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Circumcision Still Occurring in Germany, Local Rabbi Assures

Rabbi Uri Gamson of Germany says local Jews are continuing their regular routine, despite attempts to ban circumcision in the country.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/24/2012, 5:12 AM

Preparing for circumcision
Preparing for circumcision
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A rabbi in Germany said on Thursday that local Jews are continuing their regular routine, despite the recent tension over attempts to ban circumcision in the country.

Rabbi Uri Gamson, who heads a yeshiva in Berlin, spoke to Arutz Sheva several days after the rabbi of the city of Hof in Bavaria, Rabbi David Goldberg, was sued over performing a circumcision.

“Jewish life here in Germany is quite calm. There is no sense on the street that something is happening, particularly since the Germans do not express their feelings in public,” said Rabbi Gamson, who recently participated in meetings the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger, held with German politicians.

He added that he believes the crisis will be resolved, saying, “The Germans do not want to be perceived as being anti-Semitic. The only problem which arises now is criticism of non-professional circumcisers.

“I think that in this matter we should be not only right but also smart,” he said. “Rabbi Metzger suggested that the rabbis establish a committee recognized by the government, which will appoint mohels (ritual circumcisers), who will be required to undergo medical training. This is a smart suggestion, because we need to win over the German public opinion and refute the arguments that there are non-professional mohels.”

Rabbi Gamson noted that there is a lot of ignorance among the Germans about circumcision.

“It does not come from anti-Semitism; they just do not understand what we are doing,” he said. “One German politician told us she heard we give the babies alcohol during the circumcision.”

He emphasized that there is no prohibition to perform circumcisions. “Just yesterday I met a mohel who circumcised twins and I myself took part in two circumcisions. There is no prohibition to perform circumcision, but on the other hand there is legal precedent after the suit was filed against the Muslim doctor who performed circumcision on a child in Cologne. We hope that all the bills that are on the agenda and are in favor of circumcision will pass.”