Isaac's bris and naming were held on the eighth day after
his birth, Monday, November 21 at 11:30 a.m. Thanks to all of our friends
and family who helped us celebrate this special occasion. The ceremony was
held at our home and was conducted by mohel Dr. Donald Kaufman. It could
not have been more perfect. Well, maybe more perfect if Wendy had
remembered to put on Isaac's kippah that we spent so much time finding or
maybe if Craig had remembered to put wine in the Kiddush cup for the mohel...
A mohel is an individual trained in the prayers and
mitzvot surrounding circumcision and is also trained in performing the
actual surgery. Mohelim generally fall into two categories: doctors with
religious training or religious leaders with training to do circumcision.
Wendy's parents were adamant that our mohel be of the first type. After
doing some research, we found out that only licensed M.D.'s could
administer local anesthetic, so we decided to call Dr. Singer, the only
M.D. mohel in Detroit. We finally got to talk to him after several days of
phone tag on the Wednesday after Isaac's birth. He said his schedule was
full, so we'd need to call someone else. Wendy asked him to refer us to
another M.D. mohel, so he gave us the number of Dr. Kaufman in Lansing,
MI. Wendy called him--by then in a bit of a panic--and he was available.
It just happened that he had a meeting the next day in Ann Arbor. He
graciously stopped by our house and examined Isaac and went over the
ceremony with us.
Left to right: Rabbi Bob Levy, mohel Don Kaufman, and our neighbor Decky
Isaac was prepped for the surgery upstairs in our
bathroom. Wendy made Craig leave, but she stayed there
during the anesthetic injection. The mohel asked us to
give Isaac gauze soaked in Manischewitz (super-sweet
Jewish wine) laced with sugar water. Isaac was a big
fan. Mom cut him off when he couldn't hold his arm up
Wendy's sister Kim was given the honor of Kvatterin--she
carried Isaac to the sandek. Traditionally, there is
also a Kvatter. The Kvatter and Kvatterin are usually a
married couple who are trying to conceive. Wendy wanted
to ask our friend Joe Menkhaus to be the Kvatter, but
considering the long and unfortunate dating history of
Kim and Joe, we decided it would be more prudent to ask
Joe to take photos instead...
Craig's Uncle Manny was Isaac's sandek. We hope
that Isaac can grow to be as generous and good-hearted
as Manny. The surgery was performed on our dining room
table. Isaac fussed a little when his foreskin was
pulled away from his penis, but otherwise didn't seem to
be bothered by the operation. His Dad, on the other
hand, started looking a little pale. Wendy was afraid he
would faint and hit the table, so she made him sit down.
A minute later Craig went outside to sit in the fresh
air. Our rabbi joined him for morale support.
After the bris, Isaac was given to Steve for the
naming ceremony. Isaac's Hebrew name is Avraham Yitzhak.
The first Avraham Yitzhak was Craig's great-grandfather.
The most recent one, and Isaac's namesake, was Uncle
Abe. Uncle Abe was a physician who always made sure his
family was provided for. Family legend has it that Steve
would still be in the hospital if Uncle Abe hadn't paid
for Steve's birth. Uncle Manny says that Isaac is the
first person in the family to be named for Uncle Abe.
Craig's Uncle Manny--Steve's oldest brother--was Isaac's sandek. In Jewish
mysticism the sandek holds the baby above his lap during the circumcision
so that all of that person's good qualities pass into the baby. Today, the
sandek holds the baby during the blessings, but the actual circumcision is
performed while the baby is strapped to a circumstraint.
Isaac's grandparents (left to right: Steve Comisar, Randy & Linda
Ankrom, Becky Comisar) read a prayer during the ceremony.
Return to Baby Isaac page.