Why are Jews circumcised?


Why are Jews circumcised?

History of circumcision

When the Jews began to practice circumcision, it is impossible to say with 100% accuracy. Some scholars agree that this rite was performed by the Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites of Canaan, as well as by the Phoenicians and Egyptians who lived in the near East. According to historians, the Jews began to use this rite by analogy with them. The biblical prophet Ezekiel supported this initiation of boys, but at that time issued edicts that forbade circumcision, as a result, the rite became truly secret. Thus, in the second century, fathers who circumcised their sons were sentenced to death by the death penalty.

In the modern Western world, this procedure began to be widely practiced in the 60s of the last century. However, medicine still does not have a final decision regarding the need for such operations. Today, excision of the foreskin is performed both for newborn boys (with the consent of parents) and adult men.

Why are Jews circumcised?

According to the Bible, for the first time, Patriarch Abraham circumcised himself (as well as all his male relatives). The rite symbolized the agreement between the Jews and the higher powers. This is the first step on the way to purifying the soul, as well as gaining inner integrity. The rite was performed to free oneself from lowly, material, and direct communication with the higher realms, resulting in a large number of prophets in Judaism.

At what age is the ceremony performed?

According to tradition, Jewish male infants are circumcised on the 8th day after birth. But according to Jewish traditions, it is also possible to perform the procedure for men in adulthood. This is a symbol of their conversion to Judaism, the desire to fully observe the canons of faith, life according to Israeli customs.

Conversion of a non-Jew to Judaism is called "giyur" and today is performed only in hospitals, and even then under anesthesia (the procedures are performed by qualified surgeons). According to ancient sources, this rite can be entrusted to any Jewish men or even women (if there are no men). However, modern Jews still choose modern specialists from the field of medicine for the procedure.

Modern Jewish history

According to the Torah, any father should show care and perform a ceremony over his son. This is to indicate his Jewish nationality, it is a way of familiarizing him with the traditions and culture of his ancestors. At the same time, if he refuses to take this step, he can be convicted. In particular, the rite is encouraged by radical Jews and in Israel, where many emigrants undergo the rite even as adults.

However, in practice, a Rabbi cannot force parents to perform the rite on their child. According to religious canons, any child born to a Jewish mother is a priori part of the nation. For this reason, there is no need to confirm that the baby belongs to Judaism in any other way.

The social causes of male circumcision are now becoming more widespread. Where the majority of boys are circumcised, there is a desire to adhere to the norms. This is quite an important motivation. Also among the main factors that explain the high percentage of circumcision among men who immigrate to Israel from other countries is the desire to"be your own".