The San Francisco bris ban

In San Francisco the Anti-Semites are at work.  They have collected enough signatures to place an anti-circumcision initiative on the fall ballot in San Francisco county. It would be a crime to perform a circumcision on a minor child. This would involve jail time and a minimum $1000 fine.

The group that is sponsoring this ballot initiative likens male circumcision to female circumcision. But they are not the same at all. Further this ballot initiative is an attack on Jewish ritual practice.  One only has to look at the political campaign material that has been produced featuring the Aryan blond looking superhero and the sinsiter Jewish looking Mohel or ritual circumcisor.  Every caricature of Jews is present in the graphic cartoons produced by those who support the measure.

Jews have practiced this ancient ritual not for health reasons but for ritual and spiritual reasons. We dedicate our son’s as did Abraham, the founder of Judaism to the covenantal promise we have with God.  We read about it first in Genesis 17:10 and then later on in Leviticus.  This ceremony is performed on the eighth day of life.  It just so happens that many of the brain synapses that send pain messages are not in full force yet in an infant.  Further study after study shows that HIV/AIDS is not transferred in heterosexual relationships at such a high rate when the male is circumcised. Also the risk of ovarian cancer is reduced in women whose male partners are cicumcised.

I hope you San Francisco voters will see this measure for what it is: a violation of the first amendment of the Constitution to the full practice of religion.  And it is an affront to Jews and to Muslims who practice this ancient rite as well.

In a city known for its openness, known for it freedom, it seems sadly ironic that this is what they wish to control.   But then again, from a Jewish perspective one of the reasons we circumcise and dedicate the penis to God’s covenant is in order to sanctify the procreative organ and to make the sex act for men a holy act, rather than a wanton lust -filled unspiritual experience.

I hope all who vote there, in the City by the Bay will vote against this measure.

~ by rabbieger on June 22, 2011.

6 Responses to “The San Francisco bris ban”

  1. thank you, rabbi. well written and this san francisco voter will be sure to take your advice to the ballot.

  2. Dear Rabbi
    It is most unjust to condemn all 12,000 people who have signed the petition to put an age-restriction on male genital cutting onto a ballot as “anti-Semites”. Perhaps three people in San Diego were responsible for the comic strip you refer to (which would have stayed obscure were it not for the outcry), and the San Francisco ballot-proposers have disavowed them.

    97% of infant circumcision is goyish. The issue is the human right to autonomy over one’s own body, something San Franciscans cherish. Circumcision is unique in removing a normal, healthy, non-regrowing, functional body part for life. It violates his First Amendment right to the full practice of the religion of his choice as an adult, without having had one not of his choice pre-emptively cut into his body.

    The same verses that prescribe circumcison for sons, prescribe it also for slaves. Circumcision and slaveholding were once not considered human rights issues, but times have changed. Women can be rabbis.

    It is not true that babies feel less pain. See

    Male and female genital cutting have much in common, especially ethically. In the 1960s in the USA, girls were cut with this device ( NSFW) which had a shield to spare the clitoris. Now it is illegal, and I think you will agree, rightly so.

  3. ………… Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision – A Film by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon

    Jews for the Rights of the Child

    Circumcision and the Brain

    Alternative Jewish Rituals

    Israeli Linguist Vadim Cherny: How Judaic is the Circumcision?


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