It is now June 1996, and I am joyfully expecting my first baby at the end of this month. I do not know the sex of the baby, and I believe I may be one of the first Jewish women of my generation who does not need to whisper the silent prayer, “Please God, let it be a girl.” I am calm and comfortable in the knowledge that no one will ever take a knife to this baby’s flesh in the name of religion, and that my child will be every bit as Jewish as I am, or as Jewish as he or she chooses to be, with no mutilating mark upon the body. I am confident that my people have such an abundance of life-enhancing and mind-opening traditions, that our identity and sense of cultural self-hood will happily survive our outgrowing of circumcision, a relic which has always felt to me like an aberration at the heart of an otherwise life-affirming religion.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.