The first-ever Jewish circumcision ceremony in the history of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took place in the country's capital of Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The historic ceremony, also known as brit milah in Hebrew, was conducted in collaboration by a mohel (Hebrew for circumciser) who has been operating in the UAE for several years.
The participants held a morning prayer, reading from the Torah and at the conclusion of the prayer, performed the circumcision ceremony.
The brith was performed on the son of a Jewish couple who previously lived in Berlin, Germany, and was accompanied by Chabad emissary and rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtel, who is in close contact with the family.
"The event was special, powerful and encouraging," said Teichtel. "Attending a brit of a Jewish baby on the eighth day to his birth is an unforgettable experience. Standing there and thinking this baby is continuing the millennia-old golden Jewish dynasty."
After the ceremony, Rabbi Teichtal held a lengthy meeting with the German Ambassador to the UAE Peter Fischer on the emerging Jewish life in Abu Dhabi. The rabbi later spoke to a senior UAE official.
The new Jewish community in Abu Dhabi develops in light of local authorities' efforts to prove its religious open-mindedness.
Local media reported in September that the construction of the first synagogue in the Muslim country will begin in 2021 and will be completed by 2022.
The synagogue will be part of a multifaith complex in Abu Dhabi named the Abrahamic Family House that will also include a church and a mosque.
The construction of the complex was first raised last February, after the historic visit of Pope Francis in the United Arab Emirates, during which UAE authorities recognized the country's Jewish community for the first time.
However, public opinion in the Arab country is largely pro-Palestinian and there are those among the local community who see the warming relations with Israel as a form of betrayal.
Critics claim that the Gulf country's newfound openness is no more than a façade since the Muslim government suppresses any kind of opposition and has been criticized by human rights organizations for imprisoning activists.
First published: 22:27 , 01.12.20