Monday, July 23, 2012
Honestly, I think that Jews should avoid visiting and living in all countries that ban shechita, Jewish ritual slaughter. That includes Switzerland for sure. Considering that those very same countries permit hunting, the cruelest and most immoral sport of all, the only reason for their banning shechita can be blatant antisemitism.
The latest faux moral fad is banning circumcision, even though it has been recommended by doctors for centuries. It's one of the pillars of Judaism and was adopted by Islam, also. Their have been laws proposed banning it even in San Francisco, USA. Germany almost banned it, too, but finally stopped the process.
Now Switzerland, which has shechita as illegal for decades is now joining the ban the circumcision crowd. But so far it's not a national law, just hospital by hospital. Actually, this doesn't affect the Jewish community all that much, because most brittot, religious circumcisions are done in synagogues by qualified and trained mohelim, not medical doctors. This is more of a psychological war against Jewish ritual which can influence the less observant to think of it as bad or dangerous.
Religious rights and freedom should be part of Swiss life, but it isn’t. Any country that bans shechita is banning Jewish life, because it is banning Jewish food. That’s the foundation of life, isn’t it? I remember being shocked when hearing about the Swiss ban when we were doing Jewish youth work in London in the mid-1970’s. Coming from the United States and Israel, it was hard to believe. In the typical Jewish fashion, Swiss Jewry just found ways of dealing with it, ways of importing kosher food/meat. Just because you can find ways around it and not starve doesn’t make it right or moral. That's how the Nazis began, with small steps that people easily ignored.
We must not accept countries like that. There are enough places in the world in which Jews can legally live as Jews. Of course, Israel is best, but that’s another story.