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Religious tradition or to whom circumcision is done: nationalities and peoples

Operation foreskin removal is one of the oldest in the history of mankind: for some peoples this procedure was considered "a tribute to the cruel and evil deity, who must sacrifice a part in order to save the whole, to circumcise the child in order to save his life." It is not by chance that the researchers believe that circumcision at that time served as a successful alternative to the cruel pagan rite of human sacrifice.

However, initially, for many peoples, this rite symbolized the entry of boys into adulthood and gave them the right to marry. Characteristically, the Hebrew noun “hatan” (groom) is quite consonant with the Arabic “hitan” (circumcision). And the procedure was mainly subjected to young men aged 14-17 years, who entered puberty. Scientists say that circumcision of the foreskin began to practice the Middle Eastern peoples in the third millennium BC. Circumcision was also used by the Phoenicians, Egyptian priests, and the peoples of Canaan (Ammonites, Edomites, and Moabites).

Bible Circumcision

In the scriptures, circumcision is given exclusively religious significance. It is one of the few commandments in the Pentateuch, and according to the Bible, forefather Abraham circumcised at the age of 99. According to the traditional version, Abraham performed the operation himself with the help of the Most High. And in accordance with a more modern interpretation, Abraham was operated on by the son of Noah - Shem. To this day, his son Ishmael (Ishmael), from whom, according to the Bible, the Arabs descended, was 13 years old. Isaac later born, from whom the Jews came, was circumcised on the eighth day of life. These terms (8th day and 13 years) are observed in Judaism and Islam until now.

Jewish circumcision

According to Jewish tradition, circumcision ("Brit Mila" - Hebrew) is a symbol of the agreement between God and the people of Israel.

However, unlike other ancient peoples, circumcision of Jewish children was carried out not during puberty, but on the eighth day after birth. Moreover, the procedure was mandatory for the whole people, and was carried out both in the families of the upper class, and in the families of slaves. Circumcision was to remind the Jews of the promises made in God's Covenant (regarding posterity, possession of the land), and the responsibilities that this covenant placed on Israel.

However, the removal of the foreskin was also carried out for hygiene reasons, which were put forward by Philo of Alexandria. The operation was carried out as follows: the foreskin was completely removed and the glans penis was exposed. A pressure bandage was applied to the penis to stop bleeding, and according to tradition, the newborn received a name immediately after the circumcision procedure (it was not customary to give a name to the child before). If the foreskin or part of it covered the coronary sulcus (the sulcus located on the border of the head and body of the penis), then such a Jew is considered uncircumcised. The circumcision procedure was performed by a specially trained person for this - mohel (mohel) - a Jewish man who also had to be circumcised with his foreskin.

Islamic circumcision

In Islamic culture, according to some theologians, the removal of the foreskin was close to mandatory (wajib), according to others - desirable (mustahab). Circumcision is not mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, however, numerous legends testify to its necessity, including the Prophet Muhammad. When a man came to him and said that he had converted to Islam, the prophet replied: “Throw off the hair of unbelief and circumcise” (collections of hadiths of Ahmad and Abu Dawood).

Circumcision in families practicing Islam was performed by the child before puberty, when he became a mukallaf (adult) and was obliged to perform all the duties assigned to him.

Today, the removal of the foreskin is a national custom, and the timing of this rite among representatives of different nationalities is very different. For example, in Turkish families, circumcision is performed for boys aged 8 - 13 years, in Persian - for 3 - 4 years old, in Arab families - for 5 - 6 years of life.

Moreover, in Muslims, the intervention is performed without anesthesia, the cut leaves of the foreskin do not stitch together and the bleeding does not stop. As a rule, the circumcision process is accompanied by a holiday to which family members and relatives are invited. Despite extensive and many years of practice, some cases of circumcision are fatal in connection with the procedure in unsanitary conditions and subsequent bleeding in children with clotting disorders and their infection.

Christian circumcision

In Jerusalem and the first Christian communities, circumcision was performed for all men without exception, but subsequently this ceremony was carried out only on pagans who converted to Christianity, against which the apostle Paul subsequently protested.

He uses the concept of circumcision as a symbol of the renewal of man through faith in Jesus Christ, and calls this procedure the circumcision of Christ, which consists in "combining the sinful body of the flesh." It is no accident that the removal of the foreskin takes place, in contrast to the Jewish rite, not with a knife in the flesh, but in the heart and in spirit. Thus, circumcision, in his opinion, loses its meaning and becomes unnecessary.

Therefore, in the modern world, this rite is not practiced in Christianity, and this procedure is not done because of religious beliefs. Nevertheless, the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox churches still adhere to some early Christian rites (for example, the celebration of the Sabbath along with Sunday), one of which is the removal of the foreskin, which is performed by infants immediately before baptism.

In tsarist Russia, the belonging of a newborn boy to Jewishness was also accompanied by circumcision, which was officially registered in the metric book. Section 302 of the Penal Code prohibited the practice of circumcision by anyone other than the rabbi. And at the same time, any person born of a Jewess, even a baby who was not circumcised, was considered a Jew. The status of a Jew was lost only with the official transition to another religion.

Another Egyptian riddle

The circumcision process is one of the oldest types of surgical intervention known to mankind. It has more than 10 millennia, and the found cave murals of ancient tombs are proof of this.

So where did the circumcision come from? The first documented mention of circumcision dates back to the 2nd millennium BC. and it speaks of the Egyptians. They are considered the ancestors of the cutoff of the male foreskin. But from whom they borrowed such an experience, it remains a mystery.

Herodotus indicates that later other ethnic groups also adopted the rite from the Egyptians - Colchis, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, macrons, Syrians, and other peoples of the Middle East.

Each tribe put its own meaning into the action:

  1. Sacrifice. People gave a small part of the flesh to evil deities in order to save the life of a baby.
  2. Growing up. A young man who has reached the age of 14 years old had to undergo a circumcision ceremony in order to obtain the right to marry. The process symbolized the transformation of the boy into a man.
  3. Survival factor. Hot arid climate was the cause of the widespread spread of inflammatory processes and infections. Circumcised men found it easier to maintain hygiene, which increased their chances of survival. The operation was done to protect themselves.
  4. Mark of slaves. There is scientific evidence that the operation was often done to ancient slaves. This served as a reminder that the host may deprive a more important part of the body. With this setup, it was easier to control slaves.

The ancient Greek philosopher Philo had his own curious theory regarding the removal of the foreskin. He believed that the rite helps to curb bodily passions. The male genital organ is the “instrument” of love, and its operation “cripples”, limiting passionate impulses. The philosopher suggested that a man in the process of circumcision received a serious injury, an act of love for him became a real torment.

Jews and Muslims are religious roots

What religions do circumcision do? For many, the tradition of circumcision remains an unshakable symbol of Jews and Muslims. Loyalty to their original traditions distinguishes them from European peoples. Indeed, they honor their history, strictly obeying the orders of their ancestors.

It is a curious fact that the Hebrew word "hatan" (bridegroom) has a common root with the Arabic word "chitan" (circumcision).

Religious canons as a key reason for circumcision

In many countries of the East, circumcision is an integral part of observing religious laws. A man who neglects this tradition is considered cut off from the holy covenant, and his soul will be cut off from the people. Therefore, most representatives of the Islamic and Jewish faiths turn to the circumcision procedure.

Modern medicine offers the right approach to circumcision


In the Jewish religion, the rite symbolizes the agreement between the people of Israel and God. According to ancient Jewish laws, only a circumcised man is considered a true Jew, becoming a full member of society.

Unlike other ancient nationalities, circumcision among Jews is not done during the puberty of a young man, but on the eighth day of his life.

The operation is carried out by a specially trained person (mohel) - this is a Jew who also passed the ceremony. It is done during the day (between sunrise and sunset) in the synagogue. Sometimes the sacrament is performed at home, 10 witnesses are required older than 13 years.

Cutting off the foreskin was also carried out for hygienic reasons. This is evidenced by the apologist of Judah, Philo of Alexandria. According to ancient tradition, a newborn boy was given a name immediately after the rite of circumcision, but not earlier.

Features of the circumcision ceremony for different nations:

  1. in Turks, the process of eliminating the foreskin takes place at the age of 8-12 years,
  2. in Persians - in the 4th year of a child’s life,
  3. Muslims of the Malay archipelago - in the 12th year of life,
  4. Arabs, city dwellers, do circumcision at the age of 5,
    and Arabs living in villages - at the age of 14,
  5. in African cities, the majority of men undergo circumcision, with no exact age specified. The foreskin can be eliminated both in infancy and in adulthood,
  6. circumcision may be delayed if the child's parents have not accumulated enough funds for a magnificent event.

Circumcision in Islam

In Islam, circumcision is synonymous with purification. Moreover, the procedure is not one of the pillars of the Koran, but it is considered an unwritten law for men. The main reason for this ritual is bodily purity. In Islam, there is no fixed age when it is necessary to carry out circumcision.
Age varies by country, region and family.

Fact: As a rule, the process of removing the foreskin occurs in the clinic.
A circumcision doctor does not have to be a Muslim. However, he must have an appropriate education.

Circumcision in Islam - features:

  1. in some countries of the East, the procedure is allowed only after the boy has completely read the Koran,
  2. the process of eliminating the foreskin takes place using special clamps. They are selected individually, focusing on the size of the child's genital organ. The clamp protects the head during the procedure and helps stop blood flow,
  3. an alternative method of circumcision in Islam is the pulling of the foreskin
    to the maximum distance, after which it is cut off by the feed blade,
  4. in most cases, circumcision is carried out in infancy after the permission of the parents,
  5. after circumcision, a magnificent ceremony is laid, which symbolizes the path of the child
    in the footsteps of his ancestors.

Jewish circumcision

The process of eliminating the foreskin in infants is one of the holiest commandments
in Judaism. This is evidenced by data from the Second World War. During this period, circumcision was a sign of belonging to the religion of Judaism and could lead to the death penalty. However, even at that time, the Jews maintained their traditions.

Circumcision should be performed by a specially trained person - mozhl. If necessary, you can contact any Jew with a medical education. A mandatory component of the ceremony is the presence of a sandak - a Jew who holds the baby in his arms and holds his legs.

Today, surgical instruments are used instead of clamps and a double-edged knife; during the procedure, anesthesia is used to help make the circumcision process almost painless.
After the operation, the doctor advises the patient about the healing process and gives practical recommendations to speed up regeneration.
You should contact a specialized clinic, especially since religious canons allow this.


According to some scholars, in some ancient nations circumcision served as a religious rite, "a tribute to the cruel and evil deity who needs to sacrifice a part in order to save the whole, to circumcise the child in order to save his life". Thus, it is possible that initially circumcision was intended to replace the pagan rite of human sacrifice.

Tokarev S. A. wrote about the origin of circumcision:

Another example is the Jewish and Muslim custom of circumcising boys, performing the same function: a sign of acceptance into a religious community. More than once attempts have been made to explain the origin of this custom with reasonable considerations: as if cutting off the “foreskin” has some sort of hygienic role, and other nonsense. A true understanding of the genesis of the ritual of circumcision is possible only if we take into account the spread of this ritual among other nations, more backward. They still have circumcision, however, performed not on newborns and not on seven-year-old boys, but on adolescents entering adulthood, playing an obvious and very real role, albeit in an excessively cruel form: to make violating the prohibition temporarily physically impossible imposed on under-maturity. This means that here, too, the real roots of the Judeo-Arab rite lie far in the depths of the past of these peoples.

Ancient world

Circumcision has long been practiced by many nations. Circumcision as the initiation of adolescent boys was practiced in the religion of the natives of Australia and among some primitive tribes of Africa. So Herodotus in History writes:

Only three people on earth have been circumcised from time immemorial: Colchis, Egyptians and Ethiopians. The Phoenicians and Syrians in Palestine themselves admit that they borrowed this custom from the Egyptians. But the Syrians living on the rivers Fermodont and Parthenia en, and their neighbors, the macrons, say that they only recently adopted circumcision from the Egyptians. These are, after all, the only nations performing circumcision, and all of them, obviously, imitate this custom of the Egyptians. As for the Egyptians and Ethiopians themselves, I cannot say which of them and from whom I borrowed this custom. After all, he is obviously very ancient

Circumcision also existed among the Phoenicians, among the peoples of Canaan: the Ammonites, the Edomites, and the Moabites. Its existence among the Babylonians and Assyrians was not proved, among the Philistines there was no circumcision. The practice of circumcision of the foreskin among Middle Eastern peoples has been witnessed since the 3rd millennium BC. uh ..In the picture representing the scene of this rite among the ancient Egyptians, the image of the knife resembles the shape of knives of the stone period. This partly indicates that the beginning of this custom is lost in ancient times. Initially, this rite was associated with the ritual of initiation, the transition to adulthood, which gave, among other things, the right to marry. Characteristically, the Jewish noun "hatan"(Groom, son-in-law) with the Arab root hitancircumcision. However, the Bible gives circumcision exclusively religious significance.

In most nations, circumcision is performed over boys and youths of 10-17 years old (in Ancient Egypt - at the 14th year) and constitutes, as it were, initiation into men, official recognition of puberty.

Features of circumcision in Judaism:

  1. the procedure takes place on the 8th day after the birth of the baby.
    Circumcision should take place at a time when the sun is shining. The ceremony is traditionally held in the synagogue, a prayer is preliminarily performed, in which men over 13 years old must participate,
  2. the operation is performed using a double-edged knife. The inner mucous leaf is cut and the foreskin is removed,
  3. the blood is stopped using a special tube or by suction by mouth,
  4. the flesh is cut to furrow, otherwise the procedure cannot be considered complete,
  5. the end of the procedure is the pouring of powder from a rotten tree onto the boy’s penis,
  6. then the baby gets a name, and the parents and invited guests begin the celebration.

The procedure can be postponed if the baby is sick. Then the ceremony is scheduled 7 days after full recovery. The basis for circumcision among Jews is considered the 17th chapter of Genesis.

The Jews

In the religion of the Jews, it is believed that only a circumcised man is a true Jew. Circumcision symbolizes the union concluded between the Israeli people and God himself. According to biblical treatises, this union was concluded by Abraham. According to his rules, the Jewish people received divine protection and dominion over the Canaanite land. For Jews, the rite of circumcision is a symbol of pride and dignity. Also - it is a sign of distinction from other nations.

Judaism does not accept the rite of circumcision in adulthood. This procedure is carried out on the 8th day of the child's life. However, as elsewhere, exceptions are possible. For example, if a Jew was born in a foreign land where the laws of the Jews are unacceptable, and then returned to Israel as an adult, he must undergo circumcision, otherwise they will not accept him.

The procedure is trusted only to a special person. Circumcision in Israel is performed during the day at the synagogue. In some cases, the procedure can be carried out at home, the only thing for this is required witnesses who are over 13 years old.


Christ went through the circumcision procedure - this is a fact, but in the Christian faith all men are not subjected to this tradition. At first, when the tribes underwent a baptismal rite, they did circumcision, but after a while the apostle Paul ensured that this procedure was excluded from the mandatory.

The fact is that circumcision is a renewal of a person in faith, baptism carries the same meaning, therefore there is no need to remove the foreskin.

Christian look

It is a well-known fact that Christ was circumcised. There is a holiday of the same name in the Orthodox and Catholic branches.

But in modern spiritual practice there is no such tradition.

Why don't circumcision do Christians?

The circumcision procedure in Christianity in the first communities was carried out for every man without exception.

Later, the Apostle Paul ensured that the converts did not pass the ceremony.

He believed that circumcision is a symbol of the renewal of man in faith. The sacrament of baptism in itself is already considered evidence of renewal, so there is no need to remove the foreskin.

Bible scripture

In the Scriptures, ritual is given religious significance. Biblical history indicates that Abraham decided to circumcise at 99.

He performed the procedure himself with God's help. According to another version, the offspring of Noah helped him.

At that time, his son Ishmael (the progenitor of the Arabs) turned 13 years old. Isaac (ancestor of the Jewish people) was born later and was circumcised at 8 days of age.

For a Christian rite of blessing or sin?

In the Bible, circumcision is not a sin. On the contrary, God made a covenant to Abraham so that his male descendants would perform such an operation.

The Apostle Paul said that the removal of the foreskin is useful to those who adhere to the law and faith.
If a person violates the commandments, then the rites have no power. The main thing is to act according to the will of God.

Can circumcision be Orthodox?

For the Orthodox person, it is not the operation itself that matters, but its motive. He must not contradict faith.

To whom circumcision is done - nationalities

What nationalities do circumcision? The rite is practiced by different nationalities, but nevertheless the determining factor is religion and religious traditions:

  • Armenians - most of them are Christians, therefore they don’t practice the removal of the foreskin,
  • Kazakhs - relate to the Muslim faith. Therefore, since ancient times, circumcision among the Kazakhs (the celebration of the sundet of that) is done by boys 3-7 years old,
  • Azerbaijanis - removal of the foreskin or circumcision among Azerbaijanis is a great three-day holiday and the moment of entry into adult Muslim life,
  • Africans - many African tribes practice the rite in adulthood, the young man must endure the pain without complaint.

You have learned what nations are circumcised, and now, check out the Russian statistics on this issue.

Russian statistics

According to statistics, circumcision in Russia (circumcisio) is carried out more often for medical reasons. Still, most Russians are Christians.

Another reason is a historical dislike of Jews, and circumcision in consciousness is clearly connected with Judaism.

Nevertheless, Russia is a multinational power with a tolerant policy. Therefore, people of various religions live on its territory.

If we look at the official statistics, the proportion of circumcised newborn boys is 14.1% (in 2013). For comparison, in democratic states, this figure is much higher - 79%.

Where did fashion trend come from?

The medical name for the ancient religious rite of circumcision is circumcisio. Today there is a fashion for circumcision in Russia and some other countries.

Often, mothers make the decision to carry out such an operation on their little son, because this is a "trend". At the same time, the future man is deprived of the right to independent choice. Hobby for circumcision put serious surgery on a par with piercings and tattoos.

Often, adult men turn to clinics, believing that after circumcision they will be capable of prolonged sexual intercourse. Sexologists are sounding the alarm, because the problem of premature ejaculation will not disappear after the operation.

The desire to cut off the foreskin is heated by the doctors themselves.

It’s easier for someone to follow the rules of hygiene every day, and someone will solve the problem by a radical method.

Is it necessary to circumcise a man? This is a personal matter for everyone, if we are not talking about religious dogma. It is worth weighing all the factors and considering that you can’t sew the cut off.

In different countries

In which countries do circumcisions? Circumcision is carried out in nationalities that pay great attention to their faith. Consider which nationalities are circumcised.

Armenians. As a rule, they undergo the rite of baptism, so they see no reason in performing circumcision.

Tajiks to this day they honor the traditions of their people and circumcise. Both in past and present times, circumcision among Tajiks is an indicator that a boy can be included in the circle of adult family members. In addition, circumcision is also carried out for religious reasons, it means that the time has come to introduce the child to religion. Moreover, an uncircumcised teenager is looked at as a dirty person, since only the removal of extreme skin is evidence of hygiene and accuracy.

Kazakhs This procedure is called the Sundet and is performed at an odd age: 3, 5, and 7 years. Before the ceremony, the child is dressed in the best and newest clothes, mounted on a horse, to the croup of which various dishes and goodies are hung, and sent to visit all relatives. During the test, relatives wish the child all the best, and as proof of this, bright ribbons are tied to the horse’s tail and mane.

After the boy returns home, he is put to bed, and the mullah conducts the rite of the sundeath of that one.

In Azerbaijan the rite of circumcision is celebrated for three days. It is made at preschool age, and it is a symbol that the child has become a true Muslim. After carrying out the removal of the foreskin, the baby, for all three days, is in bed, and relatives and friends fill him with fruits, sweets and gifts.

Do Tatars circumcise? For modern Tatars, circumcision is optional. The fact is that most of the inhabitants of Tatarstan are atheists, Orthodox or preach Tengrianism, and therefore do not accept circumcision of the male foreskin. If the Tatar professes Islam, he can, if he so wishes, go through the rite of circumcision.

Residents of African cities almost everyone does circumcision. According to statistics, out of 100 men, 70 pass it. It symbolizes the transformation of a boy into a man and shows that he is entering adulthood. The disadvantage of circumcision in African countries is the complete absence of certain hygiene measures, which leads to infection and death of people.

In Russia. Basically, this procedure is carried out for medical reasons, in cases where there is a threat to human life. In addition, a certain category of men makes it purely for aesthetic reasons, in order to make the appearance of their penis more neat. Nevertheless, one cannot say that circumcision is not done at all in Russia, since it is a multinational country and there are Muslims among its inhabitants.

Circumcision in the modern world is carried out for various reasons. Some men do it in order to observe religious canons, others - as prescribed by a doctor, and others - based on their personal convictions.

Judaism Circumcision

According to Jewish tradition, circumcision (Heb. ברית מילה, Brit mila) - a symbol of the covenant (contract) between God and the people of Israel.

Hygiene considerations often advanced by Philo of Alexandria are often cited as justification for circumcision. But this is hardly the reason. More logical is the explanation given by p. Shimon Ben-Elazar in the Talmudic Shabbat. He says: "The commandment for which the Jews made a sacrifice was preserved forever.". And as an example, he cites the commandment "Brit Mila."

The Prophet Ezekiel (Yehezkel) said: “Live in your blood!” (Ezek. 16: 6). Since the tyranny of the Phoenician queen Isaveli, Jews have repeatedly opposed government decrees prohibiting the fulfillment of this commandment.

The first persecution of Jews due to circumcision arose in the II century BC. e. In order to Hellenize the Jewish people, Antiochus IV Epiphanes forbade circumcision, and those who performed this operation on their children were punished by death. The reason for this was given by the Hellenistic Jews. Imitating the Greeks in public games, Jewish youths, contrary to traditional modesty, spoke naked on the lists and, in order to avoid ridicule, artificially tried to mask the traces of a religious operation, undergoing for this a very painful counter-operation known as “epispasmus” (dr .-Greek. ἐπισπασμός - tightened). To prevent this unpleasantness, Hellenistic Jews did not circumcise their children, which prompted Antiochus to completely ban this operation.

Under certain circumstances, sometimes pious Jews in the diaspora also resorted to counter-operations. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Vespasian established that the former file in two drams, which the Jews contributed to the Jerusalem Temple, now entered the treasury of the temple of Jupiter of Capitol in Rome. Jews perceived this tax as blasphemy and in every possible way concealed their Judaism in order to avoid paying it. Roman fiscals, according to Suetonius, undressed the people suspected of Judaism on the street and collected a tax. For this reason, many decided on an epispasm.

After the defeat of the Bar Kochba rebellion during the persecution of the emperor Hadrian against the Jews (in 117 AD), circumcision was prohibited under pain of death.

From the works of Strabo, Tacitus, Juvenal, Horace and others, it is clear that in the ancient world circumcision was considered a barbaric act and many with contempt and ridicule spoke of circumcision and ridiculed circumcised men as being lascivious and depraved. However, in spite of everything, this rite gradually began to penetrate into all layers of Roman society, not excluding the imperial houses.

During the Spanish Inquisition, monasteries were discovered in which monks descended from marranes circumcised their brethren.

The persecution of Jews during the Nazi regime once again made the issue of restoring the foreskin urgent. Its absence became life-threatening, regardless of whether circumcision was performed for religious reasons or in connection with phimosis in childhood.

Circumcision ritual

Male Jewish infants are circumcised on the eighth day after birth, but the ceremony can be performed on men of any age. Circumcision is an essential part of the giyur process (transition to Judaism) for men. In ancient times, circumcision was also applied to slaves who were considered members of the community, and to foreigners who wished to take part in the celebration of Passover (Easter).

There are various explanations for why circumcision is performed on the eighth day:

  1. For medical reasons, since by the eighth day the child, as a rule, already manages to get stronger enough for this procedure.
  2. A week is also enough to determine how healthy the newborn is to undergo circumcision without danger to health.
  3. The Talmud explains this by saying that in a week the mother will be able to recover to take a full part in this joyful event.
  4. The Midrash gives another, more sublime explanation. Eight days have been given for the child to live the Sabbath, partake in its holiness and be ready to partake in the holiness of circumcision.

Although it is forbidden to shed blood on Shabbat, circumcision is an exception to this rule. The Torah sets the eighth day and makes no exception to Shabbat. However, if circumcision on the eighth day for some reason was not done, for example, due to the poor health of the baby or the lack of moel, it is no longer performed on Shabbat.

Jewish law prescribes in the event of a newborn’s illness to wait a whole week after the symptoms disappear, so that there is no doubt about his full recovery, and only then cut off.

Circumcision should be done during the day, not at night. The time between sunset and nightfall when stars appear is difficult to attribute strictly to day or night. Therefore, circumcision is done before sunset. Lawmakers recommend circumcision early in the morning, because those who do so show their desire to fulfill the commandment as quickly as possible, without putting it off unnecessarily.

Traditionally, circumcision is performed in the synagogue after morning prayers. In honor of this event, the day is considered a holiday, which is reflected in the liturgy.However, at present, in Israel, the ceremony is performed mostly at home in the presence of ten men (over 13 years old), who represent the community of Israel (minyan).

Although circumcision can be done by any Jew (and in the absence of men also a woman), he is usually assigned a specially trained person, moelwho has medical training, or an ordinary surgeon who circumcises in a hospital in the presence of a rabbi.

In addition to the moel, another person is certainly involved in the Brit Mila. This is a sandak. Sandak holds the child on his lap, holding his legs. The role of sandak is considered very honorable. Sandak began to participate in the rite of Briton Mila, apparently, in the most ancient times. In Midrash there is a mention that King David was often honored with this honor. The word itself "sandak"Originated in the Talmudic period and originates from the Greek"syndicos”, Which initially meant a lawyer, and later - even a plenipotentiary representative. In the Middle Ages, the Germans called the assistant priest at baptism "year-vater" (Godfather). The Jews who lived in Germany and spoke German gradually began to call Jewish sandaks “gefater"Which later turned into"quater". Later, however, the quater was no longer called a sandak, but a new member of the Brit-Mil, a man bringing a baby to the room where the circumcision procedure would take place. The quater takes the child from the hands of the quater, who brings him from the female part of the synagogue, where he was with a happy mother. Usually a couple is assigned as a quater.

In traditional circumcision, only the simplest tools are used. Typically, a moelle operates with a blade sharpened on both sides, because, worrying, he can start cutting on the wrong side. Moel cuts off the foreskin with a sharp razor around the entire circumference, in order to avoid cicatricial narrowing of its opening, tears the inner mucous leaf of the foreskin, sucks it out (earlier by mouth, recently using a special tube) and spits out blood, after which the entire genital area is sprinkled with a thick layer finely frayed powder of rotten wood or the so-called pulver (lycopodia, semen lycopodii).

Upon completion of the circumcision procedure, everyone proclaims “Mazl tov!”, Congratulate happy parents and wish: “As he entered into an alliance, so let him enter the Torah, marriage and good deeds". During the ceremony of introducing the newborn to the forefather Abraham’s union, the boy is given a name. This is usually a traditional Jewish name.

Circumcision in Islam

Circumcision, that is, the removal of the foreskin of the male genital organ, is, according to some Islamic theologians, one of the closest to the obligatory (wajib), in the opinion of others - desirable (mustahab). One way or another, this is part of the sunnah (path) of the prophet Muhammad, as well as all previous prophets up to the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham).

In the Qur'an, circumcision is not mentioned, but there are many hadiths (traditions) about its necessity. It is reported that someone came to the prophet Muhammad and said: "I have accepted Islam." Then the Prophet Muhammad commanded this man: “Throw off the hair of unbelief (that is, shave your head) and circumcise” (collections of hadiths of Ahmad and Abu Dawood). Also, al-Zuhriyi conveyed the words of the Messenger of Allah: "Whoever accepts Islam, let him circumcise, even if he is an adult" (a collection of hadiths of Harb). At the same time, there are opinions of other Islamic theologians, such as Imam Abu Hanif, who consider circumcision to be desirable, but not required.

Another argument in favor of the claim that circumcision is close to binding is the tradition of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), who circumcised at the age of eighty (collections of hadiths of Bukhari and Muslim).

Most theological scholars agree that the child needs to be circumcised before puberty, when he becomes a mucallaf (adult) and is obliged to perform all the duties assigned to him. However, it is advisable to circumcise in childhood as early as possible. In the collections of hadiths it is reported that the prophet Muhammad slaughtered the sheep for Hassan and Husayn (the grandchildren of the prophet) and circumcised them on the seventh day after birth (collection of hadith Baykhaki).

At present, circumcision among peoples traditionally practicing Islam is often represented as a national custom, and the timing of this rite is often different for different nationalities. For example, Turks traditionally circumcise boys aged 8–13 years, Persians 3–4 years old, Muslims in the Malay archipelago 10–13 years old, urban Arabs 5–6 years old, rural Arabs 12–14 years old. According to Islamic scholars, the most preferred age for circumcision is the seventh day after the birth of the child.

Circumcision in Christianity

The first Christian communities, including those in Jerusalem, were converts from the Jews and therefore circumcised, so the expression "circumcised" is used in the New Testament to indicate the origin of these people. However, after some time, the influx of pagans into the Church began. Due to the fact that there was a strong movement of the Judeo-Christians, descendants of the Pharisees, a disagreement arose in the Church over whether the Gentiles should be circumcised: many who came from Judea insisted on the necessary and necessary meaning of circumcision for salvation. In response, the Council of Jerusalem gathered, attended by the Apostles and elders. For a long discussion, after hearing the testimonies given by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas about their mission, the Apostle Peter about the salvation of all, including themselves, by faith by the grace of Jesus Christ, regardless of the rule of law, the approval of these testimonies by the Apostle James, the Council unanimously decided that circumcision should not performed on converts from the Gentiles. Nevertheless, many Christians from the Jews who formed the Jerusalem Church continued their customary rite, extremely reluctantly parting with it, however. However, the Apostle Paul circumcised the semi-Jew Timothy, who was converted from the Jewish faith, solely for the purpose of missionary work among the Jews. Many Jews converted to Christianity mistakenly believed that they should perform ancircumcision (restoration of the foreskin) in order to confirm their rejection of the old faith. From which, however, the apostle Paul warned:

“Is anyone called circumcised? Do not hide; if anyone is called uncircumcised, do not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but everything is in keeping the commandments of God. ”

The apostle Paul uses the concept of circumcision as a symbol of the renewal of man through faith in Jesus Christ, which he calls the circumcision of Christ. The "circumcision of Christ" is "combining the sinful body of the flesh”And is performed, in contrast to the Jewish rite, not with a knife and not by the letter of the Law, but in the heart and in spirit. Paul affirms that involvement in God is based on the inner spiritual renewal of man. Thus, circumcision, in his opinion, loses its meaning and becomes unnecessary and even apostate from the New Testament. Evidence of the authenticity of this inner circumcision is baptism.

In the Donica period, a controversy broke out between the Church Fathers and the Jews, in which the theme of the need for circumcision was repeatedly raised. In response to this, apologists proved its uselessness:

  • The message of the pseudo Barnabas: “And the circumcision that the Jews hoped for was canceled.” Moreover, the author believes that in the Old Testament spiritual understanding was prescribed, and not carnal: “For He commanded circumcision not bodily, but they violated His commandment, because an evil angel deceived them. The prophet said to them: “this is what the Lord your God says” - and here I find a new commandment - do not sow thorns, be circumcised to your Lord ”(Jer. 4: 3, 4). And what does it mean: “cut off the rudeness of your heart, and do not harden yourselves” (Jer. 7:26). And again: “behold the Lord says: all nations are not circumcised and have foreskin, but this nation is not circumcised in the heart” (Jer. 9:26)."(ch. 9).
  • mch. Justin the Philosopher “Conversation with Tryphon the Jew” “You need a second circumcision already, and you think a lot about your circumcision in the flesh."(Ch. 12). Moreover, although in Sec. On 16 and 19, he speaks of the “necessity” of circumcision for the Jews, he does not speak of it as a precept, but refers it to non-Jewish Jews and speaks of it, that it became a sign of their separation from other nations for God's punishment over them alone.
  • hmm Irenaeus of Lyons “Against Heresies”: “In addition, we learn from Scripture itself that God did not give circumcision as a matter of righteousness, but as a sign by which the kind of Abraham would be recognizable ... which were given to them as slaves and as signs, He canceled by the New Testament"(Book 4, ch. 16)
  • Tertullian Against the Jews: “... we see that the original circumcision was supposed to cease, and give way to a new law, different from the law that was given to the fathers of the Jews.” (chap. 3)

This teaching was shared by subsequent Church fathers (for example, St. John Chrysostom “Against the Jews”, word 2), in accordance with Paul’s teaching, proving that circumcision, as evidence of belonging to the people of Israel, is completely unnecessary and even - with the advent of the New The covenant is sinful, and it is completely replaced by baptism, as a testament to membership in the Church (New Israel).

It should be noted that despite the fact that Jesus himself was circumcised (Luke 2:21), this rite is not practiced by modern Christians (with the exception of only some movements), or is practiced, but at the same time it is not done due to religious motives. St. Cyril of Alexandria explains the circumcision of Christ and the uncircumcision of Christians in the words of the Apostle Paul: Christ "Obeyed the law to atone for the bylaws" (Gal. 4: 5)

At the same time, the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox churches preserved some Jewish (early Christian) ceremonies, such as observance of Old Testament laws on eating food, the celebration of the Sabbath (along with Sunday), as well as circumcision (which babies perform just before baptism).

Circumcision in the legislation of tsarist Russia

Jewishness in the newborn boy in Russia was officially ascertained by registering perfect circumcision in a metric book. At the same time, any born Jew was considered a Jew, including a baby who was not circumcised. The status of a Jew was lost only with the official transition to another religion. Section 302 of the Penal Code prohibited the practice of circumcision by anyone other than the rabbi.

Watch the video: Circumcision. National Geographic (February 2020).

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