June in Copenhagen. One of the most notable sitings all over town is the presence of truckloads of students graduating from high school, all wearing caps, dancing to loud music. While walking through the park, a Danish fellow explained the tradition and agreed to share it….
In the dark all cats are grey.
– Benjamin Franklin
People often ask me what I am watching these days. Not because I watch so much, but because I am very passionate (and vocal;) about what I watch. This is the age of great television, specifically not network television. People who ask me know that I have very particular preferences in what I watch and they are drawn to the same, or they tell me how horrified they are that I suggested it!
First let me tell you what I really disliked, if you like these, you may not be drawn to my recommendations. Notting Hill, Modern Family, anything with Sandra Bullock, reality TV, Star Wars, The Notebook, anything animated, anything PG13, comedies.
My kids say that I only like movies where “nothing happens.” So here is my list right now, subject to change:
The Bris. The celebration of removal of foreskin
The first of his covenants with our Creator
Not in the presumed sterility of hospital walls
But done in one’s home surrounded by family and deli
Some choose to step back
Shout out the obligatory “mazel tov” on cue.
Others crowd around close to the makeshift surgical center
All are subject to the litany of moyel jokes that muster up an awkward chuckle
No one is as queasy as the infant’s father
Sweating, praying for a steady hand.
Questioning why didn’t we do this in the hospital, where it’s “clean”
Beginning to question why to do this at all,
Take a knife to his son, only 8 days on this Earth
Sucking on gauze soaked in Manishewitz, the child lies peacefully
Placed on a pillow held by the Godfather, the highest of honors
He is then handed over to the moyel who slices off the foreskin
The piece of flesh left on the table for burial In the yard.
As the generations before and the generations after,
Jews celebrate this act
Recognize the solemnity of the day
Feel a sense of tradition, respect and honor it
For the mother and father it marks a milestone
Of trusting and letting go
Loving, forgiving and coveting this child.
Always hoping for that steady hand
– Anne Koplin, M.D.
1. Learn to skip a stone
2. See Leonard Cohen wherever he is playing
3. Run a 5K
4. Plant a 100% edible garden