Israel chief rabbi in German circumcision talks

Associated Press
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger briefs the media at the Federal Press Conference organization in Berlin, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. Israel's chief rabbi is in Germany for talks aimed at smoothing over controversy over the legality of circumcising young boys. German lawmakers have called for the government to draft a law this fall explicitly permitting 'medically correct circumcision'. That call came after a Cologne court concluded in June that circumcision amounts to bodily harm. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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BERLIN (AP) — Israel's chief rabbi is in Germany for talks aimed at smoothing over a controversy over the legality of circumcising young boys.

German lawmakers have called for the government to draft a law this fall explicitly permitting "medically correct circumcision." That call came after a Cologne court concluded in June that circumcision amounts to bodily harm — a ruling that doesn't amount to a ban but worried Jewish and Muslim groups.

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who represents Israel's European-descended Jews, noted Tuesday that Jews are religiously required to circumcise baby boys on the 8th day after birth.

But he suggested after meetings at the Justice Ministry and elsewhere that rabbis could certify mohels, people trained and specialized in the Jewish ritual of circumcision, after they receive additional medical training.