Chief Rabbi Metzger Tries to Set the Record Straight

(Monday, September 3rd, 2012)

At a shabbos event in Kerem B’Yavne, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger Shlita explained that his efforts in Germany surrounding the bris milah controversy simply focused on educating officials to the differences between Jewish bris milah and Islamic circumcision.

Despite the chief rabbi’s good intentions, the echo heard from Germany is that his efforts appear to have complicated matters for the local Jewish community.

The chief rabbi told his hosts in Kerem B’Yavne that he explained the customs surrounding our bris milah on an infant as compared to the Islamic version, performed on a male without anesthesia, viewed as a cruel act while this is not the case with bris milah on an infant.

Whatever the case, for the leaders of the Jewish community in Germany, Rabbi Metzger’s efforts did not lead to a solution and for now, based on the Cologne court’s ruling, bris milah is illegal in that district of the country.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


3 Comments

  1. akuperma says:

    It is very common for Jews to try to discussing anti-semitism with anti-semities. It is a myth that logic can convince anti-semites to changes their views. Those opposed to circumcision, whether by Jews or Muslims, are bigots. There is position is logical from their perspective, since their initial assumption is that Judaism and Islam are something evil that needs to be rooted out – once you make that assumption, their position is quite logical.

    They find it amusing when Jews (or others) argue with them. The Germans found it amusing whenJews tried to debate their racial theories. They didn’t find it amusing when the Americans, Russians and Brits levelled their cities and occupied their country.

    The correct Israeli response should be to curtail relations with any country that bans Jewish religious practices (Bris, kashrus, Shabbos, etc.). Make it clear that we regard them as anti-Jewish bigots, and we will have as little to do with them as possible.

    Religious Zionists should note that proposals to do such things as ban Bris milah, ban kosher slaughter, close down yeshiovos, etc., have never come from the Muslims – and perhaps they should reconsider the desire of the zionist to model Israel on European civilization.

  2. HaKatan says:

    akuperma:
    Why would Israel protest this? Other than Israel’s chief rabbis and religious establishment, of course, the Zionists must be quite happy about the Cologne court’s stance on Bris Milah, as it fits nicely with their post-Jewish European secular anti-religious outlook.

    Actually, it would be almost hypocritical for Israel to curtail relations with any country that bans any of our religious practices, as Israel itself is, at best, secular, and is slowly divesting itself of the few vestiges of Judaism that it does still have. Their war on Torah learning, the war on modesty of those who choose to remain religious – pillars of our observance – has increased of late.

    Israel is not a suitable representative of world Jewry. It never was. Israel is secular Zionist, not Jewish, even if some of their ruling bloc happen to be Jewish.

    I imagine that Religious Zionists don’t have a religious preference that Israel model itself after Europe. Their theology may hold that Israel is part of the redemption, and, therefore, the idolatry of Zionism is kashered, in their view. But they don’t view Zionism’s socio-cultural model as part of their theology, in my understanding.

  3. Chaim ben Yehuda Zev says:

    “The correct Israeli response should be to curtail relations with any country that bans Jewish religious practices (Bris, kashrus, Shabbos, etc.). Make it clear that we regard them as anti-Jewish bigots, and we will have as little to do with them as possible.”

    If the Israeli government was to adopt your recommendation it would be left with very few friends.

    On the other hand, the bill for running embassies and consulates etc would drop like a stone.

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