(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Interministerial Committee of Circumciser Supervision has suspended for three years the mohel who allowed apprentices without almost no training to practice on Ethiopian Israelis and non-Jewish babies.
The committee, which comprises representatives from the Chief Rabbinate and Health Ministry, said, however, it had not found any professional violations by the mohel, Rabbi Eliyahu Asulin.
In an investigative report broadcast last month by the nascent Israel Broadcasting Corporation, Asulin was secretly filmed saying the babies of Ethiopian Israelis and non-Jewish residents in Israel were “cannon fodder” and good for practicing circumcision.
Asulin also was seen urging an investigator, posing as a trainee mohel, to perform a circumcision on a non-Jewish child, having had almost no training whatsoever.
During Asulin’s hearing, he reportedly presented the committee with information that had not been available to the IBC report, including a document indicating the agreement of a mother to carry out the circumcision by a trainee mohel.
Despite this, the committee revoked Asulin’s accreditation to teach and perform circumcisions for three years. Any further violations by Asulin during this period will result in the permanent revocation of his accreditation.
“The committee sees with great severity the offensive and totally inappropriate comments mohel Eliyahu Asulin made and his behavior that caused a desecration of God’s name,” it said.
During the IBC’s investigation, Asulin accepted NIS 11,000, from the investigator to complete an “accelerated course” in circumcision that would include the immediate performance of circumcisions on non-Jewish babies.
Asked by the investigator why anyone would accept him to perform a circumcision, Asulin said: “I do Ethiopians, Eritreans...,” indicating that they don’t know who is a qualified mohel or not.
“This is the best training in the world, this is cannon fodder, it’s the best, you need to jump [at this chance], afterward we will do it with Jews,” Asulin said in a phone call to the investigator to set up a circumcision on an Eritrean baby boy.
The report showed the investigator meeting with Asulin near the apartment building of a Filipino family who sought a circumcision for their infant son, and giving him a cursory lesson on the hood of his car before the two entered the family’s apartment.
There, Asulin repeatedly urged the investigator to perform the circumcision. When he refused, Asulin was forced to do it himself.