Abraham’s Covenant, Circumcision, and Non-Jews.


    So the question remains: Can Gentile disciples of Yeshua voluntarily take on circumcision if they desire?

    Preparing for Kiddush which is one of the customs accompanying the circumcision ceremony. (Image: © Bigstock).

     Lech Lecha is one of my favorite Torah portions. We are introduced to Abraham and immediately embark on a journey with him to the land of Canaan.

     In Abraham, HaShem finds a righteous individual through whose offspring he will bring the revelation of the kingdom to the whole world. At the end of the portion we learn that the specific sign that God chose for his covenant with Abraham and his descendants was that of circumcision (brit milah, ברית מילה):

     This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. (Genesis 17:10-13)

     All Abraham’s descendants are to be circumcised on the eighth day. This mitzvah is so important that circumcision is permitted even on Shabbat. In Judaism a special ceremony is held on the eighth day wherein the boy’s family and friends gather as the procedure is performed and special blessings are recited:

     Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning circumcision.

     Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to enter him into the Covenant of Abraham our father.

     Just as he has entered into the Covenant, so may he enter into Torah, into marriage, and into good deeds. [1]

     The blessings make a profound statement about the child entering into the special covenant that God made with the Jewish people. After the ceremony a festive meal takes place.

     Obviously, this mitzvah is still in place for Jewish males today. Yeshua was circumcised on the eighth day and we even see the Apostle Paul circumcising the Jewish disciple Timothy before having him accompany him on his mission to spread the gospel. In turn, circumcision, along with the rest of the Torah, was not canceled by Messiah and all Jewish followers of Yeshua are obligated to this mitzvah. But what about Gentile believers? Do they have to be circumcised?

     In Acts 15, the apostles specifically rule against Gentile believers being required to be circumcised. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul states:

     Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. (1 Corinthians 7:18)

     To be clear, however, neither Paul nor the apostles are talking specifically about the surgical procedure of circumcision but rather conversion to become legally Jewish, which included the act of circumcision along with the traditional covenantal blessings quoted above. On the other hand, Gentiles believers were not required to either convert or be circumcised to enter into discipleship to Yeshua.

     So the question remains: Can Gentile disciples of Yeshua voluntarily take on circumcision if they desire? We are not talking about ritual conversion but rather simply the procedure of circumcision performed on the eighth day after the child’s birth. A Gentile believer might desire to observe this commandment as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people and as a further act of non-compulsory submission to HaShem’s Torah. It is interesting that in rabbinic tradition it is believed that several non-Jewish men were born circumcised including Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem, Job, and Balaam. [2] We even have evidence that some of the Gentile God-fearers in the synagogues of the Second Temple Period and beyond would undergo circumcision particularly in the second generation. [3]

     Looking again at our Torah portion we see that all Abraham’s descendants are to be circumcised. The sages debate as to who this includes. The Rambam summarizes:

     The descendants of Ishmael are excluded as implied by Genesis 21:12: “It is through Isaac, that your offspring will be called.” Esau's descendants are also excluded, for Isaac told Jacob in Genesis 28:4: “May God grant Abraham’s blessing to you and your descendants,” implying that only he is the true offspring of Abraham who maintains his faith and his upright behavior. Thus, they alone are obligated in circumcision.

     Our Sages related that the descendants of Keturah who are the offspring of Abraham that came after Isaac and Ishmael are also obligated in circumcision. Since, at present, the descendants of Ishmael have become intermingled with the descendants of Keturah, they are all obligated to be circumcised on the eighth day. However, they are not executed for failure to perform this mitzvah. (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Melachim 10:7-8) [4]

     So while the descendants of Ishmael and Esau are excluded, Abraham’s children from Keturah (benei Keturah, קטורה בני) are not. Today it is complicated to work this out practically, but at least one Haredi Rabbi in Israel uses this situation as justification for teaching non-Jews the procedure of brit milah:

     His workshops are based on Jewish halacha, he says, and because halacha permits circumcision for “bnei Keturah,” he is allowed to teach non-Jews and perform circumcisions on their children. [5]

     I even have Gentile friends who have had their children circumcised in the traditional manner by a mohel (traditional circumciser). This was with full disclosure that they were Gentile believers in Messiah Yeshua. The mohel was happy to perform this procedure for their child on the eighth day albeit without the traditional Jewish blessings.

     In summary, it is perfectly permissible for Gentile followers of Yeshua to practice circumcision and to circumcise their boys on the eighth day if they so desire. [6] It should be performed with the understanding that this does not make the boy Jewish and without the traditional covenantal blessings and ceremony. While it is certainly not obligatory, the outward symbolism of a fully submitted life unto HaShem and (according to some) health benefits remain. I had both of my boys circumcised on the eighth day.

     At the same time every physical and spiritual descendant of Abraham is required to have a circumcised heart. Paul describes the process of Gentiles coming to Messiah in terms of a spiritual conversion:

     In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of [Messiah], having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12).

     Whatever Gentiles choose regarding circumcision is up to them, but may we all allow the Spirit of God to circumcise our hearts daily in our service to King Messiah… (By Toby Janicki).



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    Biggest Dating Profile Deal-Breakers According To Women.


    Dating Profile Deal-Breakers.


      1. Complaining or saying negative things about your ex. Everyone understands that ending relationships can be difficult, but this is a place to get a fresh start! Mentioning problems with your ex right on your dating profile tells women that you might still have feelings for her, or that you’re already bringing a lot of baggage to the table. You may feel heartbroken that your ex cheated, but the message you’re sending is “I’m insecure.”


      1. Saying negative things about women in general. Writing something like “all women are crazy, and I’m looking for one who isn’t” sends the wrong message. Women tend to read this as anything from “he makes poor decisions in relationships” to “his behavior drove his exes to be crazy.” While that might not be true, it may be what they’re reading.


      1. Don’t tell women what to do. This is a list of deal-breakers, and obviously everyone has different expectations for the person they’re in a relationship with. But your dating profile is not the place to announce them. It’s instantly off-putting, so if there’s something you absolutely can’t handle, don’t match with them (or, if you already have, just let them down gently). Your profile should be about you, not about the soulmate you’ve dreamed of.


      1. Writing something disparaging about online dating. Writing “I don’t know why I’m even on here” or “my friends put me up to this” sends the message that you aren’t really looking to date, or that you’re not going to take online dating seriously. While it’s fine to feel that way (even in the face of all of the success stories), it doesn’t make women very inclined to reach out. If you really need to express this, wait until the first date to say something like, “wow, you know I didn’t really know what would come of this, but I’m really glad I met you.”


      1. On that note, don’t say you’re willing to lie about how you met. First of all, online dating is the norm these days, and nobody would bat an eye at learning you fell in love through an app. Second, it makes it seem like you’re too concerned with what other people think. Third, who wants to date a man who’s telling you he’s eager to lie? Talk about a red flag!


      1. Using your About Me section to express your struggles with describing yourself. “How do you sum up your entire personality in one little box?” Well, everyone else has at least tried. Don’t waste valuable space with this, just dive right into the things that make you who you are!


      1. “If I read your profile and like what I see, I may reply to your message.” While having confidence is definitely great, there’s a line between confidence and cockiness. Playing hard to get can sometimes work, but maybe wait until she’s actually tried to get you first — otherwise she might not even try.


      1. Having a profile picture where the camera is angled up at your face. Nobody looks good from that angle. According to women on dating sites, it gives the impression that you’re afraid to be seen taking a photo of yourself, so you did it while pretending to text. Don’t send a message of timidity before they’ve even spoken to you — put your best face forward.


      1. Leaving your profile blank. The only thing worse than saying something offensive is saying nothing at all! Remember to be yourself, even if that means you might be turning off a few potential matches. It’s worth it in the end to not be afraid to be yourself — you’ll have a better chance of finding someone who likes the real you.





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    Teen Vogue pushing Anal Sex to young girls.


    While many parents think of Teen Vogue as just a fashion magazine, we have a big warning for you. Teen Vogue is giving your kids sex advice. In their latest article, “Anal Sex: What You Need to Know,” featured on the front page of their website for days and printed in their June 2017 edition, the fashion magazine is giving step-by-step instructions on how to engage in anal sex. Note that their target audience is teenagers aged 11-17.

     There are a number of concerns we should have about this article:


    Teen Vogue is Now a Sex-Advice Magazine.

     This magazine is marketed as a TEEN FASHION magazine that parents trust as being just that.

     Even Common Sense Media, who millions of parents rely on for advice about media their kids are consuming, has been tricked. Their advice: “Parents need to know that the online home of Teen Vogue magazine is an appealing — and safe — destination for teens with an interest in fashion and style.” Common Sense Media even noted that it’s not even applicable to be worried about Teen Vogue discussing sex. They clearly don’t realize that Teen Vogue has changed its tactics and has moved into the world of magazine sex tips, joining the ranks of Cosmopolitan Magazine. This is not the only article discussing sexual themes – they have started to share many sex tips, discuss masturbation, and more.


    This Teen Vogue Article is Anti-Woman.

     This article labels women as “non-prostate owners” which literally defines women in light of male sexuality. This is the same thing the pornography industry does every day. Female sexuality should not be defined and perceived as a mere conduit of male sexual use, without regard for the potential risks or pain associated.


    This Teen Vogue Article Normalizes Porn Culture.

     A major concern the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has with this article is that it is another major step towards the mainstreaming of porn culture and adds to the already mounting pressure on young women to give into that message.

     Thanks in large part to the pornography industry, many women experience undue pressure from boyfriends or husbands to engage in anal sex despite their discomfort or concerns about health risks. Mainstream pornography today commonly depicts extreme anal sex practices. It is no longer a fetish or fringe genre but rather depicted in a lot of mainstream pornography. These porn scenes often sexualize and glamorize common health risks like anal prolapse – a medical condition in which the inner walls of your rectum collapse and slip out of the anus.

     Many pornography users are experiencing a shift in their sexual template as they become sensitized towards seeing and being turned on by these extreme practices. This porn-informed version of sex then seeps into their perception of healthy sex and often into their real-life relationships.

     It’s a shame that Teen Vogue is legitimizing the pressure many teenage girls experience to engage in anal sex.




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