Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Israeli State Rabbinical Court Fines Mother For Refusing To Have Son Circumcised

Haaretz and  Failed Messiah report that in Israel, the Supreme Rabbinical Court on Sunday denied an appeal from an Oct. 29 decision of the Netanya Rabbinical Court (see Jewish Press, Nov. 7) imposing a fine of  NIS 500 ($140 US) per day on a woman who is refusing to have her one-year old son circumcised. The woman is in the midst of divorce proceedings with her husband who is seeking to force the circumcision. The boy was not circumcised at 8 days of age because of a medical condition, and subsequently, with her husband's agreement, the woman decided "she couldn't do that to my son." There is no circumcision requirement in Israeli civil law.  During the divorce proceedings the husband changed his mind. The appeals court judges apparently concluded, however, that the mother was now refusing to have the boy circumcised as a way to force a reconciliation with her husband. The judges also indicated their concern that allowing a Jewish Israeli woman to leave her son uncircumcised would encourage the anti-ritual circumcision movement in Europe and the United States. The mother argued in court that only Israel's civil family court has jurisdiction to order a circumcision, but the rabbinical court concluded that it also had jurisdiction of the dispute that arose in a divorce proceeding. The mother plans to appeal the decision to Israel's High Court of Justice.