This Shabbat, I experienced another first in my continuing aliyah adventure: a brit milah [circumcision] on Shabbat. After the service, people set up seats on the bimah [central reading platform] while the mohel prepared his kit. Most of the congregation got as close as they could to the action (I was keeping well back) while the preparations were underway, giving hearty renditions of some prayers in uplifting tunes. I wouldn’t go so far as to say you could cut the atmosphere with a knife (low blow, I know) but there was undoubtedly something different in the air; something warm and fuzzy.
The father awaited delivery of his newborn son, and then proceedings got underway. In among the blessings and prayers, it was noticeable that the father’s emotions almost got the best of him and he struggled to complete his lines. It looked as if the father was, at this momentous moment in his son’s life, filled with love; pure, unadulterated, love. Of course I am guessing, because as the father of girls, I never had to go through the brit as a parent. However, this father (who has been through it before) is someone who knows his blessings and appreciates them. So, I can – at least partly – imagine the river of joy coursing through him. And selfishly, I welcome every opportunity to celebrate a simcha. Far better to have good news to mark, than the opposite.
All the circumcisions I went to in the UK were small, family and friends affairs. This one was a whole community. I’m guessing that it wasn’t done in Shabbat in Glasgow because of the difficulties of operating without an eruv. But that’s maybe fuel for another post in the future. For now, even though it’s hours later, I can still feel the glow from the proud father, and it makes me feel good to. Here’s to a good new week for everyone. Shavuah Tov!