Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Bris

Yesterday I went to my nephew's bris. It was a beautiful family event and it brought back many memories of brisim past, particularly that of my firstborn. I remember the vulnerability of new motherhood, the roller coaster of emotions and the intense love I felt for this tiny human being that I was finally privileged to meet. I remember how I felt I just couldn't get enough of my baby, how I wanted to just bottle up all the sweetness of those new beginnings, to keep it with me forever and ever, to capture it in all its' pristine and fathomless beauty. And then I thought about the most beautiful baby card I ever received. It was kind of plain looking without smiling fat babies or booties and such on top, on the front in old- fashioned type a list appeared. It read "so sweet, so cute, so cuddly, so soft, so wonderful" and then you opened the card and in the same type it read "and yours." Then the giver of the card wrote that he hoped that we would always remember and feel the same love for our baby as he grows as we felt when he was new and small. I still have this card somewhere and I have this warm feeling whenever I think of it. The road we take as parents is often not smooth, there are many bumps and twists and turns and we need this love, that we feel so strongly for our children to keep us from going off track into places we don't want to go as we raise our kids. It's also very relevant when we talk about the bris, the covenant, that we make with Hashem. I used to wonder why the Torah talks about our relationship with Hashem as a covenant so much. Why so much emphasis on the covenantal nature of our relationship? Then it occurred to me that perhaps it's to impress upon us the strength of the relationship and the obligations that come with it. When we forge a relationship like that, it's not a contract that could be terminated at will, we pledge to cherish the relationship and all it stands for, to be loyal, to do everything to nurture and improve the relationship, to make it better as time goes by, to live up to our obligations, to go the extra mile. It's not surprising that marriage is also referred to as a covenant. But I think our relationship with our children is also a covenant. May we stay true to this covenant and may the special love that we feel for our children propel us further and higher in our mission as parents, our relationship with our children and each other and of course our relationship with Hashem Himself.


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