Israeli woman appeals rabbinical ruling she must circumcise son

A ''mohel,' or ritual circumciser, prepares his equipment before performing a circumcision in Neve Ilan near Jerusalem, in this September 24, 2012 file picture. Credit: Reuters
A ”mohel,’ or ritual circumciser, prepares his equipment before performing a circumcision in Neve Ilan near Jerusalem, in this September 24, 2012 file picture. Credit: Reuters

An Israeli woman appealed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday against a rabbinical ruling that ordered her to circumcise her one-year-old son, the Justice Ministry said, in the first case of its kind.

There is no law in Israel making circumcision obligatory for Jews, but a rabbinical court that was presiding over the woman’s divorce case ruled last month that she must fulfill her husband’s wish in the matter.

It fined her 500 shekels ($142) a day until she did so.

Circumcision is one of Judaism’s most fundamental decrees. It symbolizes the covenant between God and the Jewish people and nearly all Jews in Israel abide by it, performing the ritual when their son is eight days old.

Traditionally, the circumcisions are performed by a mohel, a religious man trained in the procedure, and are carried out in a festive ceremony called a “brit” — Hebrew for covenant.

Rabbinical courts in Israel have jurisdiction over matters of marriage and divorce and operate under the Justice Ministry. But in her appeal, the woman, who has not been named, said the rabbis had no jurisdiction over her son’s circumcision.

“This is precedent-setting,” said Amnon Givoni, an attorney for the Justice Ministry’s Legal Aid department, which is representing the woman along with two other lawyers.

“Performing or not performing circumcision is a serious matter and it should be discussed deeply … and separately from the matter of the couple’s divorce.”

In their ruling last month, the presiding rabbis said the woman was using her refusal to circumcise her son as leverage against her husband.

The couple began divorce proceedings when the baby was one month old and in the time that has passed, the ruling said, the woman has been standing in the way of her husband, who wants to fulfill one of the most important Jewish edicts.

Jewish law, the rabbis said, puts the onus on the father to see his son is circumcised.

But the mother says circumcision is tantamount to physical abuse. “I don’t believe in religious coercion,” she told Channel 2 News last month, facing away from the camera so her identity was not revealed.

The rabbinical court had no immediate comment, but in a statement it issued after its ruling last month, it said that it was acting in the child’s best interest.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.