Friday, May 2, 2014

In New Book, Jewish Actress Alicia Silverstone Writes on Decision Not to Circumcise

Apparently Alicia Silverstone isn’t so clueless. This Jewish mom stood up to some family pressure and decided not to circumcise her newborn son. She writes about the experience in her new book The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning (2014).

Silverstone was raised in a traditional Jewish household, where candles were lit on Friday nights. She went to Hebrew school and has fond memories of her bat mitzvah. As an adult, her ties to Judaism remain strong.

“Judaism turned me into who I am today, and I definitely feel I live a very spiritual life. I got that from my parents,” she has said.

In The Kind Mama, Silverstone writes about her many of her naturally-minded parenting choices, touching on the circumcision decision. “I was raised Jewish, so the second my parents found out that they had a male grandchild, they wanted to know when we'd be having a bris (the Jewish circumcision ceremony traditionally performed 8 days after a baby is born),” she writes. “When I said we weren't having one, my dad got a bit worked up. But my thinking was: If little boys were supposed to have their penises ‘fixed,’ did that mean we were saying that God made the body imperfect?”

Sliverstone has a blog, The Kind Life, and another book on healthy eating.

6 comments:

  1. Wonderful to see a Jewish mother's love protecting her son from harm. <3

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  2. Exactly! Whatever you believe, if in a god then he didn't make boys perfect, but girls he did and they don't need cutting?
    Rubbish and nonsense. If boys were not meant to have a foreskin then they would not be born with one. Mutilate your sons at your peril. They will condemn you.

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  3. I think it is great that Silverstone has her own opinions about things and had the initiative to write a book. Wowee! The facts though tell a different story and though we have free will , the torah had a great purpose in mind and is not at all a reflection that creation is somehow imperfect. Science is continually substantiating the facts behind everything in the torah regarding living healthier, happier and more peaceful fulfilling lives. A few examples are the study that found that circumcised men are less likely to contract disease, eating pork can cause worms in your brain if not properly cooked, and harmful bacteria can form inside you from combining milk and beef just to name a few. In my humble opinion the torah was given as a guide for an evil society of man when there were no rules at all and it is still very much valid even for modern Jews. But by the grace of the creator we do have free will to choose.

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  4. Such incredible ignorance. This issue was discussed thousands of years ago. Agree or disagree with what the midrash has to say about it, her question isnt exactly groundbreaking, and not refuting the claims brought by the opposition only highlights her ignorance.

    מדרש תנחומא פרשת תזריע סימן ז
    שאל טורנוסרופוס הרשע את ר' עקיבא איזה מעשים נאים של הקב"ה או של בשר ודם, א"ל של בשר ודם נאים, א"ל טורנוסרופוס הרשע הרי השמים והארץ יכול אתה לעשות כהם, א"ל ר' עקיבא לא תאמר לי בדבר שהוא למעלה מן הבריות, שאין שולטין בהן, אלא בדברים שהן מצויין בבני אדם. א"ל למה אתם מולים, א"ל אף אני הייתי יודע שאתה עתיד לומר לי כן, לכך הקדמתי ואמרתי לך מעשה בשר ודם הם נאים משל הקב"ה, הביאו לי שבולים וגלוסקאות, [אמר לו אלו מעשה הקב"ה ואלו מעשה בשר ודם אין אלו נאים, הביאו לי] אנוצי פשתן וכלים מבית שאן, א"ל אלו מעשה הקב"ה ואלו מעשה בשר ודם, אין אלו נאים, א"ל טורנוסרופוס הואיל הוא חפץ במילה, למה אינו יוצא מהול ממעי אמו, א"ל ר' עקיבא ולמה שוררו יוצא בו, לא תחתוך אמו שוררו, ולמה אינו יוצא מהול, לפי שלא נתן הקב"ה לישראל את המצות אלא כדי לצרף בהן, לכך אמר דוד (כל) אמרת (אלוה) [ה'] צרופה וגו' (תהלים יח:לא).

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  5. I am also a Jew with intact sons. No one's penis determines their religion or beliefs. You can't force Judaism on anyone. All people are free to determine their own religion. Good on you Alicia.

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  6. "Such incredible ignorance. This issue was discussed thousands of years ago. Agree or disagree with what the midrash has to say about it, her question isnt exactly groundbreaking, and not refuting the claims brought by the opposition only highlights her ignorance."

    I tried to fix my own ignorance on the subject by asking my Rabbi, why do Jews circumcise? His answer was that it was not about logic, it was about "circumcision being the cornerstone of Judaism". Profoundly unsatisfying answer. Apparently it is about obedience and breaking the spirit of men, treating them like slaves or livestock. Or else it may be about making sex perfunctory, routine and mechanical. You can reference Rabbi Jedaiah of the 13 century on that. Google "Why Jewish Penis Is Better Than Christian Penis" for a very unintentionally ironic essay.

    So I don't know what "anonymous" said up above, but I doubt it is compelling compared to the human rights violation of male genital cutting.

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