Los Angeles, California: It was a Big Day for our Little Guy. Relatives flew in from around the world for his bris. Lenny’s parents arrived overnight from Washington, DC. They spent the morning cooing and pampering their grandson. We dealt with other important matters:
We have been in Los Angeles for nine days and had yet to visit In-N-Out! Whew. Crisis averted. We visited the In-N-Out in Hollywood (on Sunset) which, for some unknown reason, seems to have the best In-N-Out burgers in the country. 670 calories later, we were ready to face the music.
Poor Little Guy had no idea what was in ahead of him this afternoon. For 5771 years, Jewish males have been circumcised on their 8th day. Prayers are said, wine and Challah are consumed, G-d hears his name, and the infant is accepted into the fold. It is a beautiful rite of passage. Leo is blessed to have so many people to love and nurture him!
Lenny’s uncle William flew from St. Louis with his family for Leo’s brit milah.
The bris was catered by Lisa & Lenny’s friends at BarBrix.
Friends Angela (pink skirt) and Jeff (center, in white shirt) are Leo’s g-dparents. According to custom, Angela took Leo from Lisa, handed him to Jeff and then Jeff gave the baby to Lenny’s Dad. Leo, Lenny and both grandfathers disappeared into another room with the Mohel (who, in this case, just happened to be Head of Urology at UCLA Medical School in his spare time) and the circumcision was performed. Leo did not cry (topical anesthesia was used) during the procedure.
After the circumcision, everyone – except DT and Leo – gathered in the garden for the ceremony. Dave was in charge of bringing Leo out to the circle of gathered friends at a specific point of the bris. Little Leo started to cry and was sobbing by the time his Grandpa brought him out to the Mohel. (Poor Lisa!)
Dave arrives with his screaming grandson
Leo is placed in an empty chair – symbolizing the chair waiting for Elijah.
Then the baby is given to his paternal Grandfather and Leo is given his first taste of wine. Lisa and Lenny told their friends and relatives the significance of Leo’s Hebrew name – Lev – and prayers are recited.
Lenny’s Dad & Mom tend to Leo while the Mohel reads prayers
The Mohel, Mark Litwin, was fantastic – very serious and precise (according to Lenny’s dad who is also a physician), but kind, funny and he obviously loves his role in the Los Angeles Jewish community.
The parents and grandparents placed their hands on Leo’s head and we prayed for a long healthy life of love and service to G-d.
Then a loaf of Challah is passed around for all to share. The ceremony is over and Lisa can finally comfort her son.
It was a beautiful ceremony – made even more special because it was held in their lovely garden. 24 guests – very intimate, and everyone loves Lisa and Lenny and their son so much! Our grandson is so blessed and today marks a very special covenant in his life.
DT and I are leaving Los Angeles in the morning. There is only one thing that could tear us away from Leo – and that is Katie’s Wedding! Woody & Kathy’s #3 is getting married this weekend in the San Juan Islands of Washington!
Until my next update, I remain, your over-whelmed-with-happiness correspondent.