CIRCUMCISION

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I have been working with a married couple towards conversion. They have completed their learning, their years of living Jewishly, they are ready to go before the beit din, a rabbinic court of three rabbis who give their approval on the conversion.

As we discussed the details of their final steps of conversion, including immersion in the mikvah (ritual bath) I asked the man about circumcision. He took a deep breath and said, Rabbi, I am not circumcised and I would like to stay that way.

I explained to him the history and the importance of circumcision. He said he understood. I told him we will need to do hatafat dam brit, a ritual where a man receives a pin prick to his penis a drop of blood is drawn, usually done in the case where a man is already circumcised.  He agreed. I told him how when he showers after working out at the JCC he will be an odd spectacle in the locker room. He said that he was used to that already. I also explained that for many people, his conversion will not be legitimate as long as he is uncircumcised. He understood. I told him I would convert him as long as in his heart he felt he could fully feel Jewish with his foreskin still on. He said he could, and I agreed to proceed.

There are three reasons why I will convert an uncircumcised man. First of all, I assume my congregants are circumcised, but I have never asked.  There is no box on our synagogue membership form that says check here if you are not circumcised. If I do not require circumcision of my congregants who were born Jewish, why would I require circumcision for those who have fallen in love with Judaism and want to opt in?

READ: Circumcision Is A Difficult Rite

Secondly, I believe deeply in equality for men and women. We have no requirement for women to prick their fingers let alone genitalia to offer a drop of blood as a sign of being part of the covenant of the Jewish people.  I do not think women are any more or less Jewish without this ritual. Especially when converting a man and a woman  together, the lack of parity in their ritual obligations is stark and even embarrassing. I ask so little of a woman and so much of a man. It seems unfair to me. Upping the ante for women and also making female circumcision a requirement is patently absurd. When I name girl babies, I will wash their feet as a sign of entering into the covenant of the Jewish people but this is a far cry from circumcision. So if I will not require women to perform an equivalent ritual, how can I demand it of men?

 

Parallel Verses
New International Version
Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

 

New Living Translation
For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.

 

English Standard Version
For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

 

Berean Study Bible
Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commandments is what matters.

 

Berean Literal Bible
Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God.

 

New American Standard Bible
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

King James Bible
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter, but keeping God’s commands does.

 

International Standard Version
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but obeying God’s commandments is everything.

 

NET Bible
Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Instead, keeping God’s commandments is what counts.

 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For circumcision is not anything, neither uncircumcision, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Circumcision is nothing, and the lack of it is nothing. But keeping what God commands is everything.

 

New American Standard 1977
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, butwhat matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

Jubilee Bible 2000
Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

King James 2000 Bible
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

American King James Version
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

American Standard Version
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

Douay-Rheims Bible
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing: but the observance of the commandments of God.

 

Darby Bible Translation
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but keeping God’s commandments.

 

English Revised Version
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

Webster’s Bible Translation
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

Weymouth New Testament
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing: obedience to God’s commandments is everything.

 

World English Bible
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

Young’s Literal Translation
the circumcision is nothing, and the uncircumcision is nothing — but a keeping of the commands of God.

Parallel Commentaries

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

7:17-24 The rules of Christianity reach every condition; and in every state a man may live so as to be a credit to it. It is the duty of every Christian to be content with his lot, and to conduct himself in his rank and place as becomes a Christian. Our comfort and happiness depend on what we are to Christ, not what we are in the world. No man should think to make his faith or religion, an argument to break through any natural or civil obligations. He should quietly and contentedly abide in the condition in which he is placed by Divine Providence.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 19.Circumcision is nothing. The Jews regarded it as everything; and to make this assertion at so early an epoch of Christian history, required all the courage of St. Paul, and proved his grand originality. He was the first to prove to the Jews that circumcision had become a thing intrinsically indifferent, which might, under some circumstances, be desirable (as in the case of Timothy), but could never be reckoned among essentials. And uncircumcision is nothing. The same sentence occurs three times in St. Paul, summing up, as it were, the liberty which it had cost him endless peril and anguish to achieve. Each time he concludes it with a weighty clause to show what is everything: “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (ver. 19); “… but faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6); “… but a new creation” (Galatians 6:15). But the keeping of the commandments.So St. John says, “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Circumcision is nothing,…. In the affair of justification before God, and acceptance with him; it cannot make any man righteous in the sight of God, nor recommend him to the divine favour; it is no evidence of a man’s calling, or of his having the truth or grace of God in him; nor is it of any avail in the business of salvation. It was something formerly; it was a command and an ordinance of God, to Abraham and his natural seed; it pointed at the corruption and pollution of nature; was typical of the effusion of the blood of Christ, for pardon, and cleansing, and of the internal circumcision of the heart; it was a sign and seal to Abraham, that he should be the father of many nations, and that the righteousness of faith should come upon the uncircumcised Gentiles; and was a distinguishing character of the people of the Jews, until the Messiah came: but now it is nothing, nor has it any of these uses, being with the rest of the ceremonies abolished by Christ; it gives no preference to the Jew above the Gentile; he that has this mark in his flesh, is not a whir the better for it, and he that is without it, is not at all the worse; and is a reason why both the one and the other should be easy, and not attempt any alteration in themselves with regard to this, or think the better or worse of themselves on account of it. This is said in direct opposition to the sentiments of the Jews, who extol circumcision to the skies. The apostle says it is nothing, and they say it is everything, and everything is nothing without it; they say, it is the hinge of their whole law (l), and that it is equal to all the precepts in the law (m); their extravagant commendations of it take in the following passage (n);

“says R. Eliezar ben Azariah, uncircumcision is rejected, because by it the wicked are defiled, as it is said, “for all the Gentiles are uncircumcised”; says R. Ishmael, , “great is circumcision”; for on account of it, thirteen covenants were made; says R. Jose, “great is circumcision”, for it drives away the sabbath, the weighty (command in the law, that is, it is obliged to give way to it); R. Joshua ben Korcha says, “great is circumcision”, for it was not suspended to Moses the righteous one full hour; R. Nehemiah says, “great is circumcision”, for it drives away plagues; says Rabba, “great is circumcision”, for notwithstanding all the commands which Abraham our father did, he was not called perfect until he was circumcised; as it is said, “walk before me, and be thou perfect”; says another, “great is circumcision”, for had it not been for that, the holy blessed God would not have created his world; as it is said, “thus saith the Lord, if my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth”,”

More of this kind might be produced, but enough of this.

And uncircumcision is nothing; it does not hinder any having an interest in, and partaking of the blessings of grace; nor their enjoyment of the Gospel and Gospel ordinances; nor their communion and fellowship with the churches of Christ, much less their everlasting salvation, as say (o) the Jews;

“the holy blessed God (say they) rejects the uncircumcised, and brings them down to hell; as it is said, Ezekiel 32:18 “son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down”; and so says Isaiah, Isaiah 5:14 “therefore hell hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth”, ; that is, to him that hath not the law of circumcision; as it is said, Psalm 105:10 “and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant”; for no circumcised persons go down to hell:”

but the keeping of the commandments of God; that is something; not that the commands of God, and the observance of them, are of any avail to procure the pardon of sin, acceptance with God, justification in his sight, and eternal salvation; yet they are of moment, as they are the commands and ordinances of God; and ought to be kept in faith and fear, as they were delivered from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God; and though for keeping of them there is no reward of debt, yet in keeping of them there is a reward of grace; peace of mind is had, and the presence of God enjoyed; obedience to them, upon Gospel principles and motives, is a fruit of grace, an evidence of faith, and of the new creature; it is the ornament of a Christian profession, and is profitable to men.

(l) Shebet Judah, p. 94. Ed. Gent. (m) Zohar in Lev. fol. 6. 1. T. Bab. Nedarim, fol 32. 1. Caphtor, fol. 9. 2.((n) Misn. Nedarim, c. 3. sect. 11. Maimon. Hilch. Milah, c. 3. sect. 8, 9. (o) Shemot Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 104. 4. Vid. Maimon. in Misn. Sabbat, c. 19. sect. 6.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. Circumcision … nothing, but … keeping of … commandments of God—namely, is all in all. In Ga 5:6 this “keeping of the commandments of God” is defined to be “faith which worketh by love”; and in Ga 6:15, “a new creature.” Circumcision was a commandment of God: but not for ever, as “love.”

1 Corinthians 7:19 Additional Commentaries

Context
Live According to Your Calling
18Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. 20Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.…
Cross References
Romans 2:25
Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.

 

Romans 2:26
So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

 

Romans 2:27
The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

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Jakob_EGO

Jorn Jakob Albert Boor. (36) Ik heb mijn leven lang menselijke interactie, tegenstellingen en tegenstrijdigheden geobserveerd en hieruit een conclusie getrokken. Theorie, ervaring en ondersteuning vanuit de vele verscheidene vriendschappen en gebeurtenissen hebben het mogelijk gemaakt tot de kern van het menselijk bestaan en evolutie van het bewustzijn op individueel en collectieve zingeving en progressie. De verschillende specialisaties, hierarchische levels van behoeften (egoisme) en non verbale en verbale intentie's en communicatie eigenschappen (egocentrisch) zijn een fundamentele doelstelling en persoonlijke ontwikkeling die ik graag wil delen en ten dienste wil stellen zodat het de creatie en evolutie van ons natuurlijke zijnsvorm transcends in het geestelijke/spirituele zijnsvorm in ons aller belang en zoals het gedetaileerd in allerlei verscheidene historische takken van sport is benoemd en vastgelegd op feiten en profetisch onderbouwde geschriften. wijsheden en legacies. Defragmentatie van deze inzet, inzichten, kennis en opofferingen ten behoeve van ons aller belang en bestaansrecht. Via het informeren en verzamelen van kennis verwacht ik de chaos en verbroken connectie's weer samen te brengen en hiermee de macht over vrede, begrip, diversiteit en samenwerkings verbanden naar een resonerende en gebalanceerde bestaansrechtelijke fundering terug te brengen en mijzelf en mijn service van toegevoegde waarde te laten zijn. Vanuit mijn eigen ervarings deskundigheid en relatieve overzichten op globaal niveau. Creativiteit. Spontaniteit en Probleemoplossende eigenschappen en de bij behorende communicatieve vaardigheden zouden het varkentje moeten wassen. UNESCO onderschrijft een groot deel van de conclusie en bestaansrecht van deze theorie/evolutie model en symboliek voortgebracht via de grootheden en culturen en eerder bestaansvormen uit het verleden. Dit is de finishing touch en de start van een nieuw begin met rust. vrede en creatieve ontwikkelingen en rechtvaardige basis berustende op eenwording en ware identiteit van de mensheid. De overwinning welke onze wederzijdse verantwoordelijkheid in alle facetten van het bestaan vrijheid en zijn bevierd zal worden! # Het zal geschieden. # Mijn thuis is waar liefde zegeviert # Huis van Jakob / Rechtvaardigheid # Jakob 's Ladder / Vigilant. .. http://jornboor.blogspot.nl https://jakobinfo.wordpress.com @Jakob_EGO "Oil To The Fire Submitted In Respect For The Sacred Dance On Infinity. "

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