This is a response to Dr Joseph Mazor’s paper ‘The child's interests and the case for the permissibility of male infant circumcision.’ I argue that Dr Mazor fails to prove that bodily integrity and self-determination are mere interests as opposed to genuine rights in the case of infant male circumcision. Moreover, I cast doubt on the interest calculus that Dr Mazor employs to arrive at his conclusions about circumcision.
Pt. 1. The individual and his creator. The fear of God in our time -- Natural morality -- In-depth Torah study -- Levels of mitzvot -- The personal element in serving God -- Religious experience -- Naturalness in the worship of God -- The significance of Torah values -- Tension vs. tranquility in the worship of God -- Pt. 2. The individual and society. Fundamentals of prayer -- Derekh eretz, being a mensch -- "I dwell among my people" -- The (...) obligation to sanctify God's name -- Attending to the needs of the community -- The message beyond mere words -- How to relate to one who has lost his faith -- Pt. 3. The individual and his life. Humanity -- Dealing with crisis -- Adhering to values -- Independent decision-making. (shrink)
_A paradigm-shifting account of the modern Jewish experience, from one of the most creative young historians of his generation_ To understand the organizing framework of modern Judaism, Eliyahu Stern believes that we should look deeper and farther than the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the influence and affluence of American Jewry. Against the revolutionary backdrop of mid-nineteenth-century Europe, Stern unearths the path that led a group of rabbis, scientists, communal leaders, and political upstarts to reconstruct (...) the core tenets of Judaism and join the vanguard of twentieth-century revolutionary politics. In the face of dire poverty and rampant anti-Semitism, they mobilized Judaism for projects directed at ensuring the fair and equal distribution of resources in society. Their program drew as much from the universalism of Karl Marx and Charles Darwin as from the messianism and utopianism of biblical and Kabbalistic works. Once described as a religion consisting of rituals, reason, and rabbinics, Judaism was now also rooted in land, labor, and bodies. Exhaustively researched, this original, revisionist account challenges our standard narratives of nationalism, secularization, and de-Judaization. (shrink)