Thursday, October 28, 2010

circumcise you

My 3 year old grandson was jumping all over the hospital room where his new brother was born, and where his family was planning the brit mila (circumcision) ceremony for the next week.

"Gam ani rotza brit mila" he's screaming- which translates to "I also want a brit mila"

We're laughing at him.

"No you don't.  You really don't want a second one." 

Today we had the ceremony.  My daughter shoos me out of the room while she gets dressed.  I laugh at her.

"But I saw you give birth!! So what's the big deal seeing you in your granny undies."

On the way there, Jerusalem's streets were full of heavy traffic.  I hail a cab and I get an Arab taxi driver, who tells me he likes blondes.  Somehow my naturally graying hair looks blonde to him.  I tell him about my grandson and he motions with his finger...

"They will cut him today?"  pointing to the tip of his finger.

Most Moslems, he tells me, just do the circumcision in the hospital nowadays, though at one time they also used to have ritual circumcisers who weren't doctors.

He was confused by the "hafla" Jewish boys have at 13.  He thought that was perhaps a circumcision ceremony.  I was gonna tell him that's when they should all cut off their dicks, but I held back.  I explained a Jewish boy becomes a man, according to our tradition and there is no circumcision done at 13.

Then he tells me in Egypt they still do female circumcision.  I tell him it's horrible because it's not written anywhere  in the Koran. It has nothing to do with Islam. He agrees and tells me women want to have love.  And men just want to have sex.  A cab driver who understands.  Finally.  I sigh to myself.  I always get these cab drivers who have these semi-inappropriate conversations with me. 

I get to the Hall and guests have already arrived.  I'm 15 minutes late.  I flit from table to table to be with two sets of friends, feeling like Mrs. Doubtfire changing her identity and rushing from table to table.  The circumciser is here.  The room is dimly lit.  I voice my concern to people around me.  "Doesn't he need more light to circumcise this baby?  Even a dentist uses tons of light to see teeth, never mind a penis."  But they laughed and said this guy could do a circumcision in the dark.  He apparently does 10 a day and all for free.  He does it for the "mitzvah" (good deed).

The food is abundant and extravagant and delicious.    They had hoped to get 100 people and paid for 100 people, but they probably didn't have more than 80 show up. I joked with my son-in-law that if it weren't for his huge Tunisian family, the room would have been empty.

Meanwhile the Russian photographer was taking photos of the Complainer daughter and her male friend.  She took the sleeping baby and I yelled at her to hold his head.  She glared at me and growled..."shut up, you bitch!!" which made my friends look at me and laugh.  They hoped the photographer had captured that moment.

The little one finally gets up. He must have pee'd and it burns.  He shrieks.  My daughter is worried.  "You just need to change his diaper.  Then he'll be fine."

I get to do the changing, because my daughter is too squeamish.  Her husband pours oil over the bandage.  These are the directions so the bandage won't stick to the diaper. The tiny thing then nurses and falls asleep as if he has not a care in the world.... 


Anonymous said...

Mazel tov, too bad we didn't know about the brit, we were in Jerusalem that day and could have come. What's the baby's name? All the best to the whole family. Keep in touch. Marty and Shelli K.

jerusalemgypsy said...

Thank you. I didn't call any out-of-towners. But keep in touch when you are in Jerusalem, because you are more in Jerusalem than I am in your area.

Irina Tsukerman said...

Mazal Tov! What's his name? :)