Regular readers of Mentschen will know that I have been serving as a mohel here in the Boston area. I’m writing this post as I’ve just returned from doing a “bris” this morning. Being a mohel allows me to speak for a few minutes about the joys of our tradition. It is particularly nice to speak to the many young friends and family members who often aren’t exposed to Judaism, and also to the older family members for whom these words resonate with their own spiritual life.
The moments that are especially moving for me are those around the giving of the baby his name. I encourage parents to spend a few minutes, sharing with those in attendance the story of the name. Who are the men and women that are being remembered through the name of this new baby? What were their stories? What memories can be shared about them?
Whether the memory is of a loving parent or grandparent, a young friend or family member who’s life ended too soon, these stories invariable generate tears around the room. And that includes mine.
It is with great joy that I was honored to bless this child and his parents. I ask God to grant the parents the wisdom and patience to rear this baby into manhood and teaching him to be a loving, caring human being. I was particularly thrilled that there were four (count ‘em) great-grandparents on hand and was happy to pray that they, along with the grandparents experience joy and nachas from the baby.
As I blessed this child and his family I felt the hand of God on my shoulder. It was an extraordinary moment!