Norway’s Health Ministry is considering a proposal on regulating the circumcision of boys. Some political parties are calling on a complete ban of the practice on minors, a possibility that would affect Jewish and Muslim communities.
Two years ago, the ministry was tasked with reviewing circumcision and how it should be practiced in Norway. It is yet to finalize its stance, but it promises a proposed bill by Easter 2014, Health Minister Bent Hoie told Aftenposten, Norway’s largest newspaper.
Their timing is impeccable. Part of the story behind the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah which starts on Wednesday evening, is the Syrian-Greek invaders’ ban on Jewish practice, including circumcision. The ban on circumcision was based on not damaging the ‘human form.”
The issue was brought to public attention after the resent call by Norway Children’s Ombudswoman Anne Lindboe to ban circumcision of boys before age 16, unless the procedure is warranted by medical needs.
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Lindboe, who last year advised Jews and Muslims to replace circumcision with “a symbolic ritual,” also told the paper that non-medical circumcision of pre-teen boys should be outlawed and those performing it should be punished in a similar fashion to people who use violence against children.
“We introduced a law on violence against children even though we had reason to believe that individuals would still be beaten and mistreated,” she said, dismissing concerns raised in the Norwegian media that a ban on ritual circumcision would mean that parents would perform it illegally.
“If 15 years is set as the minimum age, we expect Norwegian parents to follow and respect the law,” said Lindboe, a longtime advocate of the criminalization of ritual circumcision, which she considers a form of abuse and infringement of children’s rights to “physical integrity.”
Violence against children? I don’t think so! Jews have been circumcising their male children on the eighth-day of life ever since Isaac (Abraham’s circumcision was when he was in the 90s).
Is Norway really saying they do not wish to have Jews or Muslims in their country?
Historically movements to ban circumcision are centered in attempts to move the Jewish commitment from God and refocus it on man. In fact almost every campaign to destroy the Jewish people started with a ban on circumcision, followed by a ban on kosher slaughter and finally a ban on teaching Torah. Whether they were meant to be anti-Jewish or not, a bill to ban circumcision is fundamentally anti-Semitic. Even if you give them the benefit of the doubt and believe their intent to be Humanist or Hellenistic the end result is banning key Jewish rituals.
The brit milah (covenant of circumcision) is one of the most central practices of Judaism. The Rabbis tell us that males are not born perfect on purpose. Circumcision gives fathers (the parent who is ordered to conduct the ritual) a chance to participate in the act of creation. We believe that God has a huge role, and mothers obviously have the role of developing the baby within her body, but through the act of brit milah dad has the role of adding the final touch, making the boy perfect.
Don’t get the idea that circumcision is something some ancient rabbis dreamed up. There are Jewish practices originate from Rabbinical interpretation of what is written in the Torah, such as not eating milk with meat (Rabbis got that from the Torah saying “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk 3x)
Circumcision however, is directly commanded in the Torah, the five books of Moses. The command for circumcision appears in Bereisheet (the Hebrew name for the book of Genesis which roughly translates to In the Beginning).
You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, as a sign of the covenant between Me and you. At the age of eight days, you shall circumcise every male child born to you throughout the generations …Bereisheet 17:11-1
Circumcision is not interpretation of what God wants, but according to Jews (and Muslims as well) it is a direct order –right there in ink and parchment. From what I understand from my Christian friends, they too believe that the Torah is the word of God (but commandments such as circumcision apply only to Jews)
There is also a medical reason for circumcision; it is an established scientific fact that circumcision helps prevent HIV.
In the end this new effort by Norway sends a clear message to Jews and Muslims and all people of faith, “Get The Hell Out!” Because today it’s circumcision, tomorrow they can claim communion encourages alcoholism and ban the Catholic ritual.