Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Debra Rubin
JTA 

For new dad, a stronger bond from a cut foreskin

 


WASHINGTON (JTA)—Natan Zaidenweber thought the mohel was kidding. His wife, Linda Raab, thought it was some kind of religious formality and didn’t give it a second thought.

But the mohel, Cantor Philip Sherman, was serious. Though most fathers demur when he invites them to perform the bris on their sons by clipping their foreskin, preferring to delegate the task to someone professionally trained in the procedure, Sherman finds that about 5 or 10 percent of dads agree to do the cut.

“It is the father’s mitzvah to actually perform the bris as Abraham did for his son, Isaac,” Sherman said. “Many fathers have told me what an incredible moment it was for them to do the actual bris and enter their sons into the covenant of Abraham.”

The Mill Valley, Calif., couple realized the cantor wasn’t joking only once the ceremony was underway. Sherman began with a naming ceremony for Jay Hilay and his twin sister, Sivan Rose. Then he again offered Natan the option of making the cut.

The new dad stepped forward, and as his startled wife screamed his name in a tone that she says was intended to say, “Are you crazy?” a friend reassured her it would be easy.

“I then took a deep breath, surrendered to the faith I had in Phil and motioned that they had my blessing to proceed,” Raab said.

Sherman set up what was needed, gave the baby some sugar water, put a clamp in place and offered Zaidenweber some direction. Making the cut, Zaidenweber said, was a powerful bonding experience.

“I’m glad I did,” he said. “I’m glad I have that connection with my son. Your love is equal for both [twins], but it’s special that we have that bond.”

For Raab, too, the experience was a positive one. Sherman had told the gathering that a baby’s cry during a bris is like the sound of the shofar opening the gates of heaven.

“I closed my eyes, heard Jay’s cry and actually was able to experience it as deeply spiritual and beautiful,” Raab said, noting her pride that her husband took on the role.

“He stepped up, fearlessly, with a faith in himself that I wouldn’t have had in myself,” she said. “I have since been aware of how much his modeling has helped me to muster more courage as I face the tasks of mothering.”

If the couple were to have another son, would Zaidenweber make the snip again? Yes, say mom and dad, without hesitation.

If you know of a lifecycle event that would make a great story, please email lifecyclist@jta.org.

 
 

Reader Comments
(4)

Adam writes:

'Sherman had told the gathering that a baby’s cry during a bris is like the sound of the shofar opening the gates of heaven.' I wonder exactly how the sound of a baby being cut into, is like the sound of the opening of the gates of heaven? I wonder if baby perceives it it in the same way? 'I closed my eyes, heard Jay’s cry and actually was able to experience it as deeply spiritual and beautiful' How does the sound of a baby in pain, become spiritual, or beautiful? I simply don't understand

Adam writes:

Pretty sick as a bonding experience. Would you trust someone who just severed about 50% of the skin, and 70% of the nerves, of your genitals? That memory will be stored subconsciously. Considering the number of experienced mohels and trained doctors who have been severing parts lately, let's see a show of hands, of people who think this is an idea whose time has come?

KarenG writes:

What a beautiful story, I felt the same way when I was allowed to circumcise my daughter. And I would do the same again and again.

Kay writes:

How is it that a damaged p*nis makes a strong bond. Ben Maimon admitted it was done to spoil s*x, and it does. Get up-to-date, You can still worship with a for*skin, nothing bad will happen to you. No man in his right mind would want less p*nis, leave the boys to choose for themselves.

 
 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 09/18/2018 11:42