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Jul-04-2013 01:15printcomments

Circumcision From the Perspective of Protecting Children

I was shocked. I realized that the Jewish motivation for circumcision was diminishing sexual pleasure, the same motivation as the one behind female genital cutting.

Eran Sadeh speaking out on circumcision
Eran Sadeh speaking out on circumcision

(TEL AVIV) - My name is Eran Sadeh. I am Israeli. I am Jewish.

I was born 43 years ago in Tel Aviv, a healthy baby with a perfect body. 8 days after I was born one man held my tiny legs down while another man cut a part of my penis off with a knife.

I was in pain, I screamed, I bled. It’s over. But the part that was cut off from my penis is forever gone.

36 years later my son was born. Two days before his planned circumcision, while searching online for recommendations on the doctor-mohel we chose, I stumbled upon the following paragraph from The Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher:

quote -
“As regards circumcision, I think that one of its objects is to limit sexual intercourse, and to weaken the organ of generation as far as possible, and thus cause man to be moderate. Some people believe that circumcision is to remove a defect in man’s formation; but every one can easily reply: How can products of nature be deficient so as to require external completion, especially as the use of the foreskin to that organ is evident. The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired; This is, as I believe, the best reason for the commandment concerning circumcision.”
end quote -

I was shocked. I realized that the Jewish motivation for circumcision was diminishing sexual pleasure, the same motivation as the one behind female genital cutting.

I was so amazed by this text, so I went on to read every piece of information I could find about the part that was cut off from my penis. The more I read and understood the anatomy and functions of the foreskin, the more it became impossible to escape the painful and enraging realization that my body was violated, that my penis was damaged and diminished in its capacity to sense pleasure, and that I will never be able to experience and enjoy sex as nature intended it.

The amputation of the foreskin removes a highly erogenous tissue the size of an index card on a male adult. A man who is missing that covering tissue of the penile shaft, feels less pleasure, because he does not have the thousands of nerve endings that went with the tissue that was amputated. The foreskin serves as a protective sleeve that slides up and down the penile shaft, reduces friction and stimulates the specialized nerve endings and the head of the penis and so it makes for more comfortable and pleasurable sex for both partners.

I found reports showing that in Israel alone hundreds of baby boys are rushed every year to emergency rooms and operating rooms to treat complications following the amputation of the foreskin.

I learned that studies show that the pain suffered by the baby during circumcision is traumatic and adversely affects his reactions to pain later in life and I read testimonies by mothers about the screaming of their boys during the healing period, when the open circumcision wound comes in contact with urine.

Thanks to all the information that was revealed to me that day, my wife and I also decided to leave our son intact so I called the doctor-mohel and cancelled the scheduled circumcision.

As you can see, circumcision is nothing but a euphemism for forcibly amputating a healthy body part of a helpless child, causing irreversible bodily damage and pain and putting the child at risk. All this in the name of religion and tradition.

This will not do in a country that protects children’s human rights, especially the right to bodily integrity and the right to equal protection by the law.

A note to doctors: you have no business performing religiously motivated circumcisions. It is a violation of the first rule of your code of ethics, which is: Do No Harm. A forcible amputation of a healthy body part of a non-consenting minor without medical indication is an assault that causes bodily damage and this bodily damage gives rise to both a criminal liability and a civil liability, which cannot be waived. A consent by the parents to circumcision is invalid, because parents cannot authorize an amputation of a healthy body part of their child without medical necessity. Doctors, you are not cutting machines. Your professional obligation is to heal and treat a patient. If the child before you is healthy, whether a boy or a girl, you do not cut anything from his or her body.

Jewish Intactivsit Brian Levitt

Postponing circumcision to an age when a person can legally consent to amputate a part of his penis is the only legal and ethical way out of this conflict of rights. My body – My choice. This solution does limit the freedom of religion. But it is only temporary. If, however, you forcibly amputate the foreskin of a child when he is a minor and cannot give consent, you trump his right to bodily integrity for ever.

I am happy to be a part of a global movement to eradicate forced circumcision of minors. All over the world, men like myself who are hurt by the amputation of their foreskin, are speaking up and letting their voices be heard.

Mothers and fathers – learn about the advantages of a normal intact penis, learn about the disadvantages of a cut penis, and join the 80% of the sane world where parents welcome their sons to life without violating their bodily integrity, without hurting them, and without putting them at risk.

-=-=-=-=- The attached picture is from a press conference held in Berlin on September 12th 2012 by the Deutche Kinderhilfe, a German children’s aid organization, under the title: Circumcision from the perspective of protecting children. You can watch my statement here:



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Craig January 23, 2014 10:07 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for working to protect boys from the pain and trauma of forced genital cutting. All children deserve to grow up with the whole intact body they were born with. As adults, they can decide whether they wish to alter their bodies with informed consent of the risks involved. It is tragic that circumcision continues despite the fact that we now know how important the foreskin is to sexual pleasure and to protection of the glans penis, an internal organ. We also know that at birth the foreskin is fused to the glans like a fingernail to the finger to protect it. Babies who stop crying during a circumcision are actually in a state of neurogenic shock (coma). I wish my body were left alone as nature intended. I am not Jewish but Catholic. I had the misfortune of being born in an American hospital in the 1970s. Behind closed doors an American doctor cut off my healthy foreskin despite my protests and cries of terror and pain. This unnecessary mutilation harmed me in so many ways.

pinkfloyd July 5, 2013 7:27 pm (Pacific time)

One last comment, and I think I am done with this topic. I think its good that salem-news has at least educated others that this ritual is not one that should be taken as tho "everyone does it, its normal" I think its good that people get educated on the pros and cons.

Pete July 4, 2013 6:25 pm (Pacific time)

Right with you Mr. Sadeh. This is a human rights violation issue on a grand scale. We should all learn a lesson from Europe. Men do just fine there with all their skin.

pinkfloyd July 4, 2013 5:28 pm (Pacific time)

I never really thought about this topic until reading it here. I read the pros and cons, much which are nothing more than opinions, so I decided to see what the Bible said. Here is my humble, and not well researched opinion: Maybe there was something back in the old testament and a reason for circumcision, but that was long ago. It is strange to me that this topic has been discussed/debated for so many centuries. Here is what the apostle Paul had to say: "This controversy was to follow Paul throughout his ministry. To counter the Judaizers' position he conceded that, while circumcision was of great value for the old covenant, it carried no significance for the "covenants of promise" ( Eph 2:12 ). What was fundamentally important in God's sight was being a "new creation" ( Gal 6:15 ) and keeping God's commandments ( 1 Cor 7:19 ), apart from which circumcision or uncircumcision are meaningless, and allowing faith to work through love ( Gal 5:6 ). Paul taught resolutely that, in the new covenant, salvation came by grace and faith, not works ( Eph 2:8 ). For the believer, circumcision or the lack of it was a matter of total indifference". I personally do not think it causes trauma at that age, just a baby coming out of the womb is trauma.. I also think that cleanliness has something to do with it. But bottom line, there is no good reason to have circumcision, so why not just leave the penis alone.. Also, I do agree that we were born this way, why mess with it? I am circumsized, but personally, I could not care less either way. Just my thoughts, this topic goes back many centuries, so what do I know?

Ace July 4, 2013 3:12 am (Pacific time)

Thank you!

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