Tagged circumcision

Iceland welcomes its first rabbi while considering a ban on circumcision

Rabbi Avi and Mushky Feldman with their daughters in Reykjavik, March 26, 2018. (Courtesy of Avi Feldman)

REYKJAVIK, Iceland  (JTA) — At a windswept harbor of this Nordic capital, a bearded man wearing a black hat dips eating utensils into the icy water while hissing from pain induced by the bitter cold. Perplexed by the spectacle, a caretaker helpfully offers to let the man and his… Read more »

Iceland is getting its first resident rabbi in decades

Rabbi Avi Feldman, left, and wife Mushky are moving with daughters Chana and Batsheva to Iceland. (Chabad.org)

(JTA) — The Chabad movement is sending a rabbi and his wife to Iceland, an island nation with 250 Jews where ritual slaughter of animals is illegal and circumcision is likely to be outlawed as well. Rabbi Avi Feldman, 27, of Brooklyn, New York, and his Sweden-born wife Mushky,… Read more »

House passes bill protecting circumcision, ritual slaughter as international religious freedoms

An infant being carried before his circumcision at an Orthodox synagogue in Berlin in 2013. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bill unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives would extend religious protections to advocates of circumcision and ritual slaughter as well as atheists, addressing what its sponsors describe as an increase in religious persecution in recent years. The bill, passed Monday, would broaden the definition of… Read more »

America’s Top Mohels

Michael Rovinsky: "The truth is I hate crying kids and I can't stand the sight of blood."

 NEW YORK (JTA) — Who knew? It turns out that mohels not only have one of the most peculiar professions in the Jewish world, but they’re funny, eccentric and self-promotional in odd ways, too.  Circumcision activists pro and con can debate the efficacy of circumcision for everything from health… Read more »

For new dad, a stronger bond from a cut foreskin

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Natan Zaidenweber thought the mohel was kidding. His wife, Linda Raab, thought it was some kind of religious formality and didn’t give it a second thought. But the mohel, Cantor Philip Sherman, was serious. Though most fathers demur when he invites them to perform the bris… Read more »

N.Y. Board of Health says Feh! to metzitzah b’peh

NEW YORK (JTA) — Orthodox groups expressed disappointment in the decision by the New York City Board of Health to require parental consent for a controversial circumcision ritual but gave no indication that they would mount legal challenges to the new regulation. On Sept. 13, the health department voted… Read more »

Little-known non-cutting ritual appeals to some who oppose circumcision

LOS ANGELES (Jewish Journal) — In the same week in which a San Francisco judge struck from the city’s November ballot a controversial measure aiming to ban circumcision of any male younger than 18, two reputable media sources reported on a relatively new, little-known ceremony that serves as a… Read more »

Battle over proposed circumcision ban shaping up in California cities

Rabbi Gil Leeds, right, performs a brit milah in Palo Alto, Calif., in July 2010. The baby is being held by Mitchell Ackerson. [Alex Axelrod]

In November, San Franciscans will vote on a ballot measure that would outlaw circumcision on boys under the age of 18.   Although experts say it is highly unlikely the measure will pass — very few state ballot propositions pass in the state, much less one this controversial —… Read more »