The foreskin effect - Part 8 of Balaam's curse

Men are born uncircumcised and the bulk of them live none the worse for their prepuce. Even when it looks unsightly the foreskin, to give it the common name, is never disabling. With a man’s appetites and impulses, his lusts on or just beneath the surface, I’ve yet to meet the man who can’t indulge them, all because of skin over the tip of his member. I would not give a goat for that man’s grasp of reality, who does not understand that if the prepuce served a practical purpose he’d know about it. Does it help a man urinate or propagate better? Of what help or hindrance is the flap for the good working order of the member? Has the cocooned phallus ever killed a man? Where is it proven that the uncircumcised are not as hale and wholesome as their circumcised counterparts? The bigger problem, if the foreskin really makes no difference, is to understand why the Creator endowed or encumbered man with such a body part at all. I struggle with this problem. Why the skin, for heaven sake!
Personal feelings, I confess, intrude on  my duties as the immortal Balaam's biographer. My own covered mushroom head absorbs me more than it should. I cannot help feeling, when I reflect on fallen Adam upon whom the skin grew in his ripe middle age, that I’m second rate or damaged goods. Adam was more than four hundred at the time of his punishment. You must know; the Creator fashioned the first man without a prepuce. Adam was perfect. The skin grew over his member after Eve abused the Tree of Knowledge, sundering a perfect harmony between man and Creator. Adam without a foreskin was a false start. Adam with it marked the true beginning of mankind and I, with my wrinkled purplish arrowhead variety, feel spiritually handicapped.
I envy the circumcised.
While the orlah (as the Ivri call it) may serve no practical purpose, for spirituality no body part could be more significant. Forget internal organs and external parts; the humble peewee sheath alone banishes man from his Creator. Don’t believe me; read the God of Abraham telling him at age ninety-nine to remove it. Snip it off, said the Lord to Abraham. ‘As long as you are uncircumcised you will be imperfect. By performing bris-mila you will achieve a higher holiness, and be elevated above the laws of nature. But if you refuse to perform it I shall return the world to nothingness.’
Am I off my head to give the organ sheath an importance it does not deserve? Then allow me to continue. After Abraham had sought the consent of three close friends, he vowed to do what God had told him. ‘What – consult first with friends!’ you cry. ‘Question the Almighty’s wisdom! Keep El Shaddai waiting! But how? Why? Abraham’s actions do seem irreverent. Some would call his behavior downright rude, and it contradicts his dogged obedience and devotion throughout a long and difficult life. God’s command to circumcise himself was after all the ninth, and least, of Abraham’s ten trials, all of which he plunged into without a moment’s thought. What was so difficult or problematic about a mere snip and cut.  Abraham had to ask friends before he would do the deed? What nonsense it makes of the whole narrative. Here we have a man with courage enough to burn mighty King Nimrod’s idols in front of the royal throne; who dared argue with a king who thought nothing of putting a quarter of a million baby boys to death in case they grew up to be Abraham; a man who allowed the king’s bodyguards to throw him into the furnace of Ur Kasdim; who left home at a word from God and travelled into the great unknown; who then endured a catastrophic famine and allowed his wife Sarah, next to whom all women were ugly, to be taken by Pharaoh.
Whatever El Shaddai told him so Abraham did, eight times, with a bravado that was superhuman. I doubt another man would arm himself with mudpies and muster eighteen puny disciples to rout the armies of four great kings. Abraham, you’d think, had proved himself. But no; his God had not quite finished entangling the pure devotee in tests of faith. The centurion now had to bind a beloved son and slaughter him in cold blood. The shock would take Sarah to her grave, but God is God and husband and son were game. No human should have to endure such heartless trials and tribulations. But now – a fuss when told to remove a little surplus skin? Delay the deed until he mulls over it with friends. How can it be?
Listen to what I said. The orlah is man’s holy divide. It is written – the uncircumcised have a fatal imperfection. They are spiritual pigmies next to the circumcised few. Look at Moses who could hear the Almighty dictating stories and laws on a mountain, and in whose merit manna fell from heaven. Abraham, if he did as told, would return to the spiritual state of Adam. What is a month of pain compared to wondrous promises! But that wasn’t Abraham. Far from aspiring to be the nearest thing to God, Abraham was afraid of losing the common touch. After the cut and roll-back he’d really be from the other side, an Ivri more than just in name.
He laid these anxieties at heaven’s door. ‘Lord, when I was uncircumcised travelers came to me, but after I am circumcised they will stop coming.’ The plea did not fall on deaf ears. ‘Go on, speak with your circle,’ El Shaddai allowed. ‘Then tell all the males in your camp to circumcise themselves.’ So Abraham took up a steely blade and, with the hand of God steadying his own ninety-nine year hand, cut and trimmed, and the orlah dropped. The covenant was sealed. From then on the patriarch and his followers were marked men.