The second I found out that I had to have a C-section I went into panic mode for several different reasons. The biggest issue was the recovery. My doc told me it would take about 6 weeks to heal. 6 weeks? Ya right. Try 6 days. I rested for 4 days in the hospital and 2 days at home. After that there was no more time to relax. I had to tend to the baby, my toddler and the bris that I was putting on for the lil one which is to take place 8 days after he’s born.
Here’s the meaning of a bris for those of you who do not know – taken from the world wide web…or of course you skip over the official meanings of a bris and just watch this hilarious clip of how Kramer from Seinfeld explains it’s a totally barbaric act and how Jerry and Elaine discuss finding a Mohel. Amazing.
The word Bris means covenant; the word Milah, to cut.
Ritual circumcision is the covenant G-d has established with the Jewish people through the commandment of circumcision.
Judaism views body and soul as holy partners in serving G-d. Therefore, the bris is performed on the most physical part, for all of man is holy before his Creator. Bris Milahjoins the forces of body and soul together in serving G-d.
Why on the 8th day?
The kabbalistic writings teach us that seven days represent the physical world of creation. Thus, when a child has lived for eight days, he has transcended the physical to the metaphysical. The covenant joining body and soul, physical and spiritual, can now take place. A bris has no meaning when performed before the eighth day.
The Bris ceremony has two parts:
the actual circumcision and the naming.
It is customary to honor family and friends to participate in holding the baby at various parts of the bris. The highest honor is to be the sandak, who holds the baby during the actual circumcision. It is not required to have a minyan- a group of ten at the bris.The parents can choose to have a private ceremony on the eighth day and have a reception on a later day when they are more rested.
The naming of the child
is the most emotional part of many bris ceremonies. Ashkenazic-European Jews have the custom of naming after the deceased. The immortalizing of a close relative or friend is a beautiful tradition.Sephardic Jews have the tradition to name after the living. A child may have one or more names, in accordance with the parents’ desires.
In our case we honored family members during the ceremony for Luke’s circumcision. The most adorable honor was the first where big brother Gavin and his cousin Morgan wheeled baby Luke out for his first appearance as he sat in his carseat placed in a big red wagon. Adam took him out and Gavin proudly looked up at the mohel as he presented his brother to the chopping block.
Then there was Poppy Stu. The incredibly proud Sandek who held baby Luke tight during the snipping.
Aunt Debi snuggled Luke with a gauze pad of wine to calm his nerves after the big cut and during the naming.
And Grandma Shelly danced Luke around during the joyous song we sang to end the service.
Luke has been named after my Zaida (grandpa) Lou and Adam’s Poppy (grandpa) Eddie. His Jewish name honors them both: Yitzchak Leib which means laughing lion. When Adam and I spoke about the naming there was not a dry eye in the house…especially when Adam started going on and on about how proud he is to call me his wife. It was touching and beautiful and man I love that guy.
The Mohel who we used for Luke’s bris Cantor Sherman was funny, gentle and very well spoken through the ceremony easing the pain of having to watch my baby boy go through this trying procedure.
Now that we’ve got the grueling and emotional part out of the way…we move on to the fun part. The food! For Luke’s bris I wanted to use a fun theme – something different and fitting to a new baby. At the hospital I breast fed Luke and one day had a visit from the lactation consultant. When she walked in to examine my situation she shouted, we’ve GOT MILK in here! And that’s where the Got Milk theme for Luke’s bris came from. I thought it would be hilarious to use the pictures that we had taken in the hospital and have the milk moustaches put on or faces with the “got milk” ad slogan. So the amazing Ali did just that. She whipped up the artwork and we placed in frames all over the food stations.
For dessert I called up Kristan from Kreated by K and had her make me some super cute sweets. We had cow print cake cake pops, cookies that had pics of bottles, got milk and black and white representing NYC and cupcakes which we made toppers for.
We also put out some cookies and donuts in the beautiful Rosana milk glass dishes that my sister’s girlfriends had bought for me after I hosted them for Camp Mandylane.
As for lunch we served a traditional Jewish lunch gone glam. My friend Gloria from Gloria’s fine food & catering put together the most beautiful spread for me and delivered everything in her white ceramic platters that were absolutely perfect for my table. We served bagels, lox, an assortment of cream cheese, tuna and egg salad, crudite, fresh corn salad and a sugar snap pea with sesame oil and black sesame seed salad that was out of this world.
For beverages we kept it simple but cute and fitting with the theme…milk of course…the kids gobbled these glass bottles up especially drawn to the little cookie we stuck on each straw! And of course an LMP party would not be complete without personalized water bottles. So of course we made some for the kids size bottles…and adults too.
Lastly, the decor. Kept the flowers low key by combining all of the beautiful arrangements that I had received while in the hospital together with blue and purple hydrangeas from my garden. I used glass milk bottles for vases as well as some white bud vases to spread throughout with pictures of the got milk signage that we made.
The day was perfect, the food was delish and we had a wonderful turn out considering it was a Friday mid day out east. Thanks so much to everyone who made it and for all of the good wishes from those who could not. We look forward to sharing many more happy occasions together with you!