EJP President Outraged After Filing of Charges against German Rabbi for Performing Bris


European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has expressed outrage after Rabbi David Goldberg, the chief rabbi of Hof in Bavaria and a mohel – person trained in the Jewish ritual of circumcision – has had charges filed against him for performing a circumcision.

“The charges laid against a Jewish religious leader for performing a fully legal action is outrageous and a very troubling escalation sending a deeply problematic message to the Jewish community,” Kantor said. “It has been many decades since a Jew was charged for practicing Judaism openly and is reminiscent of far darker times. We hope that in Germany, of all places, the authorities would remain far more sensitive to this issue.”

The issue of circumcision has become contentious since a German regional court in June ruled that the practice amounted to “causing criminal bodily harm”. However, in July a spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel said that circumcisions should be able to continue as normal, saying that there should be no punishment for practicing religious circumcisions.”

Reports claim that a doctor from the Hesse region filed the complaint against Rabbi Goldberg, one of only a few Jewish religious mohels in Germany, who was then subjected to criminal charges by the authorities.

“We hope the government will immediately intercede, especially after the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed the right of Jews to continue practicing circumcision,” Kantor continued. “The government needs to send a clearer message that Jewish religious life should be allowed to continue and thrive in Germany and to enact legislation without delay to clear matters as there is obviously a lot of confusion.”

“This issue needs to be closed as soon as possible before Jews all over Germany will be subjected to legal intimidation and assault for practicing their religion.”

The June ruling by a regional court in Cologne has led to a spate of similar comments and rulings across Europe in Switzerland, Austria and Scandinavia.

“There is a wave of intimidation laid against Jews and Jewish practices in Europe today,” said Kantor. “While some may argue on the basis of different reasoning, the facts remain that Jewish traditions are being targeted as subversive and unwelcome.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. The only way to resolve this issue is by communicating openly with the Authorities. Because there are certain extreme situations on the opposite ends, which we can both agree on, as to, when a Government can outlaw certain Religious activties.

    Eg., We have to agree that a Gov’t is allowed to forbid, selling one’s young daughter to slavery, to do a Maaseh Akeido on ones child, or to burn ones daughter like Yiftach Hashofet in order to be M’kayem his Nedder, to do the Parshas Ben Sorrer, or Maaseh Soiteh on one’s wife, or Female cicumcission.
    We also both agree that any parent is allowed to “brainwash” his child to believe absolutely in his religion; or to persuade his child to Dress in accordance with his religion.
    So there are only some in-between situations where we disagree and should try to explain it.

  2. The Germans like many other Christians have anti-semitism in their blood embedded in their DNA. It is difficult if not impossible to erase almost 2000 years of Jew hating.

  3. Ader, there is no equivalence, moral or otherwise, between the situations you list and that of bris milah. This situation is gezeiras shmad, and I envy the zchus of those mohalim in Germany who perform brissim in a situation of yehareg v’al yaavor.

  4. To #3

    No equivalence, But exactly where should a secular Gov’t draw the line. L’moshol, Hypthetically, What if a Hindu believes in cutting off one half of one finger from a first born child?.

  5. No coincidence, the big news in the health section is that circumcisions SAVE BILLIONS in health-care costs. Perfect for secular gov’t. Plus many many akum do it. Plus it has been a precedent for centuries. Plus no Hindus cut off half fingers, so no comparison.