We sent this letter to our parents to explain our decision not to circumcise Zachary.
Dear Mom & Dad,
We are very excited to be bringing our baby into this world. We're looking forward to holding him, loving him, having him as a part of our family and our lives.
We've also made a decision not to circumcise him.
This wasn't an easy decision for us. We did a lot of research into the medical aspects of circumcision. Babies feel pain as strongly as adults do. Most of the supposed medical benefits of the procedure have been questioned or entirely disproven. The overall circumcision rate in the US is now around 60%, so chances are good he won't be the only boy he knows that's intact.*
Circumcision, though, is more than a medical issue. It's a cultural and religious issue as well. Jews have been doing this for a very long time, and it is an important part of Jewish identity. We're far from the first Jews to question the practice. (There are two articles attached from others who have, and a book on the way.) Judaism also values not inflicting unnecessary pain, not hurting the helpless. To us, those are more important. We're committed to raising our son Jewish, and whether he is circumcised or not doesn't change that. If as he grows up he decides he wants to be circumcised, we'll certainly honor that choice.
We'd like to invite you to join us at Homeport the traditional eight days after the birth for a painless ceremony to welcome our son into our lives, and into Judaism. We hope that you will give him, and us, your blessings.
With much love,
Dave & Catya
* We've included some medical information, and there are two good web sites of information on this if you're interested in more: www.circumcision.org and www.cirp.org. We also have some books you might want to take a look at.