I have never been to a bris before. In fact - I wasn't even 100% sure what it was all about until yesterday. I knew that it had to do with circumcision, and that's about it. Turns out there's a bit more to it than that!
I'm not Jewish, but my friend Sasha is. She is the first of our group of friends to have a baby, so it's kind of surreal! Yesterday I went to see little baby Cayden' s bris, and boy, what an experience. Personally, I think it's kind of a strange tradition that I don't really understand, but here is the definition from Wikipedia:
Brit Milah (Bris) is a religious ceremony within Judaism to welcome infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel through ritual circumcision performed by a mohel ("circumciser"). This happens on the eighth day of the child's life, in the presence of family and friends, followed by a celebratory meal (seudat mitzvah).
I squirmed and shuddered as the "procedure" was happening right in front of me... I couldn't bear to watch! Cayden was screaming bloody murder (which is to be expected), and I couldn't keep the grimace off my face. It's hard for me to understand why we started performing circumcision in the first place, let alone why God would want men to do it. Maybe that's a discussion for another time!
Anyway, after it was all over, we had an AWESOME Jewish brunch filled with bagels & lox, crackers and all kinds of spreads, challah bread, and noodle kugel. It was all so delicious, and then I realized that it's not just about snipping off a bit of foreskin - it's a way to get families & friends together, to have them meet the baby, and to celebrate his life.
In that way, I really enjoyed myself.
Welcome to the light, baby Cayden!