New Zealand father circumcises his son with no mohels available because of coronavirus crisis


(JTA) — A Jewish couple in New Zealand couldn’t get a mohel to perform a bris for their son — so they decided to take on the responsibility themselves.

Noam and Elisheva Fogel have been emissaries from the Jewish Agency and Bnei Akiva in New Zealand for the past two years. Their son, Eden, was born some five months ago, two days before the country closed its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ynet reported.

There are no mohels in New Zealand, and Jewish families rely on one from Australia to travel to the country to perform brit milah. According to New Zealand law, mohels must be certified doctors.

Last week, the couple decided not to wait any longer and Noam performed the circumcision, supervised by a local doctor and a community rabbi, according to Ynet.

They told the news website that they are looking forward to the day when they can tell their son what it took to give him a brit.

About 8,000 Jews live in New Zealand, the majority in Auckland and in the capital, Wellington, as well as a smaller community in Christchurch and other cities.

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