I was very perplexed about Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz’s Opinion piece, “Circumcision Is Out Of Vogue: An Orthodox Rabbi Agrees” (July 1). In the article, Rabbi Steinmetz states: “But increasingly I’ve come to realize that circumcision is incompatible with the times, as is much of Judaism.” This is the opinion of a “Modern Orthodox rabbi,” a spiritual leader? I was always taught the beauty of the Torah and hence Judaism is that it is timeless.
Rabbi Steinmetz asks, “Why would any parent want to endure the blood, pain and tears of their baby’s circumcision?” I think the answer is rather simple. Because God asked you to. Circumcision is one of the basic tenets our religion, and its practice is likely one of the sole causes of the continuation of our religion.
I don’t see the ritual as something a parent “endures,” which to me has a negative connotation. I feel a parent swells with pride and is able to feel a connection with God and with Clal Yisrael [the Jewish people]. Rabbi Steinmetz writes that “aspects of Judaism like circumcision won’t win popularity contests … challenging rituals like circumcision or Yom Kippur will be ignored.” I disagree. I believe that most Jews are circumcised and the most crowded day in temple is on Yom Kippur. Why? Because, there is something unique about the entities that bind the Jewish soul to them.
The rabbi is entitled to his opinion and I am entitled to mine. I don’t think circumcision is out of vogue as much as anti-Semitism is in vogue.