German Jewish group to begin training mohels

Move comes amid fears of ritual circumcision ban; German postal service to release stamp marking brit mila of Jesus.

By JTA
August 25, 2012 03:19
1 minute read.
A circumcision ceremony in Bnei Brak

circumcision brit mila 311 R. (photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters)

 
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BERLIN - Germany's main Jewish body has announced its intention to institutionalize the training of mohels or ritual circumcisors.

Amid concerns among Jews and Muslims that their religious practice of circumcision may be outlawed, the Central Council of Jews in Germany is organizing meetings with Rabbi Josh Spinner of the Orthodox rabbinical seminary of Berlin and Rabbi Walter Homolka of the Reform Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, both of which train rabbis.

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The intention is to "institutionalize the training of mohels in Germany as part of their rabbinical training programs," Josef Schuster, vice president and head of religious affairs for the Council, announced Friday.

In a separate, and bizarrely coincidental development, Germany's postal service has announced it will release a special stamp dedicated to the brit mila of Jesus.

According to a report in the German daily Tagespiegel, the 85 cent stamp marks the 200th anniversary of the German Bible Society and features a line from the Christian Bible: "And as eight days had passed, the child was circumcised, and he was called Jesus" (Luke 2, verse 21).

Ralf Thomas Müller, chairman of the Bible Society, told the Tagesspiegel the design was done prior to the current controversy, triggered by a court ruling in Cologne last May that non-medical circumcisions of minors were criminal.

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