President of the Conference of European Rabbis, Pinchas Goldschmidt (right), has furiously condemned the decision by a German court to ban circumcision
Doctors have also warned it could increase health risks by forcing the practice underground.
European rabbis meeting in Berlin yesterday promised to defy the ruling by a court in the city of Cologne last month. They plan further talks with Muslim and Christian leaders in Stuttgart next week to see how they can fight the ban together.
'We urge the Jewish community in Germany and circumcisers to continue to perform circumcisions and not to wait for a change in the law,' said the chief rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt said outlawing circumcision was the 'worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust.' He demanded that Angela Merkel's government intervened to guarantee their religious rights.
The Cologne court took action after police were alerted by a doctor who treated a Muslim boy for bleeding after he underwent circumcision. It emphasised it did not ban circumcision, but wanted families to wait until their sons were older. So far the ban applies only to the area of the Cologne court's jurisdiction.
In a country that is sensitive to charges of intolerance and discrimination, especially against Jews because of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis during World War Two, many politicians including the foreign minister have criticised the ruling.
Germany is home to about 120,000 Jews and 4 million Muslims. Many of the latter are originally from Turkey, which also condemned last month's court ruling.
The rabbis have lobbied members of the German and European parliaments to push for legislation that would stop the ban from being copied by other parts of Germany and Europe. This could be done via a law to exempt religious minorities, similar to that which permits the religious preparation of kosher and halal meat.
Germany's opposition Greens promised to help seek legislation that would entrench religious freedoms for Jews and Muslims.