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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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Germany Proposes Legislation to Protect Bris Milah

After a court ruling, that brought the future of Germany’s Jewish community into question, and reminded some of a darker time in German history, proposed legislation to bring resolution.

After months of debate, today the German cabinet decided to establish a new legislation which will clearly enable and support the religious practice of circumcision.

“It is without any doubt a very positive news, this enables the continued growth and development of Jewish life in Germany” says Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin.

The legislation which has been prepared by the office of the justice minister will add a new paragraph in the law (1631d) and will allow circumcision, if the parents are informed and willing and there are no medical dangers. The circumcision can be preformed by a mohel, as well, if the child is under the age of six months.

In May, a local court in Colounge ruled that a circumcision on a child was not allowed as it caused bodily harm. The ruling sparked a debate in Germany, and brought into question the future viability of a Jewish community there, and ignited a conversation around the world.

In August, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yonah Metzger, visited Germany and together with rabbi of the Berlin Jewish community, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, met with the justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and other government officials. During the meeting the Chief Rabbi explained to the minister the importance of having the circumcision done by a mohel in a traditional manner. The minister and her staff listened intently and assured the rabbis the government will do their utmost to try to find a positive solution.

 

About the Author: Chabad.org is a division of the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, under the auspices of the Lubavitch World Headquarters


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