OCCASIONAL COMMENTS ON PSCHO-ANALYTIC MATTERS + CONTIBUTIONS fromMICHAEL ROLOFF Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben]

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Dear Mr. Sulzberger,
I am sorry to have to tell you that I find the NY Times coverage of the ongoing German circumcision the-circumcision-debate-links controversy,in the half a dozen stories by three of your intrepids, to be a thoroughly sorry affair.

Jack Ewing
repeats what Judy Dempsey
repeats of the several stories filed by Melissa Eddy, [the latest of five first]






 Ewing puts the emphasis on the sorry Rabbi who four times was reported for violating the German fundamental law. Dempsey's once more over lightly ends with the admonition
that Germany ought to be the last country to antagonize its Jews. Melissa got the human angle rolling by commiserating with a Turkish family that could not get their son mutilated.

But not a one of these intrepids

1] reports on the controversy within the Jewish community itself not only in this instance, but going back thousands of years or, say, in the 19th century
"The polemics favoring direct-contact oral suction are relatively new (mid-1800s), typically attributed to a reaction to the Reform Movement's efforts to abolish Jewish practices that did not conform to modern sensibilities.

Early Reformers certainly saw metzitzah (and circumcision) as barbaric. The "Orthodox establishment" reacted quite strongly, upholding the practice of metzitzah specifically with the direct oral contact method (MBP), to take the strongest stand against the destruction of Judaism as they knew it   http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/opinion/metzitzah-changes-require-rabbinic-leadership

That is, none of these unworthies queries history.
2] Not one describes what a circumcision at 8 days extra-uterine entails. Lots of videos on line with screeching babies. Five thousand of the most sensitive nerves severed, a trauma that can nr re-covered in analysis, etc. etc. No end of information on line.

3] Not one of the reporters asks what "religious freedom" actually entails - might I with my band of hungry New Guinea Headhunter [to whom my second analyst, the deceased also anthropologist Robert Stoller introduced me]  relocate to the Black Forest and resume our banned ways? What about my heathens from the Luenebecker Heide, their druid practices, might they be allowed to come out of hiding?; or my Protestant forebears that used to burn witches - I have a slew of ladies for the burning! - That is, none of them question, investigate what might be or not be permissible under the mantle of religion.

4] Not a one queries the origin of circumcision - the equally gruesome rite of sacrifice of the first born son, a matter that then became his castration, the origins that is of what became the Oedipus complex as it mixed with generational succession in those hoary Pleistocene ? times. Or the fact that Freud found circumcision to be the chief reason for unconscious anti-semitism. Castration anxiety!

5] Not one of the reporters bother to wonder why the functionaries of all the major German political parties - CDU/CSU; SPD; FDP and the "GREENS" instantly support the position of what I call the Abrahamish Orthodoxy over and above adherence to the German fundamental law's call for the inviolability of a human beings physical well being. - The Left Party seems not to have take a position; the only party - it is only in the Berlin government so far but with so much hypocrisy is bound to suppress the 5% threshold come the next parliamentary elections - the anarchist Piraten Partei calls a spade a spade without falling prey to politically correct fearfulness. Nor do the wonder at why the Ultra-Orthodox are carrying the day, also from Israel, not that Israeli interference in the foreign affairs or other countries is anything especially unusual, but not welcomed necessarily by the German Jewish community.

6]  Not a one of your intrepids covers the recommendation of the German ethics council which - subsequent to going into shock at the sight of a video of a circumcision - recommends that at the very least it be performed under anesthesia and medical supervision, no bloodsucking Rabbis for sure!

7] None report of the 100s upon hundreds of German physicians and psychologists who have petitioned the Bundestag to at least allow a year of reflection prior to passing a quick law.

8] Not a one appears to realize that the German population opposes this form of circumcision by the factor of 75 to 25, a matter that can also  be ascertained by looking at the numerous ongoing debates at the various German papers, online debate organs, and blogs. 

That either of your threesome might have enough of a feel for the country to realize that this controversy, as Michael Wolffsohn has indicated [see below links] actually offers the occasion for a fairly amazing all around rapprochement is perhaps too much to expect.

Looking at this performance by this sorry threesome I wonder who the stateside editor might be who assigns, supervises, or perhaps will only green-light a story written in this fashion?

You have such stellar staff in the science section, in film, and the visual arts that I think maybe the science section ought to cover it.

I feel a tad less sanguine in admiring the daily book review staff, but that has to do with the fact that I am a fusspot

in those matters; although to object to the Neo-Con flavor that Mr. Tannenbaum introduced into the Sunday Book Review is not a matter of being unnecessarily fussy.

In other words, in a small way, I am in this instance reminded of the New York Times so one-sided coverage of the break-up wars in Yugoslavia that culminated in Roger Cohen's infamous photo essay in the Magazine where the big bad wolf from Progravic was accused singlehandedly of setting fire to every destroyed house; a coverage that did not improve until Steve Erlanger was made Belgrade bureau chief - so my question is: wouldn't the salary of the intrepid threesome pay for one more Erlanger? There sure was a time when the Times had great station chiefs in Germany.

Here is the link to an archive that misses few if any stories published in Puntland on the controversy, and has fair coverage of it in the English speaking print, that is, also online world.


  Eine Diskussion ueber das Thema, mit drei Deutschen + einem Amerikanischen Psychologen


This piece by the Germanist/ Philosopher Luedkenhaus at 

and Michael Wolfsohn's 



as well as several on the topic in   Debatten Magazin

Sincerely yours,


Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society


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MICHAEL ROLOFF http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html