Daily Israel Report

German Court Drops Charges Against 'Offending' Mohel

A German court on Thursday dismissed all charges against a rabbi for his role in the circumcision of a Jewish infant.
By Arutz Sheva staff
First Publish: 2/25/2013, 9:37 AM

Brit milah (circumcision) ceremony (illustration)
Brit milah (circumcision) ceremony (illustration)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A German court on Thursday dismissed all charges against a rabbi for his role in the circumcision of a Jewish infant, the German language Judische Allgemeine reported. 

Rabbi David Goldberg, from Hof, was charged last year after a court in Cologne ruled that circumcision was illegal in Germany.

The German parliament has since voted a new law allowing the practice.

A statement by the Hof prosecutor on Thursday said that the rabbi satisfied all requirements regarding child welfare “which are not jeopardized by the circumcision."

“Circumcisions which are applied with the consent of parents or custodians are not subject to criminal liability,” the prosecutor added.  

Rabbi Goldberg, who has been working as a mohel in Germany since 1997, said he was very pleased the case was now closed and there was clarity on the issue.

“I never had any doubts, I still performed circumcisions,” he said. But I think this is very good news for parents who did have doubts, and for the entire Jewish community.”

Following a prolonged and heated debate, the German court decided to allow the religious rite by a vote of 434 to 100, with 46 abstentions.

"The Bundestag action is a welcome affirmation of Germany’s commitment to religious freedom," said Deidre Berger, director of American Jewish Committee's Berlin Office, said at the time.

“Circumcision is critical to Jewish and Muslim religious life,” said Berger. “The German parliament’s action should put to rest reprehensible allegations that Jewish and Muslim religious upbringing violates children’s rights and endangers the welfare of children.”