Bris Guilt: Claiming the Mother's Role
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|Fri, 12-16-2011 - 1:51pm|
I thought this was a very interesting article from the perspective of the mother at her son's bris ceremony: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/bris-guilt-claiming-the-mothers-role-in-a-ritual-circumcision/248680/1/
The bris serves as a shrill reminder that the mother's control over her son's well being is incomplete. This ritual acts as the first separation following the birth. It represents the harsh, but true, reality that the baby is now subject to external, unpredictable, and varied forces. "Quite convincingly, circumcision gives the lie to the womb-dream of life.... The heavy hand of human values falls upon you right at the start, marking your genitals as its own," Philip Roth writes in his novel, The Counterlife. Or as Rabbi Elyse Goldstein reflects: "Tender male children are taken from the safety of their mothers, the female world they have known for eight days, and given into the hands of men, who then cut them."