Tzvi Fishman
Tzvi Fishman INN: TF

Dr. Stein swiped the patient’s Chupat Holim (Israeli health fund) card along the computer outlet and glanced at the computer screen on his desk. “How can I help you, Mr. Krass?” he asked.

“I’d like to have an operation to cancel my circumcision.”

The physician paused, hearing the sentence reverberate in his head. He turned away from the computer and glanced at the forty-year-old man facing him on the other side of his desk. He was bald and clean shaven. Like with many first-time patients, his lips were curled in a nervous smile while his eyes glowed with intensity.

“Once again, please,” the doctor said, wanting to be sure he heard correctly.

“I’d like to have an operation to cancel my circumcision. Or to try some technique without surgery, if such a procedure exists. In the literature surrounding the holiday of Hannukah, in several Aggadot and history books which I have read, it is told that Jews stretched their foreskins back into place to resemble the Greeks and to participate in their Olympic games.”

Dr. Stein nodded. The man looked like an intelligent fellow. He expressed himself in an educated fashion.

“Well, I have to admit, in my forty years of medical practice, this is the first time I’ve heard a request like yours.”

“I’m surprised to hear that. The way things are in this country, I would expect that thousands of clear-think people like me would want to do the same.” the man responded.

“Why have you come to me, Mr. Krass?”

“You’re an urologist, aren’t you?”

“What you are requesting isn’t something in the field of my experience. Perhaps a dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon could help you more.”

The patient frowned. “I waited two weeks for my appointment with you.”

“I’m sorry. I have the same problem of long lines if I need to see some kind of specialist. Too many patients with too few doctors. A patient has to be patient and wait his turn. Unless he can afford private medical care.”

“The problem could be solved if Israel were a normal country like any other and not a Jewish State overrun with Orthodox Jews who want everyone to live ghetto lives like they do. Graduating medical students can’t wait to leave the country to seek positions in enlightened liberal countries where a person can relax on week-ends and do what he likes without having his car stoned. And doctors from the Diaspora don’t want to come here and cut their incomes by 90% so that the government will have enough money to pay welfare to all the religious freeloaders who don’t want to work.”

“Is that why you want to restore your foreskin?” Dr. Stein asked, adjusting the kippah on his head. “As some kind of protest?”

“Exactly. I’m fed up with being a Jew.”

Well, as you can see, I myself am religious. I’m not Haredi but I follow everything in the Torah according to the letter of the Law. My understanding is that even if you were to restore your foreskin in whatever manner, you would still be a Jew. I mean to say that if a Jewish baby doesn’t have a brit milah, and he goes through his life without ever performing the mitzvah, the fellow is still a Jew. He still has a Jewish soul, and that is what makes us different from the goyim, not just the fact that we are circumcised. In fact, a great majority of goyim are circumcised today for hygienic reasons. Outwardly you can’t tell the difference between a Jew and non-Jew. But our sources teach that the difference is enormous.

“I appreciate your opinion, doctor, but I don’t believe in such a thing as a Jewish soul. Human beings are human beings. One person may be more athletic than another, and some person may have more musical talents, but this is a matter of genes, not spirituality, which as far as I am concerned doesn’t exist. It’s just a lot of mumbo jumbo, that’s all, no different from the superstitious beliefs of primitive African tribes. Religious Jews, with their backward anti-humanist doctrines, and their proclivity like rabbits, are more of a threat to this country’s future than the Hamas and Iran together. Believe me, we could make peace with the Arabs and with the entire rest of the world if not for the Jewish Ayatollahs whose cancerous influence in this country prevents all forms of social progress and enlightened democracy. Stamping out religion in Israel would truly allow us to be a light to the nations.”

“You would prefer to see Israel as a state like any other and not a Jewish State, like it was originally conceived?

“Precisely. I would like to see the whole country grow back its foreskin, so to speak. In my opinion, Ben Gurion make a terrible error when he dubbed Medinat Yisrael a Jewish State. If you and the Haredim want to observe Judaism in your homes and shuls, just like Catholics and Moslems can observe their religious beliefs, be my guest, but in today’s world there is no room for religious interference in the governmental affairs and legislative decisions.”

“As I am sure you know, according to Judaism, the national life of the Jewish People in Israel must be conducted according to the laws of the Torah, including the army, the government, and the courts. Allow me to point out that considering the way we religious reproduce at such a rapid pace, as you noted, it won’t take long before we become the ruling majority in your enlightened democracy.”

“That is precisely why we are changing your racist laws of conversion. The Biblical fantasy of a ‘Supreme Race’ has reached the end of its journey. There will be no more ‘Chosen People.’ For every Jewish baby you bring into the world, we will make ‘Instant Jews’ out of a hundred goyim, doctor.”

The patient stood up.

“I can recommend a good psychiatrist if you like,” Dr. Stein suggested.

“Sigmund Freud, the father of psychiatry, also believed like I do that Judaism is a lot of empty self-deception, like all other religious belief. Belief in a Divine Creator, he said, was the pacifier of primitive man, in his psychotic need to impose some kind of non-existing order to the overwhelming forces of Nature. Let me assure, there is no G-d, my friend.”

“At the end of his life, Freud suffered terribly from cancer of the mouth. He underwent 20 unsuccessful operations and became addicted to morphine to lessen his pain. Finally, he convinced his physician to give him an overdose in order to end his misery. I believe he requested in his will that his body be cremated. His ashes remain in a large ornate urn in some museum in London. The way I look at things, his most unfortunate fate teaches us to be very careful not to deny the existence of G-d.”

“Nonsense,” Mr. Krass replied with a scoff. “Religious superstition. Pure idiocy.”

With a laugh, the man with the bald head and cheeks grasped the handle of the office door.

“Your medical card,” the doctor reminded him.

“Of course.” Mr. Krass returned and lifted the card from the desk.

“I am sorry, I couldn’t help you with your request,” Dr. Stein said with a smile. “However, if you go through with such an operation and then decide sometime in the future to have a circumcision of your own free will in order to make peace with yourself, with the Jewish People, and with your Creator, please invite me to the brit. Maybe I can recommend a mohel who has experience with men your age who undergo real Jewish conversion, after a serious course of study, in accord with the verse, ‘And the L-rd your G-d will bring you into the Land your fathers possessed, and you shall take possession of it. He will cause you to prosper and multiply you more than your fathers. The L-rd your G-d will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, and you will love him with all of your heart and with all of your soul, so that you may live.’”

“Hogwash,” Krass commented leaving the office.

Dr. Stein glanced down at the list of patients he still had to see that afternoon. Rising, he walked to the door. “Mr. Friedman,” he called out into the crowded waiting room. The urologist returned to his desk. Two men in their fifties appeared in the doorway.

“Can my partner be with me during our meeting?” one of them asked.

“Gevalt,” Stein thought to himself. What will be with the Jews?

Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."