Apr 24, 2012

Mila Before Marriage

According to the article below, from today's edition of Israel Hayom, the Chief Rabbi of Ashqelon, Rav Yosef Chaim Blau, has decided to establish a new rule in his city for people registering for a marriage. According to Rav Blau, any male registering for marriage will be obligated to first undergo, if he has not already, a circumcision. Rav Blau announced this in a recent interview with the Yated Neeman.

The statement has upset some people, prompting the Hiddush organization to petition the State's Attorney and the State Comptroller to force Rav Blau to retract his new rule.

The Rabbanut's response was that they have no such rule in place connecting circumcision to the wedding, and if any rav has reason to suspect a familial problem he can recommend a circumcision, but he cannot force one.

Rav Blau, who put himself in the hot seat, has since retracted, saying that he has been told he cannot force the issue on anyone, and therefore he will not.

Encouraging Jews to undergo the ritual circumcision is good, and every Jew that does not have one is a shame, but putting such things into law just harms religion and people's attitudes to it. As soon as it is turned into a law, into something they HAVE to do, they begin to reject that and everything else.

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  1. a long time ago i did a מחקר on the concept שמא תצא לתרבות רע. the phrase was first used by the geonim to justify forcing a man to give a גט lest the woman convert and leave that way. the basic idea is that we use qulot or bediavad's or even bend halacha to prevent a much more serious sin. the concept was batted around for hundreds of years by the gedolim when it can be used, when not.

    jump forward 1500 years. rav a.i hacohen kook was asked about a man who did not get a brit milah because his father opposed the idea. he himself also was unwilling to get one out of ideological beliefs. the man was engaged and was willing to have a chuppa. however if the rabbinate wasn't willing to do the chuppa than he and his intended would simply live together. rav kook was asked if we allow the chuppa despite his lack of a mila or do we tell him, no mila, no chuppa?

    rav kook's answer was without a doubt the most חריף one that i saw. for someone like this, we don't care what he does or doesn't do. we are not bending anything for him, he and wife can live together, it is not our concern what so ever. no one can do a chuppa for a such a person.

  2. btw this requirement is no more ridiculous than their requirement that the wedding meal take place in a kosher facility (and you have to provide a copy of the hall's kashrut certificate).

  3. All I ask is they better do this bris quite a bit before the wedding or that evening is gonna be painful!


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