Mother Forced To Circumcise Child Or Pay Fine
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish father holds his son before his circumcision in Jerusalem (Reuters)

An Israeli mother is being fined £90 for every day that her one-year old son is not circumcised after she refused to have the procedure carried out.

A rabbinical court, which has legal jurisdiction over religious issues, ordered the woman to circumcise her son after the boy's parents filed for divorce.

The order was issued by a panel of three rabbis after the father insisted on the procedure, as required under Jewish tradition.

There is no state-wide legal requirement for circumcision within Israel.

"As time went on, I started reading about what actually happens in circumcision, and I realised that I couldn't do that to my son," the mother, only known as 'Elinor', said.

"He's perfect just as he is," she continued. "I have no right to cut at his genitals and to maim him, and the court has no authority to force me to."

On their decision, the three rabbis wrote: "Circumcision is a standard surgical procedure that is performed on every Jewish baby boy, so when one of the parents demands it, the other cannot delay it except where it is proven to be medically dangerous."

The woman claims to be unemployed and therefore unable to pay the fine, which now totals $700 (£430).

She also stated that her husband was originally happy for the child to avoid circumcision when he was born, but altered his stance during the divorce proceedings.

The mother appealed the decision but it was upheld by a higher rabbinical court due to the precedent that such a ruling would set. The judges warned that overturning the verdict would cause "a flood of [similar] cases".

"Removal of the foreskin prepares the soul [of the baby] to accept the yoke of Heaven and study God's Torah and commandments," they added.

Religious courts in Israel hold total influence over all marriage issues, including divorce.

The only resort left for 'Elinor' after her appeal was turned down is an appeal to the Supreme Court.