Tag Archives: bris

Commandment

As the birth of Raspberry approaches, I find that his Bris (Brit Milah, ritual Circumcision) is not as easy and obvious as I thought.

For starters, will his brother and sister be able to come? They are young, but they are his family. And others of their family will be here. We don’t want them to miss it (though they’d obviously be in a different room than the actual event), but we cannot predict the date of the Bris.

Which made David suggest to have the Bris not on the 8th day, but on a convenient day. To which I, without even thinking, said, “No.”

And then I thought about it. Why is this commandment so important to me that it must be done just so, when there are many, many commandments I don’t follow at all.

So why do the Bris at all? Maybe we could have a Brit Shalom or Bris B’li Milah (meaning Covenant of Peace or Covenant Without Circumcision), which is a new adaptation of the traditional ceremony that involves the blessings but not the cutting.

I have both a positive and negative visceral response to this. I’ve been ingrained from a young age to believe in Jewish traditions and belonging to a Jewish community. I’ve also been ingrained to act thoughtfully and in peaceful ways.

I find myself rubbing up against my personal beliefs and community beliefs a lot lately. Part of it may be that I don’t really have a spiritual home here in Reading, neither with yoga nor Judaism. I’m working on finding or building them, but it isn’t easy in a small, conservative town. Part of it is certainly that as I get older I have to face more and more difficult decisions that affect not only me but my family. Being a bio-mom (because I am already a step-mom with its own set of responsibilities) is a huge responsibility and one that I am so looking forward to, but I can see already that so many decisions are not so easy to make.