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Potential complications to brit milah planning include, though a source of joy, the festivals. Mohalim must be willing to forgo celebration with their own communities for a lengthy stay in the Far East. As my second son’s due date coincided with Shavuot, I again (as with my first son) tried to take control of the situation. Explaining the need to induce pre-Pesach to my Jewish doctor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan was considerably easier than explaining Shavuot and the potential difficulty in arranging for a mohel to the local receptionist at my doctor in Hong Kong.

In the end, I either charmed or frightened them, as I unleashed a bit of the New Yorker in me, into inducing eleven days before my due date. And fortuitously, just two doors down from my hospital room, another Jewish mother delivered a boy the next day.

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We were able to arrange for our mohel together and we had our kumquat-adorned cheesecake too.

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