A friend once told Rabbi Kevin Bernstein that he’s the most anti-circumcision mohel they’d ever met. Bernstein isn't against circumcision; he’s performed hundreds of brit millah ceremonies. But he is sympathetic to people’s concerns, questions and downright discomfort with it. In this episode, the veterinarian turned Reconstructionist rabbi offers a Reconstructionist take on this most ancient of Jewish conventual ceremonies. He responds to critics who question the continued relevance and, yes, the safety of circumcision, including our two prior guests, novelist Gary Shteyngart and business consultant Max Buckler. And he attempts to demystify the process and explain what happens at a brit millah ceremony.
Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb
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- Read Rabbi Kevin's essay, "We Should Continue Practicing Brit Millah"
- Also on Evolve, "Be Honest About the Bris"
- Evolve guest Gary Shteyngart's New Yorker Essay, "A Botched Circumcision And Its Aftermath"
- A Mohel's response to Gary's New Yorker essay
- From ReformJudaism.org, "Why Reform Never Abandoned Circumcision"
- Also on Evolve, "The Case for Welcoming Uncircumcised Jews From Rabbinic Sources"
- Also on Evolve, "We Should Reconstruct ‘Brit Milah’"
- "The Mohel" on Seinfeld