Poll: Circumcision top rite in Israel

Residents of the Jewish state may disagree on many religious matters, but one thing is for sure: Circumcision is one of the lone Jewish rites that remain in the heart of the national consensus.

In a recent Ynet-Gesher poll of 550 adult Jewish Israelis, 97 percent said they would circumcise their sons: Some 78 percent cited religious tradition as their reason.

When asked “What is the primary reason you would circumcise your son?” 78 percent replied that it is a basic and necessary tradition for every Jew. Thirteen percent cited health reasons and 9 percent said they didn’t want their child to be ashamed or feel different because all those around him were circumcised.

Among respondents who identified themselves as secular, 63 percent said that tradition was the main reason, 20 percent cited health and 17 percent said they didn’t want the child to be different. Among religious respondents 86 percent said tradition, 10 percent said health and only 4 percent said they didn’t want the child to be different. Among strictly Orthodox respondents 100 percent said tradition was the deciding factor for them.

And whom do Israelis trust with performing such a sensitive task? Overwhelmingly, a mohel. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they preferred a trained and experienced mohel, compared to the 28 percent who would entrust the matter to a medical doctor.