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Aposthia is a rare congenitalcondition in humans, in which the foreskinis missing.

Toward the end of the 19th Century, E. S. Talbotclaimed in Medicine that aposthia among Jewswas evidence for the now-discredited Lamarckiantheory of evolution. It is likely that the cases he described were actually hypospadias, a condition in which the urinary meatusis on the underside of the penis. Neither condition has a particularly high incidence among Jews.

Aposthia in Islam

According to legend, the prophet Mohammedwas born without a foreskin[1]. However, Arabshad been practising circumcisionlong before this, and this legend is not the reason that Muslimscircumcise.

Aposthia in Judaism

The Midrashof Ki-Tzetze notes that Moseswas born aposthic. Jewish lawrequires males born without a foreskin or who lost their foreskin through means other than a formal circumcisionceremony (brit milah ???? ????) to have a drop of blood (hatifat-dam, ????? ??) let from the penisat the point where the foreskin would have been (or was) attached. The Talmud(Shabbat 135A) records a discussion of whether the importance of this letting of blood supercedes Shabbat, on which only a child who was born the previous Shabbat can be circumcised. If a regular circumcision is delayed, there is no disagreement that this may not be performed on Shabbat. However, in the case of aposthia, there are two schools of thought.

R. Elazar Hakappar said that the school of Shamaiand Hilleldo not differ as to a child that is born without a foreskin. Both agree that the blood of the covenant must be drawn from the glans. The school of Shamai, however, contends that this may be done on the Sabbath, while the other holds that the Sabbath must not be desecrated on that account.

David Levy, former IsraeliForeign Minister and member of Knesset, was born aposthic. Arye Avneri's authorized 1983 biography of Levy notes this:

"When David Levy was born on 193721 December, in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, his mother Sima noticed at once that he was different from other baby boys. He had been born already circumcised, for the foreskin was entirely missing."

The rabbis in Rabat proclaimed that this foretold that Levy would grow up to be a "leader of Israel", even though the State was not founded until Levy was 11, in 1948.


  • Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  • E. S. Talbot, "Inheritance of circumcision effects", Medicine 1898.
  • Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law, Yoreh Deah 263 Law 4 (?"? ?"? ?' ??"? ??' ?).
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/Aposthia"

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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aposthia Wikipedia article Aposthia.

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