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In her new book, “The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning,” the celebrity explains her personal decision not to circumcise her son, Bear, according to the website Beyond the Bris: News and Views on Jewish Circumcision.
“I was raised Jewish, so the second my parents found out that they had a male grandchild, they wanted to know when we’d be having a bris (the Jewish circumcision ceremony traditionally performed 8 days after a baby is born),” Silverstone writes. “When I said we weren’t having one, my dad got a bit worked up. But my thinking was: If little boys were supposed to have their penises ‘fixed,’ did that mean we were saying that God made the body imperfect?”
The 37-year-old actress, best known for roles including the 1990s classic “Clueless,” offers a number of other explanations in her book in favor of preserving the male foreskin, including rejecting as outdated the notion that circumcision is a health precaution, and arguing that sexual pleasure is increased when the foreskin remains intact.
Silverstone grew up in a traditional Jewish household, the website explains. Candles were lit on Friday nights, she attended Hebrew school and has fond memories of her bat mitzvah. As an adult, her ties to Judaism remain strong.
“Judaism turned me into who I am today, and I definitely feel I live a very spiritual life. I got that from my parents,” she has said.
Regarding Silverstone’s “G-d made the body imperfect?” argument, here’s a tip: Jews believe G‑d created the world imperfect, with our mission being to perfect it.
G‑d created wheat; humans make bread. G‑d created a jungle; humans create civilization. The raw materials are given to us, and we are to use our ingenuity to improve on the world that we were born into. This is symbolized by the bris—we are born uncircumcised, and it is up to us to “finish the job.” This is also true metaphorically. We each have instincts and natural tendencies that are inborn, but need to be refined. “I was born that way” does not excuse immoral behavior: we are to cut away any negative traits, no matter how innate they may seem.
G-d did not give us the commandment of circumcision as a health precaution. It is what we call a chok, a commandment that does not appear to have a rational reason.
Meanwhile, Silverstone may consider circumcision to be cruel, but she called her son “Bear.”