The Orthodox Union today welcomed the decision by a Cologne court to drop criminal charges against Rabbi David Goldberg, who performed brit milah in Germany. Rabbi Goldberg was arrested last year after a district court judge said religious circumcision was illegal in Germany for causing “grievous bodily harm.”
Since the arrest, the German Parliament (Bundestag) passed a law that legalized brit milah—ritual circumcision—of male infants by authorized practitioners such as a mohel, a ritual circumciser. Rabbi Goldberg is a mohel.
“The arrest of a rabbi for carrying out a Jewish tradition that is mandated in the Torah and goes back to Abraham can only produce revulsion among Jews and non-Jews alike,” said OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil. “Chancellor Merkel and the Bundestag have made it known that they are unalterably opposed to the outlawing of circumcision. The decision of the Cologne court removes a dark cloud hovering over Rabbi Goldberg’s head. May he perform countless ritual circumcisions over many years to help rebuild the German Jewish community, and may the babies who come under his tender embrace grow up as proud Jews and enter into Torah, marriage and good deeds.”
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