Mom Fined $140 a Day for Not Circumcising Son

Israeli woman says she doesn't want to 'mutiliate' her child, despite court ruling

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2013 6:03 PM CST

(Newser) – A strange case is playing out in Israel over a woman's refusal to circumcise her son. In what Haaretz calls a "precedent-setting decision," a rabbinical court has levied a fine of $140 a day for each day she does not circumcise him. The bill is currently at $700, but the unidentified woman refuses to budge. “I have no right to cut his organ and mutilate him," she told Channel 2, as reported by the Times of Israel. "And the court has no right to force me to do so." The court, however, says that "circumcision is a standard surgical procedure that is performed on every Jewish baby boy, so when one of the parents demands it, the other cannot delay it."

And that's where things get a little confusing. The child's parents are going through a divorce, and the mother says her soon-to-be ex initially agreed with the decision to leave the boy uncircumcised but changed his mind during the divorce proceedings. In its ruling against her, the court suggested this was part of a scheme of some sort on her part: “If the mother is given the opportunity to prevent the circumcision or use her objection [to the procedure] as a tool to make headway in the divorce struggle, we could find ourselves facing a flood of cases like these," wrote the rabbis. "This trend must be stopped immediately." Rabbinical courts have authority over all marriage issues, notes 972mag.com. But this one might well end up in the nation's Supreme Court.

File photo of a circumcision ceremony.
File photo of a circumcision ceremony.   (Shutterstock)
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