As some of you know, a court in Cologne, Germany has ruled that circumcision violates a child’s fundamental right to be protected from bodily harm. Of course, it can’t be forgotten that these are the people who brought us the Holocaust. It boggles the mind to think that the country that exterminated six million Jews some 70 years ago thinks it has the moral standing to rule on anything whatsoever to do with Judaism. It doesn’t.
Of course, something else that boggles the mind is that this court can make this ruling while, in Africa, the World Health Organization has embarked on a circumcision campaign that will end up costing over ONE BILLION dollars. Why? Because there is very compelling evidence that circumcision helps fight the spread of HIV (click here for how) as well as other STDs. Granted, protection is not 100%, but reducing risk is better than nothing.
Of course, rabbinical groups are already urging Jews to violate the ban. Incidentally, the last time that ban was active in Germany, it was put in place by Hitler. However, we can recall another time in history when circumcision was banned – the Greeks. If they caught someone who had circumcised their child, they would tie the newborn around the mother’s neck and throw them both from a wall to their deaths. What was the outcome of that? The Hebrew Hammer, of course. No….not the really funny movie…Judas Maccabeus.
The Bible commands us to circumcise our male children on the eighth day after birth. This is not negotiable. To be a Jew, a male child has to A. be born to a Jewish mother and B. be circumcised. Now, those of us who are Jews by choice know that if you are not born to a Jewish mother, you become a Jew by immersing in a mikveh (pool of water), appearing before a beit den (rabbinic court) and being CIRCUMCISED. Again…not negotiable. If you were circumcised as a child, you still have to have blood drawn from your penis at the circumcision site. Ask any convert….they dreaded it. It filled them with terror. In the end, an IV needle was inserted in their penis and it really didn’t hurt….. but that’s all they could think about for a month before!
This ruling by this German court does not outlaw a medical procedure. It outlaws Judaism. I hope when the ruling is challenged, the higher court has common sense and realizes how important of a religious issue this is.
UPDATE: Germany is taking a lot of heat on this, including a petition with 13,000+ signatures from all over the world, including mine. So, Merkel has spoken up saying Jews and Muslims will not be prosecuted. Now, the parliament is calling for the government to pass a law to enshrine the religious right to circumcise children.