Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This morning, in addition to helping She Who Must Be Obeyed schlep her school stuff from her old classroom to her new one - a task made more complicated by the fact that she will be teaching in a different school next year - I had the honor of attending a b’rith milah, a ritual circumcision, a tradition amongst us Jews that goes back at least 3,700 years.

The baby - the Guest of Honor at this sort of affair - is the grandson of Hank, one of my Minyan Buddies. Said Hank has three handsome and intelligent sons, all of whom are happily married off to lovely young ladies and all of whom are dutifully engaged in the business of cranking out Progeny. Kein ayin hara, it’s a wonderful family, and my friend and his wife are blessed with several beautiful granddaughters...and now a grandson.

So this morning, after the usual morning Minyan, a pack of us drive down to Hank’s in-laws (also friends from shul), where the ceremony will be conducted. There’s a good-sized mob of guests, including three rabbis (one of whom is the mohel, the guy who will actually perform the surgery) and a passel of grandkids, nieces, and nephews.

The baby is brought in with the appropriate blessings and is placed in Elijah’s Chair to be ooohed and aaaahed over before being taken up and handed to the sandek, upon whose lap he will be placed for the ceremony. The sandek, in this case, is none other than Grandpa Hank.

And then, just before the Moment of Truth, a gentle Juvenile Voice pipes up from the Peanut Gallery:


At which, of course, the crowd erupts in peals of laughter. Right you are, kid!

Meanwhile, the little guy hardly even complains. When he sees all those Home Movies in future years, however, it may well be a different story.

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