If you’re a bit squeamish, you may not want to read this. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Was doing a bit of reading of background info of 1st Century Judaism (’cause that’s what I do on vacation), and came across this interesting tidbit that I never read anywhere else before…
The Jews were under Greek rule for a period of time, and during that time a gymnasiom was proposed for Jerusalem. If you remember from history class, a Greek gymnasiom was where a bunch of dudes were running around naked trying to obtain a ‘perfect body’. A perfect body for them was one without any kind of deformity or deviation from the norms of perfection. Anything missing from a body was seen to make the body disgusting.
A bit of a problem for a group of men who displayed their covenant with their God through circumcision.
So, in order to fit in, they began to try and “disguise their circumcision”. Most of them did this by going through a form of ancient plastic surgery called epispasm (seriously…don’t google it…it’s not pretty). Basically putting back what had been removed.
It was usually unsuccessful and always incredibly painful. Just to fit in.
I think this is the story I’m going to start to use when Isaac and Kate are old enough for the talk about trying to fit in. Forget the, “if all your friends jump off the bridge…” line. It’s now, “if all your friends get an epispasm…”