Shalom Life | February 14, 2014

Israeli Woman Court-Ordered to Circumcise Her Son

A Netanya mother has refused to give her son a circumcision; judges are fining her $140 per day until surgery is performed

By: Zak Edwards

Published: November 26th, 2013 in News » Israel

A woman in Netanya, Israel has been ordered by the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem to circumcise her son, placing a 500 NIS a day fine (approx $140 US) for every day the procedure is not performed.

According to The Telegraph, religious matters like marriage, divorce, and circumcision are handled by Rabbinical courts, “which have legal jurisdiction over religious questions... concerning the country's Jewish majority.” Three male rabbis acted as the judges in the matter and ordered the woman to have the surgery performed immediately.

The child’s estranged and unnamed father supports the decision in accordance with Jewish law.

Despite an appeal, the judgement was upheld by a higher rabbinical court, ruling that a verdict in the mother’s favour could cause "a flood of [similar] cases.” The judges ruled that "this trend [of refusing circumcision] must be stopped immediately for the common good, which takes precedence over that of the individual."

According to the Times of Israel, “the court stated that it believes her refusal was part of some ploy to save her marriage.”

In an interview with Israel's Channel 2 News, the woman said “I’ve been exposed to a lot of material regarding circumcision and I have decided not to circumcise my son. I have no right to cut his organ and mutilate him.”

The boy was born with a medical problem that prevented him from undergoing the surgery at the usual time of eight days after birth. "As time went on, I started reading about what actually happens in circumcision,” she told Haaretz, “and I realized that I couldn't do that to my son. He's perfect just as he is."

Such a decision stands against recent attempts in Europe to ban the procedure, including a recent decision by The Council of Europe to regulate male circumcision.


Israeli officials and rabbis have declared such rulings as sympathetic to rising anti-Semitism in Europe.

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