The Cologne court’s ruling that circumcision is tantamount to committing bodily injury continues to cause unrest. German politicians needed this ruling like a hole in the head. If they could, they would probably have the Cologne judge circumcised without anaesthetics.
Everybody, rabbis, politicians and blog writers like me, are all chewing on the forbidden foreskin. Mrs. Merkel has warned that Germany might become a laughing stock of the world for banning circumcision. Her ministers are searching for ways to pass legislation that will allow such bodily harm (i.e. circumcision) for reasons of “religious freedom”.
Israel’s President Peres has also given it a tug: In a letter to his German counterpart Gauck, Peres explained that circumcision was a “crucial” Jewish custom, “a central aspect of our nation’s Jewish identity.” Now, 79-year-old Charlotte Knobloch, a former chairperson of the Central Council of German Jews, has come out with a bitter howl published by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. For Knobloch, who survived Nazi Germany and life in post-War yet Nazi-ridden Germany, this ruling is more than she can swallow.
This general panic is a shame, as the issue deserves unhurried consideration. Everyone is talking about religious freedom – whatever that is - instead of going for a serious investigation into the fascinating questions of a baby boy’s rights and the extent to which circumcision is indeed harmful and/or traumatic.
Circumcision, Germany, Israel, Merkel, Peres