By REBECCA WALD
|Mayim Bialik “wearing” her son.|
More than twenty years ago, actress Mayim Bialik changed the direction of my life forever (and I hers) in a big way. So, when I learned of a recent brouhaha raised by some in the anti-circumcision camp because she calls herself “holistic” and promotes natural parenting, but nevertheless chose to circumcise her sons, it certainly caught my attention.
- It is an essential characteristic of Jewish law to explain, interpret, and reinterpret the Torah in ways that are fair, righteous and ethical from a human standpoint.
- Hillel the elder (a famous Jewish religious leader and one of the most important figures is Jewish history) formulated the golden rule of Jewish ethics which is: “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
- According to Jewish law, the human body must not be altered or marked.
- The Torah prohibits causing pain to any living creature.
- According to historians, it was not always traditional Jewish practice to circumcise. The earliest versions of the Torah mention the covenant between God, Abraham and the Jewish people but don’t mention circumcision, indicating that it was not always a requirement. Even after circumcision became the rule, for about 2000 years only the tip of the foreskin was removed. It was during the Hellenic period that rabbis changed the requirements of the procedure to remove the entire foreskin.
© 2011 Rebecca Wald