CAEF Letter to Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons
July 15, 2021
Dear President Ripstein,
Ever since Abraham circumcised himself and his sons, the Jewish people have been safely conducting circumcisions on their 8 days old male children and there have been no serious medical consequences, only at times hysterical, unwarranted and biased consequences from those who would challenge this sacred practice and deny Jews their freedom of religion. Moses himself would be surprised that the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons, unilaterally determined this ‘brit milah’, ritual covenant with God, cannot be performed outside of a hospital.
The practice of circumcision of male babies is safe in 9 provinces and 3 territories, and across the rest of the modern world, but not in Manitoba. How can that be?
My own son was circumcised in a hospital because he was older than 8 days when we adopted him. Despite having a pediatric urologist, my son’s penis became so infected it turned blue. I only wish I had not allowed this to be done by anyone other than a mohel, a trained Jewish practitioner.
The Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation views the College’s proposal as religious discrimination, not backed by science, as unwarranted and intrusive in the life cycle of Jewish families. We ask that the College immediately rescind such proposal both on Charter of Rights and Freedoms grounds, and on recognizing that thousands of years of practice have determined it is safe when provided by Mohels who are trained and certified. Your proposal would alienate the Jewish communities in Manitoba who have contributed to the province since the first Jews arrived there in 1882 having faced persecution in Russia.
We look forward to your immediate response and to Jews having the right to continue to live Jewishly in Manitoba, in every way, including having ritual circumcisions performed at home, in synagogues or other places chosen by the family.