Moriya Ettinger, the wife of Merit Ettinger who has been held on administrative arrest without trial for the past eight months, wrote to the Chief Rabbis on Sunday, asking that they help her husband attend their firstborn son's brit milah (circumcision) on Monday.
Her letter to Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef comes after a Be'er Sheva district court rejected the request of Ettinger's lawyer to let him out for a few hours for the brit, even though such a measure is common even in the cases of convicted criminals.
"With God's help my husband Meir Ettinger and I merited the birth of our firstborn son, who God willing will enter the brit (lit. covenant – ed.) of our forefather Abraham on Monday," wrote Moriya Ettinger.
"As it stands now, in the coming months my husband will not raise our son, but I'm not turning to you about that. I have only one request – I ask that you don't stand aside, but rather that you act to allow my husband to be present at the brit milah of our son!"
She added: "It cannot be that in the state of the Jews a father will be prevented the right to circumcise his son."
Attorney Adi Keidar of the Honenu legal aid organization submitted a petition on Sunday afternoon to the Supreme Court, seeking to overrule the Be'er Sheva district court decision not to allow Ettinger attend the event.
In the court decision, the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and the Israel Prison Services (IPS) opposed Ettinger's release for the brit, even if he would be accompanied by prison guards. A temporary release under guard is a measure that is common even among prisoners who are accused or convicted of serious crimes, such as those serving life sentences for murder.
By contrast, Ettinger is being imprisoned in extreme conditions of solitary confinement and is not being allowed any phone calls except to several close family members, even though there has been no evidence or indictment presented against him for any crime.