Circumcsion compromise reached in Germany

October 9, 2012

Many Jewish medical practitioners oppose infant circumcision. Click on the picture for the article.

Three months after circumcision ban, German government to legalize rite Cabinet will approve a bill allowing professionally trained mohels to perform brit mila

The Times of Israel

By Raphael Ahren October 4, 2012

The German government is set to pass legislation that would legalize ritual circumcisions if they are performed by a medical professional, allowing local Jews to breathe a sigh of relief three months after a local court criminalized the rite and criminal charges were filed against two rabbis.

German-Jewish leaders welcomed the bill, a copy of which has been obtained by The Times of Israel. The cabinet in Berlin will discuss the 26-page bill next Wednesday, after which it will proceed to the floor of the Bundestag, where it it is expected to be voted into law within the coming days.

“It is a clear political signal that Jews and Muslims are still welcome in Germany,” said Dieter Graumann, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. “We are happy that Jewish commandments and Jewish life are not being pushed into illegality.”

‘Nowhere else in the world was this issue debated with such sharpness, coldness and sometimes brutal intolerance’

According to what is expected to become paragraph 1631 of the German Civil Code, parents of newborn sons can agree to have someone carry out ritual circumcisions “if they are performed according to rules of medical art.”

Ritual circumcisions can be performed by “a person chosen by a religious community who is especially trained” for such procedures, the bill postulates. In practice, that means that traditional Jewish circumcisers, or mohels, will continue to be able to perform circumcisions if they possess the necessary medical know-how.

“We certainly have to make some compromises about this. Yet the fact that professionally trained mohels can perform a brit milah according to Jewish rite is a good and important decision,” Graumann said.

In June, the Cologne district court ruled that parents having their sons circumcised are liable of causing bodily injury, even if they did so for religious reasons. According to the judges, the constitutional freedom of religion cannot justify interventions such as circumcision.

The court ruling drew heavy criticism from Jews in Germany, who, in a first reaction, called it “an outrageous and insensitive act.”

Amid a heated public debate about the legality of ritual circumcisions, criminal charges were filed against at least two rabbis who had pledged to continue performing circumcisions. In the wake of such news and countless articles and comments by opponents of ritual circumcisions, some prominent Jewish leaders had suggested that Jews were no longer welcome in modern Germany.

Several senior Israeli officials — including President Shimon Peres, Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger — got involved, asking German authorities to create legal safety for Jews seeking to circumcise their newborn sons.

“The circumcision debate sometimes turned very hostile, which was not rationally explicable. Nowhere else in the world was this issue debated with such sharpness, coldness and sometimes brutal intolerance,” Graumann said. “I hope that, after the legal safety, we will now also receive emotional safety from the people in this country.”


STOP infant Circumcision

STOP infant Circumcision



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5 Responses to Circumcsion compromise reached in Germany

  1. napocapo69 (@napocapo69) on November 19, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    I wonder if the same rule of thumb is applied for FGM …

    • cathie on April 16, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Ugghh not always the same thing- there are 4 types. 1 being the same thing -which by the way women CHOOSE to do this in the US- look up labiaplasty. 2,3 and 4 include removing the clitoris..THAT would be equal to removing the penis.

      Now I don’t agree with this but my husband does, if you want to stop this I suggest you campaign and inform your sons/men about what is normal. Trust most women want their sons left in tact. My husband has this idea that it’s gross and he’s glad he had it done when he was an infant as opposed to later in life <<< these are the kind of men that you have to break.

  2. godsbutterflys on November 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I happen to be a mother of a few boy’s of my own and what people don’t realize is that it is cleaner for the boy to be circumcised. Not only does it cut down on infections when their young and lazy and don’t want to clean themselves, but you do get a few of the ones that get older and don’t want to clean them themselves. Now, now, boys,Uh I mean men we all no that there are times that you get lazy and don’t want take the time when your taking a quick shower that you don’t exactly wash everything. Please guys don’t be mad, my boys ( men ) I love them to death, but being my sons I really do know what guys can be like. P.S. and yes I did teach them how to scrub themselves.

  3. ActaNonVerba on October 10, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Male circumcision is exactly the same as cutting off the clitoral hood of females. So, as long as countries have exactly the same rules about both, that would be fair (not necessarily “good” but fair). However, I have a sneaking suspicion females will not have to endure mutilation like the males. Viva la double standards.

    • Isaac Wofford on February 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      yes you are so right! also, as Jewish person i would like to add that it is anti-semitic to remove erogenous tissue-circumcise- from a baby just because of their ethnicity, even if Jews or other semitic groups are the ones supporting it for their own people. circumcision is NOT cleaner, leaves boys more prone to STDs, because the urethra is permanently open, and it removes 70,000 erogenous nerve endings.

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