March 2, 2012

Joseph Smith Posthumously Circumcised

TOPEKA, KS — A synagogue practicing an obscure denomination of Sephardic Judaism has started a nationwide controversy by going through with a long-planned ceremony to posthumously circumcise Joseph Smith, the inventor of Mormonism.

Rabbi Yisroel Leibowitz started the custom several years ago of performing a modified version of the brit milah, the Jewish circumcision ritual, for the deceased who had never had a chance to be circumcised in life.

“This is a wonderful blessing we’re bestowing upon those who have passed,” said Mr. Leibowitz. “It allows them to live the full Jewish experience, even in death.”

The ceremony is performed by a mohel, a rabbi specially trained in the procedure. The circumcision itself is done on the circumcisee’s spirit, which is summoned by Mr. Leibowitz.

“There’s no foreskin actually being removed,” said circumcision expert Dicky Bloads. “Most Jews wouldn’t even consider it a real circumcision. Maybe if they dug up Joseph Smith’s corpse, this would seem more legitimate.”