Warsaw conference deals with ‘threats’

The largest conference of European rabbis to meet in Poland since World War II has ended after addressing a number of what is perceived to be anti-Semitic threats to Jews living in Western Europe. According to the Jerusalem Post, so-called “militant secularism” is seen as a threat to two very important Jewish institutions: brit milah (ritual circumcision) and shechita (ritual kosher slaughter). Coupled with anti-Israel sentiment, the rabbis expressed concern that the root causes of these movements may have stemmed from anti-Semites. Recent measures against circumcision by a medical association were proposed in the Netherlands in the name of child welfare. European animal rights groups have complained that shechita is inhumane. The rabbis questioned their true motives and noted that backlashes against traditional ritual practices could manifest in anti-Semitic groups whose agenda might be far more sinister.

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