Published January-08-10
Ask Rabbi Dan
by Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  Issue: 11.01
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An interesting question was posed to me by a divorced mother of 3 sons.

It seems that her ex-husband, who is not Jewish and not the least bit fond of his ex, told their three grown sons that, because they didn't have a brit milah as infants, they aren't Jewish, despite the mother being fully Jewish. Needless to say, she was devastated and asked me my opinion.

My response was that opinion; mine or anyone else's has nothing to do with the question posed. Halacha is the only valid opinion and, that code clearly and definitively states that the child of a Jewish mother, regardless of his/her upbringing, is 100% authentically Jewish. There is a caveat. By not having a Bris Milah, the sons are in violation of Jewish Law. In other words, they are considered "sinners". Albeit, fully Jewish "sinners". I recommended that, if they were so inclined, to undergo a symbolic Bris...this involves the letting of a drop of blood from the head of the penis (it's way too late for a full Brit...the trauma and the recovery period would make this prohibitive). In the event that either of them wanted to marry a Jewish woman who is even semi-observant, they would have to endure a complete Bris at that time.

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