Denmark's chief rabbi allays concerns about circumcision ban

After reports started circulating, claiming that the Danish Medical Association was pushing for legislation against the practice on anyone under the age of 18, Denmark chief rabbi fights back.

By
December 8, 2016 14:07
2 minute read.
Circumcision

Circumcision. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Chief Rabbi of Denmark Yair Melchior on Wednesday night clarified that legislation to ban brit mila (Jewish ritual circumcision) was not on the table, following media reports that the Danish Medical Association was pushing for legislation against the practice on anyone under the age of 18.

The chief rabbi released a statement emphasizing that while the Medical Association had issued a statement claiming that it was ethically wrong to circumcise a person without his consent as an adult, it also made clear that it would not pursue legislation on the matter.

The association said last week that circumcision should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men should make for themselves.

“It is most consistent with the individual’s right to self-determination that parents not be allowed to make this decision but that it is left up to the individual when he has come of age,” said Lise Moller, chairwoman of the doctors’ association’s ethics board, adding that male circumcision carries a risk of complications and should only be performed on children when there is a documented medical need.

However, the association also noted a ban could have serious implications, “both for the involved boys, who could for example face bullying or unauthorized procedures with complications, and for the cultural and religious groups they belong to.”


Melchior said that just as the Jewish community spoke out strongly against the statement, Gorm Greisen, chairman of Denmark’s Ethical Council, had also said on national television that there was no ethical issue involved in the matter or with parents making the decision for their child.

Denmark’s leading newspaper, Politiken, last week published the article which led to the controversy. Melchior explained to The Jerusalem Post that there is an ongoing intensive debate on the matter which likely led to the misinterpretation that a ban was in the works. “There are groups working for a ban, or at least for an age limit to be set,” he noted, but added that this is nothing new. He stressed that he believes the ethical statement issued to be wrong, and is fighting against it.

Melchior is a member of the Council of European Rabbis, which has spent the past 10 years fending off attacks against brit mila and shechita (kosher slaughter) in various European countries, in line with the council’s mission to maintain and defend the religious rights of Jews in Europe.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

KOSHER INSPECTOR Aaron Wulkan examines meat to ensure that the food is stored and prepared.
February 18, 2019
Students at Oxford call for provision that would prohibit kosher meat

By BEN SALES/JTA