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The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite (HBI Series on Jewish Women) [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.48" Width: 6" Height: 1.03"
Weight:   1.21 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2003
Publisher   Brandeis
ISBN  158465306X  
EAN  9781584653066  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Scholars and rabbis examine the complicated history and contemporary challenges of the Jewish rite of circumcision.

Buy The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite (HBI Series on Jewish Women) by Elizabeth Wyner Mark from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781584653066 & 158465306X

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More About Elizabeth Wyner Mark

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ELIZABETH WYNER MARK (d. 2006) was a Resident Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. A clinical psychologist, she was formerly a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School and a Clinical Supervisor at McLean Hospital. In recent years she had been exploring the application of psychotherapeutic modes of understanding to the study of biblical texts.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Opens up a resistant subject  Jul 13, 2003
A "must read" for rabbis and for thinking Jews contemplating parenthood. This is two books in one-a history/anthropology of circumcision in the Jewish tradition, from Bible to the present day, and an opening up of discussion about this physical cut as necessary "sign" of the Jewish covenant. Mark's expressed hope is not to provoke either a Yes or a No to the question of circumcising but to bring the question out into the open and provide the means to create an informed discussion of an issue that has resisted exposure. As the pioneer attempt to do so, the book is invaluable, even though the materials Mark has assembled tell less than a full story. Prospective readers should be aware that, as an edited collection of historical material, the book necessarily gives a spotty rather than complete overview. In addition, the concluding, contemporary voices section of the book is necessarily somewhat scant since, as one rabbi reports, circumcision is the one Jewish topic that was labeled "not open to discussion" by her faculty advisor in her "liberal" rabbinical school. That brush-off to the young rabbi's question represents the core motivation for this book.

It's noteworthy that this book on circumcision is the product of a woman's labors. Both males and females are served by the inclusion of women's voices discussing their experiences with circumcision as mothers of boys. And it is instructive to listen as women question a covenant rite that does not include them as Jews. The women whose voices are heard range from an Orthodox medical doctor to a secular Jew. A number of the women are rabbis.

Editor Mark is a superbly clear thinker and writer in her Introduction and in her essay on circumcision in Genesis. Her editing has produced a collection that is readable, even where the writers get quite theoretical. Readers who choose this book for its historical information will find fascinating pages that open out from circumcision to broader views of Jewish life in a number of periods and settings.

Though circumcision under the Roman Empire was fraught with controversy (the Abusch essay), for those pondering their own feelings and decisions about circumcising Jewish children today the story really begins with Robin Judd's, "A German Case Study, 1843-1914." In this time and place there are voices arguing that a male may be regarded as a Jew by the community even if he has not been circumcised. Subsequent pieces present circumcision-resisting parents in Israel; the difficulties of deciding to circumcise in Hungary under the shadows of the Shoah, Communism, and continuing anti-Semitism; and a range of views among non-Orthodox rabbis and lay Jews in the U.S. today.

[this is from the cover of the book]  May 1, 2003
"Mark's excellent introduction is followed by a superb collection of essays by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Jewish studies. There is no volume that covers the topic of circumcision so thoroughly, and it will serve an academic audience thirsty for substantial and provocative interpretations of this hotly contested Jewish ritual." Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College

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