The Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) has mobilized Europeans to support a rabbi in Germany who has become the first person to face criminal charges after performing a circumcision.
Rabbi David Goldberg from Hof Saale in Bavaria was sued by a German doctor on Tuesday, for inflicting “physical harm” by circumcising an infant.
Chief prosecutor Gerhard Schmitt confirmed that the complaint was filed, although it has not yet been decided whether legal action will be carried out against the rabbi.
A June court ruling in Cologne, banning religious circumcisions, sparked outcry from Muslim and Jewish communities across the world.
The RCE, an organization representing over 700 Orthodox rabbis from across the continent, said that the number of responses from business executives, Jewish and non-Jewish, who said they will assist in the funding of all necessary legal costs has been overwhelming.
Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, Deputy Director of the RCE, explained that "the Jews in Europe feel that this is an struggle against Judaism, on the one hand it makes them angry, and on the other it creates a great deal of sympathy and solidarity in the non-Jewish population."
Goldberg added that "This morning we spoke with David and we understood from him that he has yet to receive any notice from the court, and learned about the claim only from media reports and inquiries. Once receives notice from the court we will ensure that he receives the highest levels of legal representation thanks to several European businessmen who announced that they will donate any funds necessary."
Immediately after the district court of Cologne ruling, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lashed out against it, saying her country risked becoming “a laughing stock” if Jews and Muslims were banned from practicing their rituals.
The issue was taken to the European Parliament where Jewish and Muslim religious leaders met with the European officials in Brussels to complain about what they called “an affront to their basic religious and human rights.”
Muslims circumcise young boys before the age of 7, while Jews perform circumcision rituals on the eighth day after birth.