European rabbis are urging the Jewish community in Germany to ignore a recent ruling against circumcision.
Last month, a court in Cologne declared circumcision to be unjust, drawing concern that the procedure would be banned even for religious reasons. The legal system has yet to clarify who the law will apply to and, in the meantime, the German Medical Association warned doctors against performing any circumcisions until all details are known.
Today, the Conference of European Rabbis put out a call for German Jews to continue with the rite of passage for their infant sons.
"We call on the Jewish community and on parents to continuing practicing brit milah (the Jewish circumcision ritual) and not to wait for a change to the judicial ruling," Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said at a Berlin meeting.
He said that adherence to the ruling "would mean that a large part of the (Jewish) community does not have a future in Germany.”
Germany’s Muslim community has also joined in the cause, issuing a joint statement with the Jewish community demanding parliament protect the religious rite. Similarly, last month the two communities joined to protest a Dutch bill that would have banned ritual slaughter. Their combined efforts managed to get that motion blocked.
"The Jews have been living in Germany for the last 1,000 years," Goldschmidt added. "If there (were) a medical problem, for the last 1,000 years, nobody said one word."
The ruling came after a 4-year-old Muslim boy experienced heavy bleeding following a circumcision, drawing legal charges against the doctor who performed the procedure.