December 17, 2013
Israel's top court halts rabbinical decree forcing woman to circumcise sonIsrael's Supreme Court issued an temporary injunction freezing a rabbinical court's recent decree ordering a woman to circumcise her year-old son against her wish.
Acceding to the woman's appeal, Judge Yoram Danziger halted the decision and ordered the father to provide his response by January 2. The Supreme Rabbinical Court and Netanya's Regional Rabbinical Court will be issued a week later.
There is no law in Israel making circumcision obligatory for Jews, but a rabbinical court that was presiding over the woman's divorce case ruled that she must fulfil her husband's wish in the matter.
It fined her 500 shekels ($142) a day until she did so.
In their ruling last month, the presiding rabbis said the woman was using her refusal to circumcise her son as leverage against her husband.
The couple began divorce proceedings when the baby was one month old and in the time that has passed, the ruling said, the woman has been standing in the way of her husband, who wants to fulfil one of the most important Jewish edicts.
But the mother says circumcision is tantamount to physical abuse. "I don't believe in religious coercion," she told Channel 2 News last month, facing away from the camera so her identity was not revealed.