Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shlita spoke to Kol Berama, addressing the recent storm over bris milah in Germany.
The rav called Germany’s sudden concern for “the cries of an infant” as “astonishing”.
“I didn’t see this during my childhood. Jewish blood was abandoned”. He explains that he spends as little time in Germany as possible, only when absolutely necessary in his capacity as chief rabbi, or as head of Yad Vashem, but he tries not to stay overnight and of course not over shabbos. As such, the rav admits he is not ‘in the loop’ regarding details of the recent bris milah issue, adding of one thing he is certain, that Germany is not the place for the future of the Jewish People.
The issue of bris milah is “a thorn in our eye” he explained, adding three countries in Europe are concerned with the little infant, seeking to outlaw bris milah. “Which countries are banning milah — all German in origin, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. This is astonishing that the German speakers of Europe in our generation are concerned with the cries of the infants. I did not merit this as a child as tens of millions of Germans either cooperated with the Gestapo or remained silent. Therefore, Chancellor Merkel is correct in her remarks that outlawing milah will turn them into a nation ridiculed.”
Rav Lau explained that we know the Third Beis HaMikdosh will not be destroyed, and as such, we must daven, learn and be mechazeik towards meriting this. Regarding milah in Germany, “I am almost 100% sure that Mrs. Merkel and others will not permit this as they do not wish to become a laughing stock, dafka Germany of all countries.”
The rav had words of praise for the outstanding ties maintained today between Israel and Germany, on a diplomatic and defense level, stating it is most interesting that the two nations that persecuted us the most in the last century, Germany and Poland, both maintain excellent relations with Israel today. This must be encouraged and praised, but this is a far cry from seeking to start a new life in these countries. He calls efforts to prohibit milah in Germany “anti-Semitic”.
Rav Lau questions the situation in German, where Islamic perform circumcision on two and three year olds yet no criminal charges against anyone – hence the proof this is simple absolute anti-Semitism, nothing more. There is no place for Jews in Germany.
So you are saying they should all come here?
Why not? Why are they remaining there?
Forgive me but with the situation today, the threat from Iran while the world is not intervening to stop it, perhaps it is better for them there?
This is HKBH’s job and our job is to do the most we can in Eretz Yisrael. Here we have freedoms that do not exist in any other country. So let’s all come home and if we reach 10 or 11 million Jews, the situation will be different. This however is not the reason.
Rav Lau reminded listens of the words of Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Halevy Herzog ZT”L during WWII, with the pro-Nazi government in Lebanon and Rommel was approaching from Egypt and we were in the middle, and many said to run. Rav Herzog said the Third Bayis would not be destroeyd and we remained. We must have faith in HKBH and be mechazeik – that is our job.
With it all, a young couple that wishes to make a bris should not have to worry about how and where. It is time to come home and that would be the best scenario.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)