On his eighth day of life, a newborn Jewish boy is taken to his family’s synagogue. His mother hands him to the kvatters, who place him in the Chair of Elijah for his bris. So begins the Jewish ritual of circumcision, which tradition says seals Abraham’s covenant with God as described in Genesis 17. A Muslim family teaches their sons that the Prophet Muhammad was born without a foreskin. To emulate the prophet, Muslim boys are circumcised, usually in a hospital, sometime before the age of 12. People of many cultures and religions, including Jews, Muslims, ancient Egyptians and tribal people around the world, have practiced male circumcision for centuries. No one knows for sure exactly when it started, but some historians say it may have begun as a puberty rite among Australian aboriginal tribes in 10,000 BC. Later, tribes in Northern East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula would adopt the practice. Circumcision has fallen in and out of favor throughout history, but the story of its introduction to nonreligious, Western populations is interesting. Outside of Jewish and Muslim communities, it was uncommon to routinely circumcise boys until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when doctors began promoting it as a way to prevent masturbation and some diseases.
Doc: Sometimes you have to get re-vaccinated for Hepatitis B because your immunity wanes over time. It's like the flu shot. You have to get that every year. Me: But that's because the flu virus changes every year. Doc: OMG how did you know that? Are you a nurse? Me: No, I'm just a smart person.
Readers, I have bad news. There has been a terrible tragedy. You see, a few days ago, in an attempt to afford my children time to play in the fresh air and sunshine, I took them to the park. It started off well enough. We arrived to the playground with minimal whining and only one threat of disownment. Not exactly Nobel-worthy, but pretty good for us. So the kids ran and played and skinned their knees. Raymond praised himself for his cartwheeling prowess. Sophia read her book under a tree while deftly avoiding the social death that would certainly come from accepting Emma's invitation to play colonial times. And Gianni chatted up a little girl about his potty training regimen. (He gets 1 M&M for pee, 3 for poop, FYI.)
I hope all of you are snuggled up with someone you love!
Stellar Content vs. Great Marketing: Which is more important? Have you ever read a popular novel by a well-known author that had sold hundreds of thousands of copies, only to discover that it was complete crap? I have. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes to mind. (You can hate me if you want. There’s only so much I can take of a guy having coffee before I need an actual plot.)
They want to know if they look dead or not. Yes, this is my life.