Jerusalem (Sep. 11)
Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog presided as godfather today at ritual circumcisions of eight and nine year old brothers who were two of the estimated 4,000 uncircumcised children arriving in the recent immigration from European Iron Curtain countries.
The rite highlighted the tragedy of war-torn Jewish families who, fleeing Nazi persecution, were unable to observe one of the most fundamental tenets of Judaism. A special section of the Ministry of Religious Affairs is providing the circumcision rite for 200 children each month.
The ceremony today was a typical one. The widowed mother of the two boys is Polish-born Mrs. Deborah Zimmerman. She survived a concentration camp and Siberian exile with her husband who died subsequently. Always on the move and frequently hounded by anti-Semitic hoodlums, she was unable to arrange for the Brith Milah until her recent arrival in Israel.