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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Swedes and Danes Want to Permit Circumcision – for Bar Mitzvah


Circumcision might make the perfect pre-Bar Mitzvah gift in Denmark and Sweden if doctors get their way.

Circumcision might make the perfect pre-Bar Mitzvah gift in Denmark and Sweden if doctors get their way.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commond: Peter van der Sluijs

Doctors in Sweden and Norway are on their anti-circumcision binge again, but this time they only want to ban the Jewish rite until the age of 12, when they figure a boy is old enough to be able to give his consent.

Wouldn’t cicumcision be a nice gift for a good Jewish boy a year or less before his Bar Mitzvah?

Large medical associations in Sweden and Denmark have recommended a policy that would  ban non-medical circumcision of boys before the age of 12.

In Sweden, the recommendation came in a resolution that was unanimously adopted last week by the ethics council of the Sweden Medical Association – a union whose members constitute 85 percent of the country’s physicians.

It recommended setting 12 as the minimum age for the procedure and the boy’s consent, which comes about 11 years, 11 months and three weeks after the usual date for Jewish ritual circumcision, or brit milah, which has been performed for more than 3,000 years before modern doctors have discovered it is detrimental.

In Denmark, the Danish College of General Practitioners – a group with 3,000 members – said in statement that non-medical circumcision of boys amounted to abuse and mutilation, the Danish BT tabloid reported Sunday.

“We are not religious experts, but for medical reasons, we cannot approve a procedure that removes tissue from the genitals in which the risk is so great for serious complications,” the Swedish association’s ethics officer, Thomas Flodin, said.

Jews have been practicing circumcision since the time of the forefather Abraham 3,500 years ago. Jews have survived Pharaoh, pogroms, the Crusades, the Holocaust, persecution and even the United Nations.

Jews even have survived circumcision, and now the good doctors apparently figure that Jews would even be better off without circumcision, although the United States still will remain.

Funny how God never thought about that, but then again, at least Dr. Flodin admitted, “We are not religious experts.”

In Sweden, non-medical and medical circumcision may be performed only by licensed professionals, as per legislation from 2001. Under the legislation, Jewish ritual circumcisers, or mohelim, in Sweden receive their licenses from the country’s health board, but a nurse or doctor must still be present when they perform the procedure.

Sweden’s minister for integration, Erik Ullenhag, said existing rules that allow for ritual circumcision would not be changed.

“I have never met any adult man who experienced circumcision as an assault. The procedure is not very intensive and parents have the right to raise their children according to their faith and tradition,” Ullenhag said. “If we prohibit it, we must also address the issue of the Christian ritual of baptism.”

Christians have survived baptism for a couple of thousands of years, not counting those who accidentally drowned.

There must be a good psychologist out there who could categorically state that baptism is a traumatic experience that causes long-term suffering.

But that won’t work because the psychologist probably would be Jewish and accused of being anti-Christian.

JTA contributed to this report.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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32 Responses to “Swedes and Danes Want to Permit Circumcision – for Bar Mitzvah”

  1. Baptism?? No more than taking a bath or much less (Lutheran sprinklers). I understand that no so long ago taking a bath was very traumatic for most Europeans.

  2. Luzia Alves says:

    And, if they permit at the age 13 it is to avoid fobiding Jews, but no Muslims…

  3. Luzia Alves says:

    And, if they permit at the age 13 it is to avoid fobiding Jews, but no Muslims…

  4. Daniel Seely says:

    If that article was an attempt at sarcastic humor, then it was a BIG FAIL!

  5. Josh Ram says:

    even the pq is not that stupid

  6. Josh Ram says:

    Tell me what is wrong with circumcision it has been proven to be healthier for both the man and the woman partnered with him. Tens of thousands of men have had it done without ill effect. You clearly do not understand the significance it has in the Jewish religion. I find your point a little silly we should wait until an individual is old enough to make the decision himself? what? Should we do the same thing when it comes to the name of a child? Should we let the kid pick their name when they are old enough and call them hey you until they do? The religion we Jews choose says you should be circumcised on the eighth day after their birth and it says it is the responsibility of every jewish mother to make sure her son is circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. How many medical reasons would you like?

  7. Josh Ram says:

    It has been proven to reduce a mans chances of getting HIV and other terrible diseases in that part of his body

  8. Joyce David says:

    Ashley Trueman. It’s not up to you, nor can Congress make a law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. It’s part of the First Amendment.

  9. Beth Wright says:

    It has been their right for thousands of years, and was commanded by Yah..No one has the right to tell them differantly. Be careful..you will have to answer the Great One…one day..

  10. When this nonsense will arrive in Finland. What is wrong with the world? Let Jews to decide what is good for them. They do not need doctors to decide about the circumcision. Leave Jews alone.

  11. i dont need people dictating to me what is right and wrong to do with MY child. thanks. stay out of my life.

  12. ill repeat it a billion times. i dont need people dictating to me what is right and wrong to do with MY child. thanks, but no thanks. stay out of my life.

  13. People would be making better use of their time if they concentrated on treating the forced circumcision of adult men as a sexual assault, weeding out unqualified and incompetent circumcisers, whether medical or ritual, ensuring that all candidates for circumcision were checked for contraindications such as bleeding disorders or hypospadias. Dangerous traditional practices such as bush circumcisions or metzitzah b'peh should be discouraged and if possible, banned. If a child is to be circumcised, both parents should agree in writing, if not, no circumcision. Finally, all circumcisions should be done by medically qualified people or at least under medical supervision.

  14. Paul Hurst says:

    You say it is funny how god never though of that – is not also funny that he goes to the trouble of creating foreskins if they offend him so much? As to a Christian talking about baptism, I had an aggressively forced Catholic upbringing which did lead to trauma. I may not have drowned, but there are other ways to hurt a child rather than killing it. And yes, I have a psych degree.

  15. Kjeld Hesselmann says:

    The statement in the article is absolutely right. It happens that I’m a Danish psychologist and if necessary easily can present cases of traumatic experiences in Christian baptism practice. But it happens too that I’m Jewish as well and thereby disqualified.
    By the way, I can tell that political correctness in the Scandinavian countries is a pain in another body-part than the penis.

  16. Henna du Plessis says:

    All Jews must return to the State of Israel where we are free to observe all GOD's laws. I fail to understand how Jews can insist on living in countries where state and religion have no compassion for them Do we never learn?

  17. Bear Klein says:

    Sounds like under the banner of liberalism these westerners are just practicing the modern anti-antisemitism.

  18. I see why u think so. With a HS education you might be able to keep up…

  19. Genesis 17 the sign of the Circumcision is part of the Land Grant for Canaan, which became Israel. All of Abraham's household, the males, were circumcised to be then entitled to the Land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. Beyond the Land association of title to Canaan and Israel , there is no reason for the physical circumcision. Perhaps Jews need to go to Israel, to fulfill the Commandment of Genesis 17 and there be Circumcised. Then the clarity of the purpose for this act of Faith would be understood. People with no intention of ever claiming the land of Canaan , or Israel , have no rational reason to cut their foreskins. But as the circumcision of the heart, that is another issue, found at the heart of Christianity .

  20. Let the Swedish Nazis and the Danish descendants of the hatchet wielding Vikings legislate whatever they want. Let them just dare try to punish Jewish parents from following their sacred traditions.

    By the way did anyone think of stopping the circumcision after birth of heirs to the throne of Great Britain.? I'm sure it did not leave Prince Charles with any complexes or otherwise impede his reproductive abilities.

    This is all a load of anti-semitic B.S.

  21. Richard Lis says:

    When a boy can actually agree to it, he won't. And you can expect Children's Aid to be involved in a lot of run away children and family feuds when that fateful day is on the horizon. So go ahead….

  22. Basha Kline says:

    nothing to do with hiv Kia but what numbers are low are the amount of Jewish women who, because of their partners being circumcised, suffer minimal cancer or related problems due to the cleanliness of both the rituals and the fact that less schmutz assails around the men's genitalia than those who have not been circumcised.

  23. Basha Kline says:

    Paul Hurst, you mentioned your Catholic upbringing, you are lucky you did not suffer the "slings and arrows" of being subjected to the unkindest cut of all in becoming a "castrato" – your voice was probably not too sweet! – I understand the last one died in the '60's, not all that time ago so don't condemn another's sacred ideals within their religion, it is done for a purpose and if it were so dastardly then a father would not follow through the ritual which has been significant for thousands of years – mainly for cleanliness .

  24. Locuta de Bjorg says:

    Scandinavia is once again leading the way for the rest of the world. Religious nonsense holds no sway over intelligent, educated atheists who think for themselves. The jig is up on your invisible man in the sky racket. GET OVER IT.

  25. Paul Hurst says:

    Basha Kline – Yes, I am glad about not being castrated, although that has not been on the agenda for a LONG time – that particular group decided to move forward. But I am also glad not to have suffered a partial mutilation – and please don't be rude about my singing voice until AFTER you've heard it! (You may well agree with others, but find out for yourself first, eh?)
    I have said nothing about it as a religious practice, I am commenting about what parents choose to do to their child, pure and simple. Don’t pass the buck on this. Let's move to the attempts at a medical justification:
    The ISRAEL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION JOURNAL, Volume 5: Pages 120-123, February 2003 challenges the idea that it is circumcision that has led to reduced rates of cervical carcinoma in Jewish women, and the whole area of infection is covered by “Sexually Transmitted Infections and Male Circumcision: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” by Van Howe, which did not support circumcision as an effective preventative of STI’s.
    As to the damage caused, this is referred to in a 2013 study by the Ghent University Hospital Department of Urology – full references are available to these, and other studies if you would like? I know that there are differing voices, but do at least look at ALL the evidence before taking an irreversible step in someone else's life.

  26. Mikael Aktor says:

    In Denmark an age limit of 12 years has never been mentioned. Rather 16, 17 or 18.

  27. "Jews have survived Pharaoh, pogroms, the Crusades, the Holocaust, persecution and even the United Nations. Jews even have survived circumcision." Life is not just about surviving. And not all children survive circumcision by the way.

  28. Henna du Plessis says:

    Morten, Hashem gave us free choice. Me and my house, all generations, we follow the law of GOD. I understand that you are free to disagree. I wish you tons of blessings,the Jewish way. The problem with these laws in other countries is that it often is just the start of a lot worse to follow against the Jews. There is no law in Israel which forces parents to observe GOD's laws. Israelis have freedom of choice in every aspect of religion.

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