Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Israel's Supreme Court Says Rabbinical Courts Lack Jurisdiction To Order Circumcision of Child

Israel's High Court of Justice on Sunday held 6-1 that a rabbinical court did not have jurisdiction in the context of a divorce action to order a couple to circumcise their one-year old son over the mother's objection. (See prior posting.)  Jerusalem Post reports that Deputy Supreme Court President Miriam Naor wrote in her majority opinion that the question of circumcision is unrelated to divorce issues that define the rabbinical courts' jurisdiction.  She said that parents have the right to make decisions in their child’s best interests whether they are married or divorced. The Court held that the question should be decided by the civil family court system. Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, president of the Supreme Rabbinical Court of Appeal, strongly criticized the High Court's decision, saying in part:
This ruling is another severe step in which Jewish judges forbid the fulfillment of a mitzva for which the Jewish people sacrificed its lives for throughout the generations.