commentary by Tommy Sotomayor
Israel’s highest court has issued an temporary injunction that puts a hold on a state rabbinical court’s ruling that ordered a woman in divorce proceedings to circumcise her one-year-old son and fined her 500 shekels ($142) for every day she refuses to do so, Ha’aretz reported.
The woman, who has not been named, appealed to High Court of Justice.
Judge Yoram Danziger issued the injunction and ordered the baby’s father to respond to his wife’s petition by January 2.
There reportedly is no law in Israel that would make circumcision mandatory Jews.
The state’s Haifa rabbinical court, however, ruled the woman was using the child’s circumcision as leverage against her husband to try to force him to return to the marriage.
The couple began divorce proceedings one month after the baby was born.
Circumcision is a fundamental commandment in Judaism and is, except in cases of illness or extreme duress, required to be carried out on the 8th day of a male child’s life.
The child’s mother told Israel’s Channel 2 News last month that she considers infant circumcision to be abusive and and said she doesn’t believe in “religious coercion.”
“I’ve been exposed to a lot of information about circumcision and decided not to proceed with the circumcision. I have no right to cut at his genitals and to maim him, and the court has no authority to force me to.…I don’t believe in religious coercion,” the woman reportedly told Channel 2. She also said she is unemployed and does not have the money to pay the fine and claimed that her husband originally agreed to leave their son uncircumcised, but changed his mind during the divorce process.”
Israel’s state Supreme Rabbinical Court is also expected to rule on the case, but in the second week of January.
commentary from 2012