Bavaria, Germany – Report: German Rabbi Criminally Charged for Performing Circumcisions

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    Rabbi David Goldberg poses for photographs at the Israeli religious community in Hof, Germany, 26 July 2012. Rabbi Goldberg acts as a Mohel in the brit milah, the traditional Jewish religious circumcision ceremony. FILE EPABavaria, Germany – Rabbi David Goldberg of Hof, a 64-year-old mohel, is the first person to be criminally charged in Germany for performing a circumcision since the Cologne district court ruled this past June that “circumcisions for religious reasons constitute illegal bodily harm” to infants.

    Rabbi Goldberg, originally from Jerusalem, has been the rabbi of Hof since 1997 and has performed over 3,000 circumcisions. Hof is home to about 400 Jews.

    According to the Juedische Allgemeine paper, (http://bit.ly/O29I07) Rabbi Goldberg was charged after a doctor from Hesse reported him. Rabbi Goldberg said he only found out about the charges when members of the press contacted him. Hof’s chief prosecutor verified that charges were filed.

    After the Cologne ruling, Muslims and Jews in Germany expressed outrage causing the Bundestag to pass a joint resolution calling for the government to guarantee the legal right for circumcisions to be performed. The resolution stated, “A medically professional circumcision of boys, which does not cause unnecessary pain should be generally permissible.”

    Cologone Rabbi Yaron Engelmayer said the court’s ruling has “enormously” impacted the Jewish community. “De facto it looks as if doctors across the country are afraid [to perform circumcisions]. The mohels are inquiring, and we tell them: without circumcision, there is no Judaism. Therefore it is hard to imagine how the courts could criminalize a correctly performed Jewish circumcision ceremony. It would be too harsh a sign, especially from Germany.”

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    31 COMMENTS

    1. Actually the Reform movement in the mid 19th Century petitioned the German government to ban circumcision as a “barbaric practice.” Unfortunately, this is a vestige of that grave sin.

        • This is actually true. Do a quick google search on the views of two of the major founders of reform judaism – Samuel Holdheim, and Abraham Geiger. Although the latter didnt actually advocate eliminating it he did call it “a barbaric act of blood-letting”, and the former certainly tried to eliminate it.

    2. As usual, the emotional and hysterical reaction here is embarrassing. This was not a countrywide decision and the entire German political and legislative leadership came out strongly against this court’s decision. It was a few judges on one district court. But here we go, making it seem like every German is behind it, calling them Nazis, etc. We always yell and scream when anybody lumps all Jews together, but we are the first to do so to everyone else. A commenter above asked “Can we get Israel involved?” What do you want Israel to do? Bomb Germany? What an idiotic question.

      • ‘As usual, the emotional and hysterical reaction here is embarrassing’

        was the emotional and hysterical screaming from the gas chambers also embarrassing?

        you are an embarrasement to klal yisroel by allowing the nazi jackboot to silently rise up once again.

      • If you consider every one of Amalek to be Amalek, yes, every German can be lumped with every other one. Yimach shimam v’zichronam.
        And the Jews who have decided to make their life among the murderers of their own people, are just morons.

        • There are close to a quarter million Jews in Germany today, most of those communities are really thriving and growing.

          There are Chadurim and Kolelim opening all over.

          Please don’t call such a big number of of our brethrens MORONS

          They have a better live there then most of us here in the USA

        • First, Amalek is extinct. There aren’t any more Amalekites. Germans are not Amalekites.

          Second, you really don’t want to go down this road. “The Jews killed Christ. Kill the Jews!” There are Jewish child molesters. All Jews are pedophiles. Jews abuse the New York State welfare system. Throw all those filthy yids in jail.

            • So what? Just because one rav said it doesn’t mean it’s Torah m’Sinai. That’s the sickness we have today in the frum community — every rav who wrote a sefer in his life is considered infallible. Anytime anyone wants to back up an opinion, they find a statement in some sefer and quote it like thry’re quoting from Moshe rabbeinu. Like Eli in comment 11, I find the responses here embarrassing and ignorant. I see that no one has refuted anything he said with facts — only name-calling. One court comprising a few judges in a nation of millions makes a ruling that’s decried and condemned by virtually the entire country — and most of the people posting comments here immediately start with the name-calling and the judging, which are things frum Jews seem to excel in. Anyonewho thinks Jews as a group are intelligent, analytical, prudent and wise, need only view these comments to see that those descriptions perhaps fit secular Jews (you know, the ones who win all the Nobel prizes) but not our frum community.

            • ‘So what? Just because one rav said it doesn’t mean it’s Torah m’Sinai’

              The Ya’avets is Torah M’sinai.

              if you can says that quoting a Ya’avets is the sickness of the jewish community then you clearly do not belong in it.

              I am not sure wether to daven for you in refoainu or velamalshinim.

          • Well, let’s see–what’s been the overall history of the yidden towards the US, and what’s been the overall history of the Germans towards yidden. Think about that before you make asinine comparisons.

    3. Reminds me of Yavan during the time of Matisyahu and the Maccabim. kanayim when First the ARRURIM took our bodies..now they’re working on our neshamos! YEMACH SHMAM !! Where are the kanayim when we need them??

    4. Get out of that country soaked in our grandfathers blood and btw mothers after your son gets a bris -don’t see a goishe doctor !!! U r looking for trouble !! also if the doctor had no business checking down there for eg u took him for an ear infection then REPORT the doc !!!

    5. To # 21
      So please move there, to that “idishkite-thriving country”
      See how long you will last
      And also bring your grandparents there, they still have a chance to meet their “camp shomrim”

      Half of my grandparents family was killed by Germans in 1941-1942

    6. Sorry, but Rabbi Yaacov Emden, the Yaavetz, was a human being like you and me. A very learned human being to be sure, but unless you’re prepared to say that every word he ever said or wrote was with Ruach KaKodesh, then you can’t say everything he wrote — every sentence, every opinion, every mashul, etc. — was Torah M’Sinai. Your attitude is exactly what I was referring to in my earlier comment. What has happened to the frum community? When I was a kid we used to laugh at the Catholics because they believed the pope was infallible. At least the pope is just one man. We frum Yidden now seem to have hundreds and hundreds of popes, l’havdil — teachers and rebbeim whose every word we consider infallible. Again: Rav Emden was a tzaddik and a talmid chacham but he was a HUMAN BEING, which means he was not perfect or infallible.

    7. Yes, They are humans, but we do have a commandment to learn from the teachings of our Rebbes meaning there is absolutely no reason to not believe what Rav Emden said so it’s perfectly fine quoting him and that’s not the problem in the frum community, there are many of thsoe but this is not one of them.

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