An Israeli rabbinical court has told a mother who is divorcing her husband that she must have her young son ritually circumcised. She’s being fined $140 a day until she complies.
The rabbinical judges in the case said in their decision the woman was opposing the circumcision as a means to bringing her husband back to her. They also referred explicitly to the growing debate around ritual male circumcision elsewhere in the world, and voiced their fear of the precedent that could be created by a Jewish Israeli woman allowed not to circumcise her son.
“We have witnessed for some time now public and legal struggles against the brit milah in many countries in Europe and in the United States,” the judges wrote. “The public in Israel has stood as one man against these trends, seeing them as yet another aspect of displays of anti-Semitism that must be combatted.”
The court doesn’t bother to mention that the recent discussion about Jewish circumcision hasn’t been centering on regular brit milah as much as on the controversial practice of metzitzah b’peh, during which mohels, after cutting away the child’s foreskin and tearing the membrane with their fingernails, place their mouths on the boy’s penis to suck away the blood.
We should probably remember that
In the U.S. [alone], since 2000, there have been at least 13 cases of herpes associated with metzitzah b’peh, including two infant deaths. Two other babies contracted herpes infections that led to permanent brain damage.
I guess that calling out that practice as unhygienic and harmful is “anti-Semitism” now.
In its ruling on the woman who doesn’t want her son circumcised, the Israeli rabbinical court also asked:
“How will the world react if even here the issue of circumcision is given to the discretion of any person, according to their own beliefs?”
Well, about that, gents: How will the world react to a panel of judges who are attempting to force a mother to cut off a perfectly healthy part of her child’s anatomy to satisfy their fusty religious doctrine?