Saturday, February 13, 2016


We have officially decided to do NOTHING for Valentine's Day.  I love nothing.  That really is all I want.  It's too dang cold right now to do anything other than huddle up with a book/interesting documentary film or maybe look at stupid stuff on Imgur.  I have a friend whose birthday is on Valentine's Day, so there will be cake tonight, but it won't be Valentine cake.  It will be Birthday cake, which is obviously better.

After bragging about my health last week, of course I caught a cold.  Not a terrible cold (I'm over it already) but enough to keep me away from my cousin's baby's bris.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a bris is a Jewish ritual circumcision.  This would have been the first one for me.  I can't say that I was looking forward to it.

When a baby boy is 8 days old, he is held by his grandfather (or other honoured family member) while prayers are said and then a mohel (trained specially for this ritual) performs the deed.  If you want to learn a little more and are not too squeamish, click on this link.  The grandfather who held the baby was steady throughout.  The other grandfather had to turn away and looked like he might faint.  This was all reported back to me faithfully by my mother.

Apparently when the attendees entered the little chapel within the synagogue, there was fierce competition for the seats at the back of the room.  No one wanted to sit close enough to see anything that might make them turn pale.  However, my uncle very assertively insisted that my mother and the other close family members sit right up at the front.  Some of them stared at their shoes so that they could pretend they weren't so close to the action.

When I still thought that I would be attending, I psyched myself for the event by thinking of it like a piercing.  For some reason, my brain thinks of piercings and tattoos in a separate category from medical procedures, making them more tolerable to observe.  It's all over very quickly, and the baby is given a few drops of wine as a mild sedative.  Still, I probably would have been staring at my shoes along with the other sensitive flowers.

Have you ever attended a bris?  How do you expect that you would manage it?


Abby said...

As I was reading, I was thinking I'd actually want to be up front where all the action is. My boys all had the deed done shortly after they were born, in a very clinical fashion. Just whisked away from my room and returned a short time later with bells on... I think it would be sort of interesting to watch as part of a religious ceremony, as long as it was someone else's kid??
Sorry you missed it, and sorry about your cold. But glad you're feeling better. I have no idea what we're doing for Valentine's. Yikes, it's tomorrow!

Granny Annie said...

I have honestly never thought about this being done as a spectator sport. My son too was whisked away like Abby said and that seems quiet alright to me.

DarcKnyt said...


I was circumcised as an infant (common practice back then), but I don't think I could watch. At all. I'd pass out.

I agree with you on the cold this year. UGH. Enough already. I'm not a fan of summer or spring, but jeez I'm sick of winter this year.

Lynn said...

I think I'd take a pass on the bris! But I love the rituality of it. (Is rituality a word?)

Anonymous said...

I've never attended a bris. If I did, not sure I would fight for a back of the room seat. I could just sit anywhere and close my eyes. Besides, I'm short and near-sighted. I probably wouldn't see anything anyway.
I did once attend a Maronite Catholic baptism and confirmation 2-for-1 deal. For the confirmation, the priest slaps the baby in the face. That part of the ritual was a surprise to half the people in the church, including the parents.
He didn't slap the crap outta the baby, he just tapped him on the cheek, right. But the priest warned the people "Now, I'm going to slap the baby in the face." The mother had that look on her face that screamed "You're going to do what to my baby?"

Jenski said...

Never been to one, but I think your it's-like-piercing approach is a good one!

Ginny said...

I have not attended a bris but I have a few Jewish coworkers who have discussed a bris. Is that when they officially announce the babies' name as well?

Sparkling Red said...

Ginny, yes, the baby's Hebrew name is announced at the bris. For a girl, the event is simply a "baby naming". Lucky girls. ;-)

Vanessa T said...

Oh my goodness, no, I don't think I could attend a bris. I don't have that strong a stomach, lol.

I'm glad you had a nice Valentine's Day! A birthday is a great way to celebrate. :D