Yishai asks Merkel to intervene in circumcision case
By LAHAV HARKOVPublished: AUGUST 22, 2012 21:30
Interior Minister Eli Yishai wrote a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, asking her to intervene against measures forbidding circumcision.Yishai pointed out that several European countries have acted against circumcision according to Jewish tradition."As Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister and leader of the largest religious party [in Israel], but mostly as a Jew, I turn to you to ask you to prevent this phenomenon from continuing," the Shas chairman wrote.The interior minister asked Merkel to "bring back the ability to proudly live a fully Jewish lifestyle in your country.""Circumcision is one of the most important commandments for the Jewish people, and the first giving to one of the fathers of our nation, Abraham, as a sign of his eternal covenant [with God]. Even in times of slavery and exile, Jews made sure to fulfill this commandment, and did so happily," Yishai explained, adding quotes from the Book of Genesis."According to the Jewish tradition, whoever prevents Jews from fulfilling the commandment of circumcision is considered breaking Abraham's covenant."Jewish people in Germany should not have to choose between the local law and God's commandments, which protected Jews over the years, the Shas leader wrote. They should not have to choose between Judaism and their citizenship, and should be allowed to combine the two.
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