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					Aposthia
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Aposthia is a rare [quantify] congenital condition in humans, in which the foreskin of the penis is missing.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, E. S. Talbot claimed in Medicine that aposthia among Jews was evidence for the
now-discredited Lamarckian theory of evolution.[1] It is likely that the cases he described were actually hypospadias, a
condition in which the urinary meatus is on the underside of the penis. Neither condition has been shown to have a higher
frequency in Jews or Muslims. [citation needed]

        Contents
 1 Aposthia in Judaism
 2 Aposthis in Literature
 3 Sources
 4 External links


Aposthia in Judaism
The Midrash of Ki-Tetze [‫ ]כי תצא‬notes that Moses was born aposthic. Other sources tell us that Jacob, his son Gad and King
David were also born aposthic. Jewish law requires males born without a foreskin or who lost their foreskin through means
other than a formal circumcision ceremony (brit milah ‫ )ברית מילה‬to have a drop of blood (hatafat-dam, ‫ )הטפת דם‬let from the
penis at 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 supersedes Shabbat, on which only a boy 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 Shamai and Hillel do not differ as to a boy 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 Israeli Foreign Minister and member of Knesset, was born aposthic. Arye Avneri's authorized 1983
biography of Levy notes this:
   "When David Levy was born [...] 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." [citation needed]
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. This proclamation was not necessarily prophetic of the founding of Israel, for
"Israel" is a term occasionally used to mean "the Jewish people."

Aposthis in Literature
Lazarus Long, principal protagonist in several of Robert Heinlein's novels, was born aposthic. [2]

Sources
   1. ^ E. S. Talbot, "Inheritance of circumcision effects", Medicine 1898.
   2. ^ Heinlein, Robert A. (1987-08-01). Time enough for love: the lives of Lazarus Long   . Penguin. pp. 322–. ISBN 978-0-441-81076-
      5. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
   Aposthia     in Dorland's Medical Dictionary
   Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law, Yoreh Deah § 263 Law 4 (‫.)ש"ע י"ד ס' רס"ג הל' ד‬

External links
  Amin-Ud-Din M, Salam A, Rafiq MA, Khaliq I, Ansar M, Ahmad W. Aposthia: a birth defect or normal quantitative
  recessive human genetic trait? East Mediterr Health J. 2007 March-April; 13(2):280-6.


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posted:9/20/2012
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