web analytics
August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Orthodox Rabbinical Group Urging German Jews to Defy Court Ruling on Circumcision

By:
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis.
Photo Credit: Screen shot

Europe’s main Orthodox rabbinical body is urging Jews in Germany to uphold the commandment to circumcise newborn sons, despite a court ruling in Germany that said circumcising young boys could be considered a criminal act.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said his organization is ready to back Jews in challenging the May ruling by a Cologne district court, which Jewish groups see as symptomatic of a trend across Europe against some Jewish rituals. The group held an emergency meeting this week in Berlin.

Goldschmidt said some lawmakers intending to curb Muslim practices unwittingly outlaw Jewish traditions as well.

“But I don’t think that 70 years after the Holocaust a German court would put a parent or a mohel in jail for performing a Jewish religious commandment,” Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow, told JTA.

In the May court case that led to the ruling, the Cologne court acquitted a Muslim doctor of willful wrongdoing in the ritual circumcision of a 4-year-old Muslim boy. However, the court ruled that the right of the child to be protected from bodily harm took precedence over the interests of the parents or religious freedom. Accordingly, the court said, the circumcision of a minor for non-medical reasons could be considered a criminal act.

Two Berlin hospitals that routinely perform the surgery, mostly for Muslim families but also for Jewish ones, have temporarily stopped the practice.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany condemned the court’s decision and promised to work with German lawmakers to reverse the ruling. Muslim groups also have proposed bringing a test case to challenge the ruling.

Goldschmidt said his rabbinical group applauded the Central Council’s action and wanted to back it with moral and religious encouragement on a European level. He also said that the rabbinical conference had received assurances from Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Andreas Michaelis, that the German government will work on legislation to rectify the legal situation.

Virtually all Jewish denominations have roundly condemned the Cologne ruling, though they may differ on other religious practices. Events and petitions have been organized to draw attention to the issue.

Circumcision is one tradition that unites secular and religious Jews, Goldschmidt noted. He added that current challenges to the practice of circumcision and kosher slaughter in Europe stem from the notion that Muslims have similar practices but with less rigorous training than Jews. Lawmakers are reacting, for example, to botched circumcisions performed by poorly trained practitioners, he suggested, adding that such problems are extremely rare among mohels, or Jewish ritual circumcisers.

Meanwhile, the rabbinical conference is joining with the ORD, Germany’s Orthodox rabbinical body, to create an association of mohels to be supervised by the Association of Jewish Doctors and Psychologists. The association is headed by Berlin physician and philanthropist Roman Skoblo.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Orthodox Rabbinical Group Urging German Jews to Defy Court Ruling on Circumcision”

  1. Anastasia Klein says:

    Good for the Rabbi. Germany, you never change.

  2. You can better come Home and take care of the Israeli in the Land that Abba Yahweh promised us. Teach us to listen to His Voice…..

  3. Annette Angel says:

    Good for this Rabbi…and yes Ariel I agree…not only is this a Commandment given by YHWY, but is something that is a personal choice made by many and has many good reasons behind it…YWHY's instructions to us, whether they are the 10 commandments, this or the dietary laws, are for our good..and HIS GOOD PLEASURE!…Please I agree, let us listen to His voice!

  4. Daliah Elias-Davis says:

    I am Jewish and grew up in German., I am deeply shocked, disgusted and disappointed by this. What other rulings will follow: no mikvah, no kosher meat, NO SHULS or TORAH leraning…G'd forbid. Also there is a risk that other European countries will follow Germany's example. I believe there is no coincidence that this is happening within the three negative weeks before Tisha B Av.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Forest fire blazing in Judean Hills.
Officials Reconsider Sprouting Wildfires After Terror Victim Memorial Torched
Latest News Stories

The body of missing Israeli back packer Dor Cohen has been found in Georgia.

Shira Banki, 16, z'l

A 16-year-old girl has died of her wounds after being stabbed at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade.

Forest fire blazing in Judean Hills.

Officials looked again at the sprouting wildfires after a terror victim memorial was torched in Mt. Hebron.

Blurred faces, for security reasons, lead the IDF's secret defense against anti-Israel cyber warfare.

There is a new kind of arms race that involves producing the most impenetrable virtual fortresses of cybersecurity to resist catastrophic threats.

An Israeli citizen is killed in Thailand while traveling from Pattaya to Bangkok.

PM Netanyahu says Israel’s zero tolerance for terror distinguishes it from its neighbors.

They managed to collect $3,300 from ISIS recruiters, before they were caught by the Chechen police E unit.

Iran is already banking on the lifting of sanctions; vow to raise oil production to 1 million bpd.

A Gva’ot woman was hurt Sunday in a rock attack on her car by Arab terrorists in Samaria.

Israelis have been feeling the heat lately, and not only over tensions erupting from the Iran nuclear deal.

Wildfires again were raging in the Judean Hills around the Israeli capital this weekend. Even Sapir was evacuated as homes burned.

Arab violence failed to keep Jewish and Gentile tourists off the Temple Mount this weekend; Israel Police just kept rioters away instead.

His new book is called “Palestine” a features a cover showing a map of “what used to be Israel” and with the word “Palestine” plastered over it.

As Secretary of State, she did know what to say about the Goldstone Report that condemned Israel for alleged war crimes.

“Our whole country condemns the murder. This is the meaning of Jewish ethics. On the Palestinian side, the leadership celebrates the murders [of Jews].”

More Articles from JTA

More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]

“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.

The Nazis nearly destroyed the 17th synagogue.

Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]

A fundraising campaign started quietly by two first graders two years ago to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease just passed the $1 million mark.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/orthodox-rabbinical-group-urging-german-jews-to-defy-court-ruling-on-circumcision/2012/07/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: