Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Benjamin's Bris as a Photo Video

Benjamin had his bris/brit milah on Sunday 6 May 2018.

"The brit milah (Hebrew: בְּרִית מִילָה‬, pronounced [bʁit miˈla]; Ashkenazi pronunciation: [bʁis ˈmilə], "covenant of circumcision"; Yiddish pronunciation: bris [bʀɪs]) is a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony performed by a mohel ("circumciser") on the eighth day of the infant's life."

Benjamin's bris was actually held on the 12th day, since the chosen doctor was not available before that.*

Andrew is Jewish, I am not. I am also not really in favour of circumcisions, and this is one of the very few things Andrew and I really disagree on. However, since this was important to Andrew, and he has been so very very supportive, gracious to, and forgiving of me through thick and thin, conceding to his request that Benjamin also have a Jewish bris was really the least I could do.

The bris comprises of 2 main parts, the circumcision (performed by the mohel) and the naming ceremony where the child is presented to the community formally and his name revealed for the first time. We had of course already shared both him and his name (in detail) all over social media*, but his Hebrew names** had not yet been revealed.

The following roles were performed by the listed special people:
  • Rabbi: Rabbi Greg Alexander
  • Kvatter (person who carries the baby from the parent to the sandek): Paul Rackstraw
  • Sandek (person who receives the baby from the Kvatter): Ian Fraser (my father)
  • Mohel (performs the circumcision surgery): Dr Gideon Mareski (plastic surgeon)
  • Kiddish (prayer over wine): Gary Palmer
  • Ha-Motzi (prayer over bread): Mike Cohen
The bris was attended by an array of very special (nearby) friends and family who have been supportive and caring to us over the past few years. We were very grateful for their support on this special, meaningful and very emotional occasion.

I have to say that having witnessed 2 bris ceremonies now, that if you are going to do a circumcision, that this is a very special and meaningful way to do it. I was particularly emotional during this one as we stood watching the same way we'd watched Nathaniel's Bris, with memories of him all around us. I was quite overwhelmed with emotion.

I hope you enjoy the video.

(Photography in the video by Samantha Squire-Howe of Twinkle Star Photography and Leigh Page.)

We tend to break traditions a lot!
* I wrote about his Hebrew names here.


  1. This made me cry, such a moving ceremony. I especially loved your son's t-shirt. I am so happy you have a new life to cherish. Much love to you Jane.