Newborn baby [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
The Chief Rabbinate is to consider revoking the license of an experienced circumciser, or mohel, following revelations that he allows trainees studying under him to practice circumcision on the babies of Ethiopian Israelis and non-Jews without any experience or knowledge at all.
In an investigative report by the nascent Israel Broadcasting Cooperation, Rabbi Eliyahu Asulin was secretly recorded on video saying that such babies were “cannon fodder” and urging an investigator, posing as a trainee mohel, to perform a circumcision on a non-Jewish child having had almost no training whatsoever.
The Chief Rabbinate requires that a circumciser student observe dozens of circumcisions before he himself can perform one under the supervision of an expert mohel.
Asulin accepted the investigator as a trainee for NIS 11,000 to complete an “accelerated course” in circumcision which would include beginning to perform circumcisions on non-Jewish babies immediately.
Asked by the investigator why anyone would accept him to perform a circumcision, Asulin says “I do Ethiopians, Eritreans...” saying that such people 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], afterwards we will do it with Jews,” says Asulin 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 close to the apartment building of a Filipino family who sought a circumcision for their infant son, and giving him a cursory lesson in circumcision 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.
According to the report, Asulin is not the only mohel to conduct such courses and to exploit the social fragility of minority communities in the country for training trainee mohels without informing the families in question that the trainee has no experience at all.
The black market business involves “coordinators” who find non-Jewish families looking to have their sons circumcised and connect them with mohels and their “fasttracked” trainees.
On Tuesday, the Chief Rabbinate said its circumcision department would shortly be holding a hearing to decide the fate of Asulin.
The Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee will also hold a hearing into the issue next week.
Asulin said in response that the videos of him had been manipulated and edited out of context by “political elements” in Hadera where he is based.