Nothing To Be Cut Up About!
When Prince William and Catherine Middleton discuss starting a family, the possibility of circumcising any boys may be on their agenda. The British Royal Family has a long tradition requiring that all male children be circumcised.
However, I’ve read that: “Princess Diana for some reason best known to herself was opposed to circumcision and refused to allow either William or Harry to be done. There were reports at the time which suggested that both the Queen and Prince Philip were very annoyed at this.
A group of anti-circumcision activists is now petitioning to ban circumcision in San Francisco, and if it acquires sufficient signatures, local voters would see an anti-circumcision bill on their ballots within 12 months. If it became law, the measure would make circumcision procedures illegal within San Francisco city limits, except for medical emergencies.
Extremists may well view the surgery, or ceremony, as ritual abuse, even mutilation. But most Jewish and Moslem parents take the measured view that when it is performed early enough (after eight days in Jewish tradition, unless the boy is ill) there is nothing to worry about and it is a simple way of marking the child’s entry into our respective traditions.
I believe the ceremony is neither ‘mutilation’ nor ‘abuse’ but a tiny material sacrifice proving the child's covenant with God. Surely he cannot be frightened in advance of the procedure as he is too young to understand what is happening to him.
But back to 'Frisco: I can’t see an anti-circumcision law being passed without a fight. There are very big Jewish and Moslem populations there. Both are highly politicised and wield a lot of clout. Like the lack of rain in Israel this summer and autumn, the row could be a way of bringing the two communities together.
Now who’s plated up, looking good enough to eat in the image above? None other than my great-nephew at his Pidyon Ha’Ben in Jerusalem this summer. The ceremony’s title translates as “The Redemption of the First Born Son”. It takes place in Jewish tradition after the circumcision, when a baby is 31 days old and involves buying him back from a Priest for five silver coins.