Back To Home - Dr. Fred R. Kogen, The Bris Mila,
Expectation Of The Family & Guests
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The experience of a Bris is predicated to a great extent on the expectations of the family and their guests. If a family believes the Bris will be a momentous occasion in their lives, it truly will. A thoughtful mohel acts as a guide helping to lay a firm foundation for a meaningful ceremony. As a mohel, I look forward to accentuating the happiness of the occasion, reminding those present of the history and the significance and urging them to maintain the "spirit" and "spirituality" of this transcendent moment. The Bris can be an incredibly intense, spiritual, and, believe it or not, joyous occasion. It truly can be a Gestalt-like experience; wherein the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. To further enhance the engagement of the ceremony, I encourage participation from both women as well as non-Jews. A ceremony that is devoid of participation seems to be devoid of some of its soul as well.

When I arrive at a ceremony and the grandparents and parents immediately express their excitement for the pending event, I know that they will have a great experience, one they will never forget. I also know that it will have less to do with me, but rather their joyous attitude that will shine through. Naturally somewhat anxious for the baby, they trust in me and in the tradition. They look forward to the experience with positive anticipation. They are supportive of what I am there to accomplish so my performance rises even more to the occasion. I leave the home thrilled and honored to have been asked to participate in a 5000 year old ritual that is so integral to Jewish life and Jewish observance.