Sunday, December 30, 2007


We were in the car with our friends Gary and JoAnn when we passed a church. On its marquee were displayed the words, “It’s a Boy!” She Who Must Be Obeyed thought for a moment that the minister must’ve had a baby…and then we all realized that the sign was, no doubt, referring to the baby Jesus.

Somehow, our conversation turned toward the matter of the baby Jesus’s bris. His circumcision.

Yes, Jesus was circumcised. He was a Jewish child, after all, born of a Jewish mother. Mosaic Law, then as now, would have called for a male child to have been inducted into the Jewish Covenant through the ritual of brith milah at the age of eight days, at which time he would be given his name. And it says so, right here:
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. [Luke 2:21]
Would there have been a party afterwards? we wondered. Catering? Smoked fish and bagels? Probably not, since Joseph, Mary, and their newborn babe were on the run and funds were short. Also lodgings, since nobody goes out of their way to camp out in a stable.

This business of Jesus’s bris got me thinking about the matter of Sacred Relics.

We Jews are not very big on Relics, believing as we do in a completely incorporeal Deity. For us, there is no equivalent to the piece of the True Cross or the swatch of the Seamless Robe. Nobody knows where Moses is buried, but even if the whereabouts of his remains were known, it’s unlikely that they would be a focus of veneration. Just not our style.

But, I wondered aloud, what would be the most sacred object of all to a Christian? The Holy Grail?

No: It would be the foreskin of the Baby Jesus.

Wouldn’t it stand to reason that the holiest of Holy Relics would be that very same annulus of flesh, removed by an unnamed mohel (likely Joseph himself)?

What would you call it? I asked. And SWMBO had a ready answer:

“The Ring of the Lord.”

[Good thing I don’t believe in Hell...otherwise, I would so be on my way there for this post...]

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