Torat Chayim

Torat ChayimCommunity Contributor

Torat Chayim is a rabbinical association of Orthodox rabbis committed to fostering a more pluralistic and progressive future. Its rabbinic members (men & women) work together to foster Torah-rooted progress in the Jewish community and in society at large.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

44 Rabbis Thank Catholics Of Iceland For Supporting Right To Circumcision

Dear Father Jakob Rolland,

We the members of Torat Chayim would like to express our profound gratitude to you, your colleagues, and the Catholic Church in Iceland for your unwavering support in the face of multiple attacks lodged at our core practice — the ritual of circumcision. Your defense of our freedom of religion, in Iceland and other regions in the past months, has been essential to protecting our tradition and faith, as well as preserving our faith in our fellow human beings.

We deeply appreciate that you were vocal in your opposition from the very beginning. Your statements, as well as the statements of Bishop David Tencer, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, and Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, among others, have made an impact that will be felt for generations. Without your voices of support there is no doubt that we would not be where we are today, which is on the verge of safeguarding our ancient mark of the covenant. On behalf of the greater Jewish people, thank you for being the definition of a true friend and a protector of its faith.


We believe that protecting religious freedom is a source of joy and pride to all the members of our communities. We believe that our Father in Heaven is overjoyed that the three religions, all serving one God, the God of Abraham, are now acting as partners in defending religious tradition and the sacred in a secular society.

Maimonides states that one of the greatest forms of charity is giving to someone you do not personally know because the giver does not hope for recompense. It is the duty of religious individuals and communities everywhere to protect the fundamental right of all humans to religious freedom, which is unfortunately threatened in each generation. Although we would not hope for it, we will eagerly repay the favor if the need ever arises.

B’Shalom,

Rabbi Alan Brill
Rabbi Ariel Burger
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo
Rabbi Eiran Davies
Rabbi Barry Dolinger
Rabbi Joshua Engelman
Rabbi Steven Exler
Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber
Rabbi Mimi (Miriam Sara) Feigelson
Rabbi Daniel Geretz
Rabbi Pinchas Giller
Rabbi Mel Gottlieb
Rabbi Steve Greenberg
Rabbi Yitz Greenberg
Rabbi Donn Gross
Rabbi Tyson Herberger
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield
Rabbi Sam Intrator
Rabbanit Bracha Jaffe
Rabbi David Jaffe
Rabbi David Kalb
Rabbi David Kasher
Rabbi Tzvi Koren
Rabbi Eugene Korn
Rabbi Daniel Landes
Rabbi Hayim Leiter
Rabbi Martin I. Lockshin
Rabbi Yehoshua Looks
Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Rabbi Dr. Ariel Evan Mayse
Rabbi Jair Melchior
Rabbi Michael Melchior
Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman
Rabbi Micha Odenheimer
Rabbi Aaron Potek
Rabbi David Rosen
Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger
Rabbi Michael Schudrich
Rabbi Gabe Kretzmer Seed
Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller
Rabbi Jacob Siegel
Rabbi Ami Silver
Rabbi Yair Silverman
Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein
Rabbi Pesach Dahvid Stadlin
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
Rabbi Doug Zelden

Click here to read Father Jakob Rolland’s moving response

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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44 Rabbis Thank Catholics Of Iceland For Supporting Right To Circumcision

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