European Rabbis met in Germany on Thursday to proclaim their opposition to a German court’s ruling which outlaws circumcision. The ban has brought religious leaders of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities together in opposition.
Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the European Conference of Rabbis, strongly worded part of his public statement against the court’s decision, calling it “the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust”.
Approximately 120,000 Jews currently reside in Germany, and are joined by close to 4 million Muslims in their strident opposition to the banning of the religious ritual.
Rabbi Yisroel Diskin, Director of Chabad in Munich, says the ban is concerning for Germany’s Jewish population but he is optimistic that the state will overturn the ruling.
“I’m sure that the German government or Parliament will correct this issue and I hope it will be very soon,” Diskin told The Algemeiner. “Just the message from the court, that circumcision is not allowed, is a very serious issue for Jews in Germany.”
On Thursday, many of the European Jewish leaders who met in Berlin, called on families to continue circumcisions, in defiance of the court’s ruling. Diskin, however, notes that while some families will most likely go ahead with the religious rite of passage, others will decline in fear of possible consequences.
“There are a lot of families that want to do it, and they will do it regardless, but at the moment we don’t know what the law’s going to be,” he said. “The people who know how important it is, they will do it anyway. Other families will do it, but only if it comes without extra problems.”
While the court’s ban only applies in and around Cologne, located in Western Germany, the opposition to the ruling – which cited health and safety concerns after a child had to be treated for bleeding following a circumcision procedure – has come from religious leaders across Europe.