Joachim Gauck
Joachim GauckReuters

The Brit Mila, or circumcision, "is a Jewish custom that has been a central tenet in our nation's Jewish identity for thousands of years, and it is characteristic of the Jewish people ever since the first commandment that G-d gave to Abraham our Forefather," President Shimon Peres wrote in a letter to his German counterpart, Joachim Gauck.

The letter follows a decision by a German district court to ban the practice.

Peres stressed that he "sees with favor" the enlistment of all of Germany's governmental and parliamentary authorities to ensure that circumcision continues to be practiced freely in Germany.

"Mr. President," he wrote, "I am convinced that through preserving its values, Germany will remain committed to keeping and safeguarding the right of the Jewish congregation in Germany to carry out the Jewish religious tradition freely."