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The boy had been scheduled to read from the Torah at Chabad Double Bay, Sydney, but rabbis from the Sydney Beth Din ruled on the Monday before that his circumcision was not kosher.
Rabbi Moshe Gutnick and Rabbi Yoram Ulman were at the mikvah in Bondi preparing to draw a drop of blood from the boy to symbolise his Orthodox conversion when they noticed that his brit milah, conducted by a Jewish doctor in 1993, was incomplete.
“We immediately called one of the mohelim to check, and he confirmed a further circumcision needed to be done,” Rabbi Gutnick said.
But the boy’s mother told the Australian Jewish News: “I didn’t want my son to have that trauma. It’s not true he wasn’t circumcised; it’s a question of degree.”
The single mother, who had an adult bat mitzvah following her Progressive conversion, said she had to inform guests of the change of venue “due to a technical problem” just days before the simcha. Temple Emanuel Woollahra accommodated the barmitzvah.
But Rabbi Gutnick told the AJN the temple was “fooling the child” into believing he is Jewish.
“Unless the child goes to the mikvah and is circumcised according to Jewish law, pretending the child is Jewish is ultimately doing a disservice to the child,” he said.Sydney Shul Circumcision Row by Daniel Baker