The circumcision of one’s newborn is not a practice regulated by law, and it is not defined as a medical procedure, as the Supreme Court stated: “Circumcision is a practice whose performance requires certain medical expertise and whose performance involves certain risks of medical nature. Nevertheless, the overriding character of this act is not medical, but rather religious.” (2055/99). Though a joint commission of the Health Ministry and Chief Rabbinate exists, which deals with the certification of mohels and supervision of their work, this commission does not have the authority to prevent uncertified mohels from performing circumcisions.
For many years, it has been debated whether to pass a Mohel Law, and various proposals have been made over the years. Over the years, the Knesset has reviewed several versions of a proposed law, the most recent in 1998, due to a sharp rise in circumcision of adults, immigrants from the former Soviet Union. In 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed an appeal arguing for stricter regulations of mohels.
Legal claims against mohels who were guilty of negligence in performing their jobs are extremely rare. Nevertheless, over the years, damages have been paid out to various families.