Degel HaTorah representatives expressed this past Monday in the Knesset Interior Committee their vehement opposition to legislation or other official form that would require mohalim to acquire a certificate issued by the State.
The Chief Rabbi has formulated regulations which were presented before the Committee regarding the official recognition of mohalim and supervision of them, but these are meant as suggestions which are not binding or mandatory. Moshe Dagan, director general of the Chief Rabbi's office, emphasized that "there is no legal obligation for mohalim to be certified/ordained. We intend to publicly inform the general public the difference between a mohel who is certified and one who is not."
MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler said, "To forbid a father to circumcise his son by a mohel who is not certified is anti-religious coercion. Hospitals may not enable unauthorized mohalim to hand out business cards, but one who wishes to circumcise his son by an uncertified mohel should be allowed to do so and not thwarted. Not allowing this is a decree which is not extant anywhere in the world and we will not agree to such a thing."
The Rabbinate director said that out of the 700 mohalim in the country, only 400 are certified. "Instances of post-circumcision complications which reach the hospital number 60 cases out of a total 65,000 circumcisions, with only one or two critical. The others are only hysterical reactions of parents. The inter-office committee examines every case in point. One case that reached the court involved a doctor who performed the circumcision. Doctors are not very adept in performing circumcisions."
In spite of the position presented, the members of the committee, including its chairman, MK David Amsalem (Likud), did insist that mohalim be required to have a state authorized certificate.