6. Do the Jews still practice the circumcision?




Yes, they do. They call it Berith Milah, which means ‘covenant of circumcision.’ Male infants born to Jewish parents are circumcised eight days after their birth.

Circumcision is practiced also on those Gentiles who turn to Judaism (after their circumcision they are immersed into the Mikveh which is a pool or bath which contains rainwater or springwater which is used by the Jews for the ritual purification and the ablutions); however, with regard to the converted to Judaism it must be said that in some non-orthodox circles of Judaism circumcision is not required.

Circumcision is one of the most important and meaningful rites for the Jews. Those who are circumcised will be saved by Abraham from the punishment which will be inflicted upon men after death.

If a child is sick, his circumcision is put off and for health reasons it can be put off indefinitely. However, in these cases, the uncircumcised child is considered as if he was circumcised (therefore, he is considered a Jew, but according to the Jewish Orthodoxy he is a Jew only if both his mother and father are Jews, or if his mother is a Jew).

Most of the Jews have their children circumcised. During the ceremony of the circumcision the child is placed for a moment upon a chair set apart for the prophet Elijah (the tradition says that Elijah attends every circumcision ceremony). Then the child is placed upon the knees of the godfather, who holds him while the circumciser by profession (called mohel) circumcises the baby (that is, he removes the prepuce). At the end of the ceremony the child is given a Jewish name.

The circumcision which is practiced by the Jews was given by God to the patriarch Abraham, as it is written: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant” (Genesis 17:1-14).

However, it must be said that circumcision is a shadow of the true circumcision that Christ Jesus has done in the heart of all those who have believed in Him. For the apostle Paul (I remind you that Paul was a Jew by birth, thus he was circumcised in the flesh) said: “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:11-12). Therefore, we believers in Jesus Christ are the true circumcised (Philippians 3:3) for we are circumcised in the heart and not in the flesh, as it is written: “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:29). Therefore, we Gentiles in Christ are Jews inwardly.

To Christ Jesus, the One who has circumcised our heart, be the glory now and forever. Amen.