Orthodox Jewish Website Condemns Judge’s Forcing Circumcision on Gentile

By: Yori Yanover on May 19, 2014. · 8 Comments · Share this Post

Filed under Headline, News Briefs, Politics, Religion, The Courts, US

Heather Hironimus is on GoFundMe, where she's already picked up just under the 10 grand she needed for her legal fees.

Heather Hironimus is on GoFundMe, where she’s already picked up just under the 10 grand she needed for her legal fees.

Last week, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen issued a final order, allowing Dennis Nebus, of Boca Raton, to circumcise his son, 3-year-old Chase. The boy’s mother, Heather Hironimus, is appealing.

I think it’s clear from the names of the main characters in this story (other than the judge) that these are not Jews arguing over the Biblical commandment of circumcision. In fact, according to the Orlando Sentinel, which reported this story, Chase’s father and mother were never married.

In other words, Nebus is what’s known in some parts as the baby daddy. Why should he have the power to dictate the medical future of a child that isn’t officially under his care?

In his order, Judge Gillen notes that the mother, Ms. Hironimus, signed a parenting plan of circumcision in December 2011, as did Mr. Nebus. The plan was that Nebus arrange the circumcision. It’s part of the court records.

And that’s the basis for the Judge’s decision, forcing a woman to submit her son to a brutal violation of his person, against her best judgement: you signed the contract, you can’t change your mind about it.

Can you imagine someone contracting to donate, say, a kidney, then changing their mind only to be forced by a judge like this one to lie down and give up the body part?

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine a more invasive intrusion on the part of a court in people’s privacy.

After signing the agreement, back in 2011, Heather Hironimus changed her mind about the circumcision. She told her baby daddy that it was not medically necessary and that it could be a risky operation for the infant, because of the general anesthesia.

And she was right.

Don’t get me wrong, as a Jewish person, I support with every fiber in my body the requirement, even the need for Jewish parents to circumcise their sons. But over the years, I’ve read tons of evidence proving both sides of the circumcision debate, and I have had no use for them. The only valid reason I see for the brutal attack with a sharp knife on a defenseless infant is if God said so.

Otherwise, I completely agree with the voices out there suggesting circumcision is an aggressive violation of an infant’s civil liberties.

During the hearing, according to the Sentinel, a pediatric urologist named Dr. Charles Flack told the judge that circumcision is not medically necessary. But then he added that “penile cancer only occurs in uncircumcised males,” and that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection.

Those reasons sound very convincing, but then you have to ask yourself: aren’t there other ways to avoid the HIV virus? I’m told using a condom during sex goes a long way in that direction. And yet, can you imagine a judge out there forcing people to wear condoms against their will?

As to penile cancer – I checked it out on the Internet (where I do most of my thinking), and guess what: besides not being circumcised, the risk factors for developing penis cancer include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, phimosis (a condition where the foreskin cannot be fully retracted), poor hygiene, multiple sexual partners, tobacco use and – wait for it – being age 60 or older.

I could see the judge ordering folks to avoid becoming 60 on the grounds that it could make their penis sick, but it would probably be overturned.

What this judge did was side with the man whose involvement in the caring for the child has been, for all we know, spending that blissful night with his mom, almost four years ago, and now making him get the cut.

The court order also forbids the mother to tell her son that she is against the procedure: “Mother shall not in any way lead (her son) to believe that she is or was opposed to his being circumcised, whether or not she accompanies (her son) to the procedure.”

Heather Hironimus is on GoFundMe, where she’s already picked up just under the 10 grand she needed for her legal fees. Go help, if you’re into it. And ask yourself if we, as Jews, shouldn’t be committed to supporting people who were not told by God to circumcise their sons, just by this judge in Palm Beach, Florida.

What do you think? (Select your preferred commenting platform):

8 Responses to Orthodox Jewish Website Condemns Judge’s Forcing Circumcision on Gentile

  1. Doug Sterling May 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    In my opinion the author of the article, Yuri Yanover, is ruining his own public reputation with nonsense like this article. It will be difficult in the future for me to take anything he writes seriously, or even take any time to read it.

    • Yori Yanover May 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      First, for the record, it’s yOri with an O.

      Second — such harsh rebuke is typically accompanied by an argument, otherwise the person you address remains baffled, to say the least.

  2. Drago Barbulov May 20, 2014 at 1:06 am

    it isn’t circumcision. that happens on the 8th day of life. it’s too late for that. ergo the terms of the contract cannot be fulfilled. if the judge had any erudition whatsoever he would know that this constitutes a “frustrated contract”. A “ritual circumcision” happens on the 8th day, or it isn’t a circumcision. it’s just someone clipping someone’s pecker.

  3. Davina Flynn May 22, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Are you familiar with the Brit Shalom that many Jewish people are using instead of a Bris? No cutting, just a celebration to welcome the child into the world, naming him and welcoming him to the Jewish community without pain.

    • Yori Yanover May 22, 2014 at 5:43 am

      It’s the essence of the Christian approach to the Torah law. The early Church referred to the Jews as “Carnal Israel,” while they were, in their eyes, the spiritual Israel.

      There’s the law, and Jews who are inside the rabbinic tent perform the law in its prescribed manner. The rest are outside the tent.

      Bring an umbrella.

  4. concerned cynic May 22, 2014 at 2:07 am

    CIrcumcision is not mentioned in the Noahide Commandments that bind the gentiles as well as the Jews. The circumcised penis is the Mark of the Covenant. The Mark loses value, to the extent that gentiles circumcise as well. In my experience, orthodox Jews have been more honest in admitting that circumcision enhances neither sex nor health, and thus has an exclusively religious function.
    Because Chase’s parents cannot agree, the decision should be “do nothing” and let Chase decide the Fate of his Foreskin when he turns 18 and attains his majority.

    The judge wrote: “Mother shall not in any way lead (her son) to believe that she is or was opposed to his being circumcised, whether or not she accompanies (her son) to the procedure.” I am curious as to just how the good judge proposes to enforce that stipulation. Unless, that is, Chase writes a letter to the judge 15 years from now saying something like “Dear Your Honour: Thank you for ordering my Mom to let me be circumcised. Thanks to you, I was not laughed in school for having a Weird Dick. I want you to know that my mother has told me that my circumcision was wrong. I want you to punish my mother for violating the gag order you placed on her. Yours truly, Chase Hieronimus.”

  5. Jerrold Greenberg May 22, 2014 at 2:21 am

    The writer of the article completely right about what he is saying about this case. But, I must disagree about God having commanded us Jews to do it. Just because some men, many centuries ago, wrote that down does not mean that it’s true. In our own time, people who think that God talks to them are considered insane. Either they are hearing hallucinations or they have delusional memories. I am NOT saying that there is no God. I am saying that He does not literally speak to us. If He had been speaking to us then, He would be speaking to us now.

    • Yori Yanover May 22, 2014 at 5:45 am

      He is speaking to us now. We need to shut up long enough to pay attention.

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