It’s Time to Give Up Circumcision

Circumcision, eating restrictions and resting on Shabbat differentiated Jews from the polytheistic nations of the Hellenist world and the Roman Empire. But during the period of the Jewish commonwealth and most of the Persian period, residents of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah didn’t circumcise their sons. All the kings of Israel and Judah, from King David through Zedekiah, were uncircumcised. The prophets, from Amos and Hosea to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, were also uncircumcised.
So why did the Jews adopt this problematic, sickening act as the sole definer of their identity? Hasn’t the time come for Judaism to abandon male circumcision, out of the same loathing that we feel toward female circumcision?
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