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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘circumcision’

Analysis: Should Israeli Settlers Fear Trump’s Peace Negotiations? [video]

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Donald Trump’s website mentions only two foreign countries by name: in its Positions section it deals with “Reforming The US-China Trade Relationship To Make America Great Again,” and in its Issues section, which is a series of videos with the candidate spending about a minute speaking forcefully on the issues, the one country that’s mentioned as an “issue” is, you guessed, Israel.

Should Israelis and US Jews be concerned that the Jewish State is so clearly a burning issue for Trump? Not if you believe the opening, where Trump straightens his gaze at the camera and declares, “I love Israel, I’m very pro-Israel.” He hasn’t said it about any other country in quite this total fashion.

But what to Trump is the Israel issue begins and ends with what he considered, back in March, when he shot this video, a challenge to his skills as negotiator. You can be a Trump supporter and still be perplexed by the amount of personal prestige the candidate has invested in being that one American president who finally brought peace to “Israel and the Palestinians.”

“Trump is plainly the best bet for the Jews,” Seth Lipsky wrote in the NY Post Wednesday, citing neoconservative Norman Podhoretz, who berated Hillary for the 2012 rejection by the Democratic convention of restoring both God and Jerusalem to the DNC platform.

True enough, but Trump was booed at his AIPAC appearance last December when he, too, refused to commit to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“Trump’s also the candidate siding with religious Americans whose rights are in jeopardy from the proliferating series of laws and court rulings in which religious persons are being asked to bow to a liberalism hostile to religious law,” Lipsky argued.

But religious Jews are not under attack by the liberal government anywhere in America: unlike in Europe, Jewish rituals are not under attack anywhere, with the possible exception of the Bay area; why even the latest NYC policy on oral suction in circumcision is restricted to educational pamphlets, rather than court orders.

The problem with Trump regarding Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (and, possibly, eastern Jerusalem) is the candidate’s eagerness to make a difference in the age old Israeli-Arab conflict.

Here is what Trump said on tape in March, which the campaign has chosen to keep up there as one of his key concerns:

“I would love to see a deal be made between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s probably the hardest negotiation there is. Great negotiators have tried and they failed. It’s just so deep seated, the hatred, the level of distrust.

“But I’m going to give it an awfully good shot. I want to remain as neutral as possible, because if you’re not somewhat neutral the other side is never going to do it.

“But just remember, Israel, I love you, we’re gonna’ see if we can get something done, it has to be done for both sides, it cannot continue to be the way it is. Let’s see what we can negotiate, let’s see if it can be done.”

Does the last paragraph strike you as something you might tell your child before taking him for his booster shots? It’ll hurt, for sure, but remember, Daddy loves you very much and when the doctor is done poking you Daddy will buy you an ice cream cone.

There’s no doubt that presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is easily as worrisome when it comes to Israel. She is surrounded by anti-Israel advisors, one of whom is a radical Muslim. It is a tough call to make — which Roman emperor will bring more trouble to tiny little Judea: Hillary, who might end up just talking the talk but avoid the actual walk; or Trump, who might just, God forbid, decide to test his skills — and then what would Israel do when the Arabs agree to some of his proposals and a victorious Trump turns to Netanyahu and says, Brother, I got you a great deal, just hand over control of eastern Jerusalem and take the Jews out of the “territories.”

We welcome a civilized discussion of the concerns raised in this article.

David Israel

Germany’s Nationalist ‘Alternative fur Deutschland’ Says ‘Ban Circumcision’

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Germany’s third largest party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is taking aim at Muslim practices, several of which are shared with Jews.

The party is calling for a ban on circumcision and halal slaughter, similar in many ways to kosher slaughter.

The move comes as citizens go to the polls for regional elections on Sunday, ahead of a vote on a proposed national AfD manifesto April 30 at a party congress in Stuttgart.

The nationalist “Alternataive fur Deutschland” party, known as an anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and anti-migrant party, is already on course to overtake the Social Democrats in second place in the elections in Rhineland-Palatinate. The party also made a strong showing in Baden-Württemberg and Saxony-Anhalt last week as well.

AfD already holds seats in five of 16 German regional assemblies, though it is not part of any regional government, Politico reported on Friday.

The party seeks a ban on minarets and the muezzin Islamic call to prayer five times a day, along with legislation against halal slaughter and male circumcision.

The party claims the minaret is a “symbol of Islamic rule,” according to a report in Bild. Islamic policies “contradict a tolerant coexistence of religions” according to the party, which claims that only Christian churches that value at present.

The party states halal practices are contrary to the German Animal Protection Act and would be considered cruel if halal were not considered a faith-based ritual.

AfD states that circumcision is contrary to human dignity and disregards the fundamental rights to physical integrity and self-determination of the affected male children, according to the report.

Never mind all the research studies that prove the health benefits of circumcision – why would those be relevant?

Hana Levi Julian

Muslim-Jewish Coalition Defeats European Attempt to Ban Circumcision

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

European anti-circumcision activists have lost their battle to ban the ritual that is sacred to Jews and is practiced by Muslims although it is not commanded in the Koran.

Several European countries have been campaigning for several years to ban circumcision based on claims that is violent and that it violates “children’s rights.”

The European Council voted against a proposal to ban circumcision, and opponents settled for a decision that requires those performing circumcisions to be experts and to inform parents of possible dangers.

Meretz Knesset Member Issawi Frej, an Israeli with Arab citizenship, joined the Muslim-Jewish Leadership Council, the Conference of European Rabbis, and Islamic groups who argued against the proposal.

He told the European Council that anyone who opposes circumcision should try to convince people through education and not by coercion.

Jewish Press News Briefs

She Called Him ‘David’ for the Grandfather Who Blew Shofar in the Ukraine Underground

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Even Yad L’Achim activists, who have been organizing classes for immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Haifa and the Krayot for the past year, were surprised by the heavy turnout at a new class they opened recently in Kiryat Yam.

After advance work among Russian-speakers in the northern town, some 20 women showed up at the first class, held on kashrus and the Jewish home.

When the lecturer spoke of the importance of passing on Jewish heritage and education from one generation to the next, one woman in the room rose and, in a voice quivering with emotion, said that she had taken upon herself to have her 18-month-old son circumcised. The woman, who had immigrated from a town in Ukraine, related that her grandfather, named David, was one of those rare individuals who worried about keeping the Jewish coal burning during Communist rule.

He was the one in his town who made sure that a shofar was blown secretly in underground minyamin, who baked matzos in hidden basements, who put tefillin on young boys on the day of their bar mitzvah.

When the Nazis came to power in Ukraine, they herded the Jews into ghettos and made them wear the Jewish star on their outer garments. “Some 36,000 Jews perished, including my grandfather, David, Hy”d,” she said, asking Yad L’Achim for help in arranging a bris milah for her young son.

The very next day, at one in the afternoon, the bris milah was held in the woman’s home, and was performed by a mohel from the Bris Yosef Yitzchak organization.

The mohel pronounces the baby's name: David, for his grandfather who blew shofar in the Ukrainian underground.

The mohel pronounces the baby’s name: David.

Honored with sandakaus was the head of Yad L’Achim’s Haifa branch, Harav Chananya Zohar. At the conclusion of the bris, the mohel, who was honored with the recitation of brachos and the naming of the son, leaned over to hear the name. When the mother whispered, “David,” the tears flowed uncontrollably among all the participants.

After the bris, the mother said: “The spark that was lit for me by the Torah class reminded me of the entire family of my grandfather on my father’s side and his selfless dedication for Judaism. The class made me decide to change my home, to make it kosher and Jewish. From now on, I will call my son David, instead of the Ukrainian name I gave him at his birth.”

Hana Levi Julian

Mazal Tov to 65-Year-old Mother of ‘Illegal’ Baby

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

A 65-year-old Bnei Brak woman has given birth to her first child after being impregnated by in-vitro fertilization outside of Israel, where the process is illegal beyond the age of 54.

The Chassidic woman, Hana Shahar, and her unnamed 5.9-pound baby boy are doing fine after a Caesarean section operation at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, north of Tel Aviv.

Shahar has been childless during her 46-year-old marriage.

She is the second-oldest woman ever to have give birth, two years younger than a Spanish woman who gave birth shortly before she was 67.

Statistically, the dangers from pregnancy increase dramatically when a woman approaches the age of 50, but some women in the 50s have been able to give birth without problems.

Hana Shahar and her husband obviously are overjoyed.

The baby, God willing, will be named at the Brit circumcision next week.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Circumcision – Are Muslims Doing It Wrong?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Originally published at Jewish Business News

Religious Jewish circumcision, as well as your run-of-the-mill hospital circumcision, are done in the first couple of weeks of life. But in 6 percent of U.S. boys, the procedure is done much later, according to new research, increases the risk of complications and increases costs.

The study, published online Oct. 20 in Pediatrics, analyzed 2010 MarketScan claims data from commercial health plans, using procedural codes to identify circumcisions performed on males aged 0 to 18 years, and diagnostic codes to assess clinical indications for the procedure.

“Among circumcisions performed in the first year of life, we estimated rates for neonates and postneonates. We estimated the percentage of circumcisions by age among males who had circumcisions in 2010, and the mean payment for neonatal and postneonatal procedures.”

The study found that 156,247 circumcisions were performed, with 146,213 (93.6%) in neonates and 10,034 (6.4%) in postneonates.

Among postneonatal circumcisions, 46.6% were performed in males younger than 1 year and 25.1% were for nonmedical indications. The mean payment was $285 for a neonatal and $1,885 for a postneonatal circumcision.

The study concluded that “the large number of nonmedical postneonatal circumcisions suggests neonatal circumcision might be a missed opportunity for these boys. Delay of nonmedical circumcision results in greater risk for the child, and a more costly procedure.”

Islamic traditions do not determine a particular time for circumcision, despite the commonly held notion (among non-Muslims) that they follow the example of biblical Ishmael, who was circumcised at 13 years old.

The age of circumcision in Islam depends on family and geography. A majority of Muslims believe parents should circumcise their child before the age of ten, preferably seven. In any event, it should be done before puberty. In Malaysia, the operation is a rite of puberty, separating the boy from childhood and ushering him into adulthood.

Tibbi Singer

Rabbis, Pols Slam Brit Mila Decision

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Haredi politicians blasted a Supreme Court decision Sunday that granted a mother the right to refuse her son’s circumcision.

The case in question stems from divorce proceedings currently before the Israeli family court. Last year, the civil court ruled that both parents must agree to the traditional brit mila procedure, but the father challenged the ruling in the rabbinical court. The latter ordered that the baby be circumcised, and levied a NIS 500 fine against the woman for every day she refused to submit the baby to be circumcised.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Elyakim Rubinstein wrote, “the Jewishness of a Jewish boy is one of the matters that can be included in divorce, for if we rule otherwise, [this would mean that] a parent cannot include a cardinal and essential subject regarding his decision about the life of his child in the separation arrangements from his spouse – which in my eyes is inappropriate.”

In the political arena, reaction to the ruling came fast and furious. Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef called the ruling a landmark “yet another worrisome escalation in the ongoing trend, in recent years, to limit the authority of the Rabbinical Court. “

In addition, MK Aryeh Deri, leader of the Sephardi Haredi party Shas, called the ruling a “scandal.”

“Our forefathers, who sacrificed their lives for this commandment for thousands of years, did not dream that the state they hoped for would prevent a Jewish father from circumcising his son.”

On the Ashkenazi side of the spectrum, MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) claimed that “In the political climate that the present government exudes, with new anti-religious bills being presented on a weekly basis, it is only natural that the High Court would continue with its rulings that contradict the Jewish heritage and our right to exist here as Jews, and contribute to the division of the nation.”


Meir Halevi Siegel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rabbis-pols-slam-brit-milah-decision/2014/06/30/

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