In some families the subject of circumcision provokes intense discussion, as you can see in the films that are part of our special exhibition “Snip it! Stances on Ritual Circumcision”. Oliwia is familiar with this difficult situation: on the one hand her Muslim husband considers it a natural part of the tradition, and on the other, particularly her Catholic father argues vehemently against it. Should she have her four-year-old son circumcised? What does she think of the practice herself? We spoke about these questions with Oliwia, as well as about her final decision.
Oliwia*, what different factors affected your family’s conflict over whether to circumcise your son?
“Boys before their Circumcision”, photo from the series “Turkish in the Ruhr district”, Cologne, 1983 © Henning Christoph / Soul of Africa Museum
My husband is Moroccan and Muslim. My background is Roman Catholic, although I converted to Islam in 2006. We had a son four years ago and from the beginning it was clear for my husband that Jamal would be circumcised. It’s a part of the tradition for him and it symbolizes a man’s identification with Islam.
It wasn’t so clear for you?
No. Actually, I’m → continue reading
Staff of the Vielfalt in Schulen (Diversity in Schools) program: Roman Labunski, Rosa Fava and Meral El, photo: Violetta Gershman-Labunski
Clearing up is no joke. We, the Vielfalt in Schulen or, in brief, ViS project team, are currently faced with photographs, magazines, books, and documents without end, as well as all the rest of the stuff that has piled up in our offices over the last three years. What shall we do with it all? Which things are of interest and viable in the museological sense? → continue reading
“A ceremony with friends and family”: The bris of Jaal, photo: William Noah Glucroft
In the last few weeks at “Blogerim” we have reported on the discussions that the subject of circumcision can prompt. We shouldn’t lose sight, though, of the fact that the ritual is a matter of course for most Jewish and Muslim families – as, for example, for Amitay and Meital from Israel. I asked the couple what their son Yaal’s bris was like for them.
In mid-December you had Yaal circumcised by a mohel at the Fraenkelufer Synagogue. Did you have to think about it for a long time?
Meital: For me, there was no question.
Amitay: Same here. But when the time approached, I did have some questions.
→ continue reading