Israeli Divorce Case Where Child’s Circumcision is in Dispute

A few months ago, I posted about a case in Palm Beach County that has garnered considerable international attention, Mother Held in Contempt of Court for Delaying Son’s Circumcision For … Three Years .

It is interesting to contrast this case with a similar (but not identical) case that unfolded in Israel, where circumcision is part of Jewish religious practice.

In the Israeli case, which was a divorce case, Israel’s highest appellate court reportedly held that the question of a child’s circumcision is not a proper subject for his parents’ divorce case.

One important distinction between the US and Israeli cases is that the appeal in Israel was from a ruling by a religious, or rabbinical court, presiding over a divorce, rather than a secular family court which typically considers other types of family law matters.

The essence of the ruling was that that the rabbinical court lacked authority, or jurisdiction, to rule on whether the child should be circumcised.


  1. this Jerusalem Post opinion piece: American courts should follow Israel’s lead in case of boy facing circumcision
  2. this Haaretz article: Israel’s High Court voids rabbinical ruling ordering woman to circumcise son and
  3. this YNet article: High Court overturns rabbinical court’s forced circumcision ruling .