What’s New

The Case for Welcoming Uncircumcised Jews From Rabbinic Sources

February 20, 2022 — The association of Jews with the practice of circumcision is one that pervades the popular imagination, and it is undeniably well-earned. Circumcision has been an important Jewish practice for the better part of two millennia, and over its long history, it has accrued many varied meanings and valences. The dominant narrative…

Save the Date: Recognizing Mark Reiss, M.D.

April 7 @ 5:15 p.m. Pacific Time RSVP to info@bruchim.online Please join Bruchim as we honor our friend and colleague Mark D. Reiss, M.D. for his many years of advocating for Jewish families who wish to have brit shalom ceremonies. Bruchim will present Mark with a Life Award. We’ll also launch & dedicate Bruchim’s comprehensive directory of…

Be Honest About the Bris: A Jewish Call for Greater Integrity

February 1, 2022, BY Max Buckler — As a founding member of Bruchim, the new Jewish nonprofit advocating for Jews who hold critical views of brit milah, I seek to build bridges between those who continue to practice the traditional ritual and the growing number of Jews who have come to believe, as I do,…

Asking Questions About Circumcision: Is that Allowed?

January 30, 2022, BY Rabbi Barbara Thiede — No, circumcision does not make a Jew. No, what ancient peoples called circumcision wouldn’t count as one for us. And, no, we do not have proof that circumcision was unquestioned or even highly valued by our ancestors. History and mythology have a complicated relationship. The latter is not…

Upcoming Book Talk: Why Abraham Murdered Isaac: The First Stories of the Bible Revealed

Please join Bruchim for a special live event — open to all — with Bruchim’s own Biblical Scholar In Residence, Rabbi Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. Your RSVP to info@bruchim.online is appreciated but not necessary. Follow this link on Thursday February 3rd at 8:15 p.m. EST to join the program, which will take place on Zoom and…

Talking Through Taboos: A Gemara (Commentary) on Judaism Unbound Episode 303 – “Bris” means “Covenant,” not “Circumcision”

January 31, 2022 — This piece is the FIRST EVER Judaism Unbound “Gemara” (commentary). It is a reflection, written by Eli Hurwitz, on a Judaism Unbound podcast episode (Episode 303: “Bris” Means “Covenant,” Not Circumcision). It explores the idea of kavanah (spiritual intent), as applied to difficult Jewish conversations. By Eli Hurwitz, New Voices/Judaism Unbound…

Dan and Lex: Judaism Unbound Podcast Episode 306 – Circumcision — Ignorance and Bris

December 24, 2021 — Dan and Lex close out Judaism Unbound’s 4-episode mini-series on Jewish circumcision. They explore, in particular, the treatment by Jewish institutions of families who have opted not to circumcise their children, and of those children themselves. The need for Bruchim’s advocacy on behalf of non-circumcising Jewish families is highlighted, along with…

Divrei Torah with Bruchim: Norms & Violence Exodus 4

December 22, 2021 — Bruchim’s Max DuBoff shares a d’var Torah for this week’s parasha, Sh’mot. The passage discussed contains the following enigmatic and confusing episode: And it came to pass by the way in the inn that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. Then Zippora took a sharp stone and cut…

With Their Hearts: A Text Study Exploring Early Circumcision Objectors

December 10, 2021 — In this text study, Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon walks us through three texts from the heart of the Rabbinic legal tradition that all deal with the matter of intact (uncircumcised) Jewish boys and men. He demonstrates that contrary to common belief, there is plenty of room within the Jewish legal tradition to argue…