It is Sunday, the fourth day of Pessah. S. is surrounded by his sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, who have all gathered at Bikur Holim Hospital in downtown Jerusalem to support him.
A non-profit organization called Brit Yosef-Yitzhak, which has provided more than 35,000 pro-bono circumcisions since it was founded 20 years ago, is footing the bill for the entire procedure.
A doctor has assured S. that the cut will not hurt. A mohel has patiently explained the procedure dozens of times. A special kosher-for-Pessah feast has been prepared to celebrate completion of the brit mila.
A Jewish couple are suing their neighbours in a block of flats, saying an automatic security light is keeping them prisoner in their home because it forces them to break their Sabbath rules.
Dr Dena Coleman and husband Gordon claim they cannot leave their holiday flat on the Sabbath because when they do they automatically trigger the light in the communal hallway – contravening a religious ban on turning on electrical items from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday because it constitutes ‘creating fire’.
Much of the support comes from fundamentalist Christians, who believe in biblical prophecies that Jews will inherit the land of Israel. Ardent followers also embrace literal interpretations of the Bible that a thriving state of Israel is a prerequisite for an apocalyptic end-time and the return of Jesus to earth. Often led by the charismatic leaders of megachurches, these grass-roots groups across the U.S. raise millions of dollars each year.