- Title: Circumcision 001
Circumcision is very important to most branches of Judaism, with over 90% of male adherents having the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser (a mohel) on the eighth day of a newborn son's life. Converts to Conservative and Orthodox Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but some adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected.
According to traditional Jewish law, in the absence of a grown free Jewish male expert, a woman, a slave, or a child, that has the required skills, is also authorized to perform the circumcision, provided that she or he is Jewish. However, most streams of non-Orthodox Judaism allow female mohels, called mohalot, without restriction.
This ceremony of brit shalom is not officially approved of by the Reform or Reconstructionist rabbinical organizations, who make the recommendation that male infants should be circumcised, though the issue of converts remains controversial and circumcision of converts is not mandatory in either movement.
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- Keywords: Circumcision
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