jewish Community? by Moshe Rothenberg, MSW

    The Kindest Un-Cut Feminism, Judaism, and My Son’s Foreskin by
    Professor Michael S. Kimmel

    A Jewish Woman Denounces Circumcision by Laura Shanley

    Questioning Circumcision: Op/Ed by Rebecca Wald
    The Jewish Reporter, 6/2/11

    Being rational about circumcision and Jewish observance by Moshe Rothenberg, MSW

    Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision – A Movie by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon

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