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Berlin - German Jews Reject Circumcision Terms

Published on: September 6, 2012 10:23 AM
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Berlin, Germany - Berlin’s Jewish community denounced on Thursday the city’s rejection of male circumcisions conducted by traditional specialists, saying the restriction was “flagrant interference” in religion.

The city-state of Berlin had announced a day earlier that it would not prosecute doctors conducting the ritual on boys in accordance with ancient Jewish and Muslim practice. But it said a mohel, a professional Jewish circumciser, could not claim the privilege.

The assembly of the city Jewish community passed a unanimous resolution saying, “this is flagrant interference in a Jewish tradition going back more than 3,000 years.”

A mohel is trained in the circumcision of baby boys and must live strictly according to kosher rules. Jewish groups said it would be rare to find a man who is both a mohel and a doctor at the same time.


The city-state said immunity from prosecution would apply on its territory if doctors used painkillers and obtained written parental consent and proof that the family belonged to a Jewish or Muslim community. Two other states said they had set similar conditions.

A legal row erupted after a ruling in June by a court in Cologne, which found that a doctor had inflicted unlawful bodily harm by circumcising a 4-year-old Muslim boy at his parents’ request.

Although the Cologne ruling was only binding in a small region, doctors across the country halted the operations for fear of prosecution. The federal government has said it will soon introduce a law to ensure circumcision remains legal.

Jews are also concerned that Germany will demand use of a local anaesthetic during circumcision. One of Israel’s two chief rabbis has visited Berlin to say that this is not allowed in traditional circumcision.

Germany’s President Joachim Gauck released Thursday a letter to his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, assuring him “the way of life and beliefs of Jews in Germany” needed to be protected. Peres had earlier asked Gauck to intervene and speak up for Jews.

Jewish groups plan a demonstration on Sunday in Berlin with Christian supporters to protest against the restrictions on circumcision. They have appealed to Muslims to also take part.

Muslims in Germany mostly ask doctors to perform circumcisions and have no equivalent of the mohel.

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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »


 Sep 06, 2012 at 10:30 AM Pain Killer Says:

What's wrong with using an anaesthetic?


 Sep 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM ehrlicher yid Says:

Michael Bloomberg is reading the same news as we do. He's next to try to enforce this law, if we would give in to sign a consent for "metzitzah b'peh".


 Sep 06, 2012 at 11:24 AM bubii Says:

Reply to #2  
ehrlicher yid Says:

Michael Bloomberg is reading the same news as we do. He's next to try to enforce this law, if we would give in to sign a consent for "metzitzah b'peh".

You are paranoid go get help the sooner the better.


 Sep 06, 2012 at 11:38 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #1  
Pain Killer Says:

What's wrong with using an anaesthetic?

I would love to know of course it was not not done that way from the beginning there was no anaesthetic so lets not use that as an excuse.

we did not use scalpels, either should we stop that


 Sep 06, 2012 at 12:10 PM benzion Says:

I thought the problem was bodily harm. What does that have to do with pain and the doctor vs mohel?


 Sep 06, 2012 at 12:50 PM sane Says:

The Germans know something about pain and killers.


 Sep 06, 2012 at 01:05 PM Anonymous Says:

those are the grandchildern who killed our grandfather .how intersting that they can't shot up about the jews . pain hurts them????!!!!!!!!!!!!.how many mother with childern
from birth -100years old did they kill in the worst fashion. they are the country in the lead.


 Sep 06, 2012 at 04:11 PM Alfred E Newman Says:

Today milah, tomorrow..................?

1938 all over again


 Sep 06, 2012 at 04:36 PM zooog Says:

Growing up in Germany I dont remember the Germans being so concerned about Jewish blood (Rabbi Lau)


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