Progressive Rabbis on Creating a Covenant without Circumcision

Rabbi Steven Blane

Heads up on a new Intact News article that quotes five rabbis who perform peaceful Jewish welcoming ceremonies and also believe the time has come for Jews to abolish circumcision. These Rabbis represent a range of Jewish movements and include influential Jewish Studies scholar Howard Eilberg-Schwartz and Rabbi Steven Blane, Dean of the Jewish Spiritual Leader’s Institute. 

Rabbi Blane, Rabbi of Congregation Havurah Sim Shalom, and Dean of the Jewish Spiritual Leader's Institute, states in part: "It seems very silly that people who are not Jewish would engage in circumcisions. It makes no sense to me either. And neither does today from where I'm at, neither does a brit milah work for me….
I've spoken with neurosurgeons as well, and I know that babies undergo--that there's a lot of pain involved….Our faith should be about healing and joy, not about inflicting more pain. And so from my perspective I'm very interested in performing brit shalom. You can do everything you do in that ceremony--except the violent part. Everything works. You can adapt a couple of brahot and it's beautiful....That's the beauty of who we are today. We should be joyful and not hurt little babies....I too am rooted in tradition. I went to Yeshiva. I've davened with Lubavitch. I've led services in the Conservative synagogues and in the Reform synagogues."

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