web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



You’re On Your Own

Schmutter-011014

This week we deal with questions from people who, one way or another, are on their own.  And as usual, we don’t really help them.

 

Dear Mordechai,

I’m making a bris for my son, who has no name yet.  Do I have to give a speech or anything?

Aral Sifasayim

Dear Aral,

Probably.  In general, people expect you to speak at a bris, although they’d prefer you start after they leave.  You can actually get away with not speaking at all if you postpone it long enough, unless it’s a weekend bris.  Then people will just hang around.

And in fact, you allow for people to leave early.  Brissim are the only simchos where you actually leave a box of pre-cut silver foil near the food so people can wrap things up as they run.  “I don’t care if you eat at my simcha,” is your basic message.  “I just don’t want leftovers.”  Though this is a relatively new thing.  For years, people were sneaking out of brissim with a bagel wrapped in a blue napkin.

There’s no other simcha where this is a normal thing to do.  Even at weddings, where people have to get home to their kids, they never have the option of wrapping up their main dish before the chosson and kallah come out.  If you want your chicken cutlet, you have to dance for it.

But what are you going to do?  People need to leave.  They only put in a quick appearance at the bris so that in twenty years from now, at this kid’s l’chaim, they can come over to him, in front of the kallah, and say, “I was at your bris.”  That’s not awkward.  There’s no good response to that.  The conversation just ends, with the three of you standing there.

But the people who are sticking around expect you to speak.  Although that’s kind of unfair, considering you had 8 days to prepare for this thing on no sleep with a brand new baby in the house, and most of that time was spent either having humorous kitchen incidents while your wife was in the hospital, or trying to hammer out a name.  So most speeches are about the politics of why you picked that particular name.  Though you don’t really go into the politics.  You go into the positive qualities of the person you named the boy after, so that it’s really more of a hesped.

Like if you gave your child two names – that of your grandfather and your wife’s grandfather – you’re going to say that the reason you did this was that each of them had great qualities, rather than that you spent an entire week arguing about which one to name it after, each of you expressing real concern over what your respective mothers would say if you used the other name, and you had a deadline, so you decided to go with both, and hoped you wouldn’t run out of names before your last kid.

But you might as well speak about the name, because it’s all you’ve been thinking about for eight days, and everyone wants to know, “Why that name, of all the names out there?”  Unless you have a lot of boys.

Of course, aside from your relatives, who already know why you picked the name, everyone else is just trying to make conversation.  Do you know why everyone you know has the name they have?  Nobody’s actually cares anymore once they leave the bris.  I’ve met thousands of people in my life, and I’ve never said to myself, “Where does this guy’s name come from?  His grandfather, or his great-grandfather?”  Unless he has a highly-uncommon name, like Yisro.  Then I want to know.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “You’re On Your Own”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Haredi men cast their votes for the 19th Knesset in Bnei Brak, January 22 2013.
New Poll: Shows Netanyahu Will Lead Next Gov’t with Haredim
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-121914

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

LBJ-121914

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

More Articles from Mordechai Schmutter
Schmutter-121214

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Schmutter-111414-Bed

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

If I’m going on for oven mitts, I don’t want to see sock puppets until at least page 40.

Alternatively, you can try your absolute hardest to listen whenever she says anything.

Father’s Day comes every year. How many drills can you get him?

This week, I’m asking the questions for a change.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/youre-on-your-own/2014/01/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: