What To Do, What To Do?
Since our son’s bris was to fall on the first day of Succos, we called a posek to ask how we should deal with the fact that our not-yet-frum relatives would most likely be making the trip to attend the bris on Yom Tov.
His first suggestion: Stage a mock bris. Even though I was trained as an actor, I did not think that even Sir Lawrence Oliver could have pulled that one off. I deferred and requested another suggestion.
His next idea: Do it without telling them where it would be. I wasn’t sure if he was serious so I asked if he was. He was. I once again deferred and begged for another idea.
Then a pause…”I got it!” he said. This is what you do. And he suggested the brilliant idea of making a bris party.
What’s a bris party? I have no idea. Never heard of one. And as far as I can tell, even though we made one, I still don’t think they really even exist. But nonetheless, this is what we did.
We told our relatives the actual circumcision would be on Yom Tov, however, we were going to make the simcha (the bris party) on Sunday, chol hamoed. This way, all of our friends and relatives could be in attendance.
I waited on the other end of the phone for my mother’s disapproval of this plan. Instead what she said was “That’s a wonderful idea!”
“What? She bought it?” I thought to myself. But indeed she did, and not only that, she went on to hire a caterer to make the bris party, fully kosher I might add, in the Succah, on Sunday chol hamoed for roughly one hundred people. Chasdei Hashem!
What To Say, What To Say?
I asked my Rabbi if he would say a few words in the Succah to the assembled mass. He talked briefly regarding the Clouds of Glory and how they relate to the succah, and everyone, religious and not-yet-religious alike felt warm and fuzzy about being Jewish.
It was now my turn to speak. I read the sheet my wife typed up making sure to thank everyone for coming and for sharing in our simcha. Then, I went on to make a siyum.
I thought that since it was just a bris party and not an actual seudas mitzvah (mitzvah meal) that my siyum would kill two birds with one stone. Now, not only was I including not-yet-frum friends and relatives in our simcha, but because of my siyum it was also a seudas mitzvah! What could be better?
Apparently, judging from some of the comments I received after the bris party from some of the frum attendees, much, indeed, was left to be desired as a result of my siyum.
“It was great until it got a little religious there at the end.” one person commented.
“Why the siyum?” asked another. “What was the point?” “It made the bris party a bonafied seudas mitzvah” was my reply. But my FFB friend was not impressed and mussared me regarding my hidden agenda to frumafy those not-yet-observant in attendance.
Was he correct? Was it a bad call on my part? Was I being just another crazy BT, like he said?
Personally, I’m glad I made a siyum at my son’s bris party. I thought it made a nice beginning for him. I guess some people didn’t quite see it the same way.