Circumcision Row Continues in Cologne, Germany: Dieter Graumann Speaks at Roonstrasse Synagogue
Behind me is the synagogue in Cologne. It was here in Cologne where a regional court declared circumcision to be illegal. This attack on an ancient religious practice was in fact disregarding the freedom of religion guaranteed by the German constitution. The Cologne decision outlawing the circumcision of boys on religious grounds, followed by criminal charges filed in Bavaria against a Jewish religious leader for performing a circumcision -- a totally legal action in Bavaria -- caused outrage and shock among the Jewish communities in Germany. In an address at Cologne's Roonstrasse Synagogue, Dieter Graumann expressed outrage over the recent attack by youths of a rabbi in a Berlin street. Mr. Graumann said rabbis are here to bring us closer to heaven but in Germany we have to lament that rabbis are falling victims of unprovoked attacks. Meanwhile since a Cologne district court ruled that circumcision on religious grounds amounted to bodily harm following complications with the practice on a Muslim boy, the state of Berlin formally legalized the practice with certain limitations, while the federal government is expected to legislate on the issue in due course. Wilson Ruiz, Jewish News One, Germany.