Religion

Israeli Woman Fined $140 a Day For Not Circumcising Son

| by Allison Geller

An Israeli woman named Elinor is being fined NIS 500, or $140 a day, for refusing the circumcise her son.

According to +972 Magazine, the woman’s husband pressured the Haifa Rabbinical Court to press charges. There is no legal requirement that obligates Jews in Israel to circumcise their sons.

The couple is currently going through a divorce. The rabbinical judges in the case said that the woman was refusing to circumcise the baby in an attempt to get her husband back.

“I’ve been exposed to a lot of information about circumcision and decided not to proceed with the circumcision,” Elinor told Israel’s Channel 2. “I have no right to cut at his genitals and to maim him, and the court has no authority to force me to.”

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The fine has already added up to NIS 2,500 ($700), which Elinor, who is unemployed, cannot afford to pay. She said that her husband initially did not object to her decision not to circumcise their son, but changed his mind during the divorce proceedings.

The rabbinical judges of the case used their decision as a platform to air their views on the growing worldwide debate about circumcision, referred to as brit milah, or the rite of circumcision.

In October, the Council of Europe passed a resolution against non-medical circumcision of boys in an overwhelming majority,  Times of Israel reported. It called circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity of children.” The council is not part of the European Union and cannot pass legislation, but its influence has been felt. French Jews, for example, urged French president François Hollande to reject the resolution, which he did, while child welfare counselors from the Scandinavian countries passed a joint resolution to ban the practice in their countries.

Judges in the case said that when one parent demands circumcision, it must be allowed to take place.

They also responded to the recent anti-circumcision movement in their statement: “We have been seeing public and legal fights against circumcision in the United States and Europe for quite some time. The public in Israel stands united against this phenomenon, seeing it as another aspect of the anti-Semitic acts that must be fought.”

Sources: +972 Magazine, Times of Israel, Haaretz