Denmark Chief Rabbi: Doctors did not call to ban circumcision

Arutz Sheva exclusive: Chief of rabbi of Denmark calls claim that medical association called for circumcision ban totally false.

Benny Toker ,

circumcision (illustration)
circumcision (illustration)
Flash 90

Rabbi Yair Melchior, the chief of rabbi of Denmark and a member of the Council of European Rabbis, told Arutz Sheva that the Danish Medical Association (DMA) is not pushing for legislation banning circumcisions on anyone under the age of 18, and that the association is in fact against such legislation.

European media reported last week that the DMA recommended a legal ban on circumcisions for minors on the grounds that it violates the individual's right to choose. Male Jewish infants are circumcised when they are eight days old.

According to Rabbi Melchior, there is a small but vocal minority in Denmark that is pushing not only to ban circumcision for Jewish and Muslim children, but is also seeking to ban the practice of many Christian denominations of baptizing children. "This issue has been part of public discourse for a decade. There's a small activist group which [engages in] crazy talk. They are a very secular group. There are even two Jews [in the activist group] demanding legislation against circumcision. Their ideology is all about individual freedom, and [therefore they believe] that children should not be circumcised and Christian children should not be baptized. They are anti-religion."

Rabbi Melchior explained that the DMA never called for legislation against circumcision. "This extreme organization hired the group 'Doctors Against Circumcision' to try to pressure the DMA to join the protest against circumcision. But the DMA did not give into their demands. On the contrary, the document they issues stated that there is no need for legislation. They just wrote that from [their] ethical standpoint a boy should wait until adulthood before deciding to have a circumcision. It was only a recommendation."

"The government already looked into this issue six months ago, and there was an explicit statement by the Government of Denmark that it would protect minority rights, including the right to circumcise their children - unless there is a medical issue. The authorities have already determined that there is no medical problem [with circumcision] and there is therefore no legislation on the matter."

Rabbi Melchior added that even though there is no legislation against circumcision, the Jewish community must remain vigilant because those who seek to ban the practice work tirelessly to see their goal fulfilled.