5

Circumcision is an integral part of Judaism. That being said, there really isn't an "inspection" to verify someone is circumcised. Unless the individual is a convert, there isn't a circumstance I'm aware of where the Rabbis "verify" someone has been circumcised. We take everyone's word for it.

That brings me to my hypothetical question.

A husband and wife are married and they engage in relations once the ceremony and events have been finished.

In this moment, the wife comes to the realization that her husband has never been circumcised. While he is Jewish and comes from a Jewish mother, the family never had him circumcised (this is a hypothetical so we can just say it was because they disagreed with circumcision like many secular folks do)

What is a wife supposed to do in such a situation?

  • Is the wedding considered valid?
  • Is she supposed to tell the Rabbi?
  • Is she forbidden from having relations with him?

What exactly is the wife suppose to do in such a situation?

2
  • 3
    Abraham wasnt circumsized till he was nearly 100 and he still lives all that time with his wife Sarah. – interested Feb 28 at 8:55
  • It is interesting that someone who for health reasons cant be circumsized, then he also cannot become a Jew. The reason seems to be, that to become a Jew one has to be circumsized and if he cant then he cant become a Jew. – interested Feb 28 at 12:02
12

Being circumcised does not affect one's status as a Jew. His wedding is valid, and he can continue living with his wife.

There are certain males who are not allowed to be circumcised, including those whom it may be hazardous to their health, and those who are born circumcised.

Thus, if a wife (or anybody else) discovers a male is uncircumcised, they should talk to him about it, and - in consultation with a Rabbi - if it's because of health issues, nothing need be done.

If the person is uncircumcised because of ideological reasons (of him or his parents), or ignorance then the person should be persuaded to undergo a professional Jewish circumcision by a professional Jewish Mohel.

A Jewish male who should be circumcised and isn't, is liable to be punished by the heavenly punishment called Kareth.

-1

She should ask him about it (yes, in bed on the wedding night). This could potentially be an embarrassing but otherwise inconsequential point, or possibly a show stopper.

That is, if the reason for his not being circumcised is because of a health issue, while it is funny that he never mentioned this until now, there is no fundamental problem. A rabbi must be consulted to see if the medical objection is in line with halacha, but that can wait.

If, however, there is an ideological objection, then things get tricky. "Disagreeing" with circumcision is apikorsis, denying the validity of the commandments. If the wife thought that she was marrying a more or less religious man, that could be reason the invalidate the marriage, and if so make relations forbidden as pre-marital (out of wedlock) relations. The marriage would be in doubt, because the man might have intended to be religious at the time of the formalizations of the marriage, and now he is returning to his problematic position. (Source.)

One way out would be if she knew that he was not religious, in which case this wouldn't effect the validity of the marriage. He has a personal issue, and a very serious one that goes to the core of his religious identity, but his status as a born Jew is not hurt by his misdeeds or heresy. He should be persuaded to accept circumcision, but that again doesn't have to happen already on the wedding night.

Another way out would be if the man never though about it. His parents rejected circumcision, but he didn't know that one who was not circumcised at eight days is required to do so himself. In this case also they can wait till the morning to get in touch with a mohel to do the circumcision.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .