Home > News > World
Monday June 30, 2014 MYT 3:55:02 PM
Monday June 30, 2014 MYT 3:56:26 PM
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's Supreme Court has overturned a ruling by a court of rabbis that would have forced a mother to have her son circumcised under the terms her divorce.
Circumcision is not legally obligatory for Jews in Israel, but a rabbinical court presiding over the woman's divorce case had ruled she must fulfil her husband's wish to carry out the procedure in a religious rite known in Hebrew as a "brit milah".
Last year, the court had ordered her to pay a 500-shekel (88 pounds) daily fine until she complied. The mother then appealed to Israel's highest court.
Circumcision is one of Judaism's most fundamental decrees, symbolising the covenant between God and the Jewish people and nearly all Jews in Israel abide by it, performing the ritual when their babies are eight days old.
Rabbinical courts in Israel have jurisdiction over matters of marriage and divorce and operate under the Justice Ministry.
But the Supreme Court, which has overriding legal authority in the Jewish state, ruled that because the health of the child was at stake, the rabbinic judges had overstepped their mandate.
It also said that since the boy was more than a year old, the surgical procedure would be more medically complicated.
"The issue of circumcision should not be included in the divorce suit," the court said in its ruling on Sunday, according to a transcript provided on Monday. It said the matter should be dealt with by a family court, a secular authority.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Louise Ireland)
Insight - Syria's 'moderate' rebels say they need weapons, not training
Foley family says was 'threatened' by U.S. official over ransom - ABC
Dry West Bank ridge becomes focus of Israel-Palestinian tension
Israel will fund defence but guard budget, credit rating - PM
Special Report - Moscow stifles dissent as soldiers return in coffins
Afghan presidential rivals at last reach unity deal after disputed vote
Clashes in Yemeni capital cast doubt on deal signing
New Zealand PM storms to third term but faces slowing growth ahead
Sierra Leone Ebola burial team attacked team attacked despite lockdown
Families of German MH17 victims to sue Ukraine: lawyer
Fiji coup leader Bainimarama claims election victory
Can a 40-year-old woman be happy with a much younger boyfriend?
Epic solo hike from Mexico to Canada
Afghanistan's presidential rivals sign power-sharing deal
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)