I’m sitting on a couch in my daughter Rachel’s home in Chicago, holding my first grandchild, a boy, seven days old. I’ve heard grandparents talk, ad nauseum, about the thrill of this relationship, but, as with having your first baby, you have no clue what it will be like until it happens.
I still don’t know the baby’s name. Rachel and her husband, Jay, decided not to reveal it to our family and friends until the bris—the circumcision and blessing performed eight days after his birth. Traditionally, parents give the baby his Hebrew name during the ceremony, but Rachel and Jay wanted to do the same with his English name. So they wrote it on his birth certificate and told no one else.
Months before, when they’d learned they were having a boy, Rachel asked me to plan the bris. I live in Colorado, so I wondered, how would I find a mohel—the man trained and certified to perform the bris—in Chicago? Online, of course. The mohels are even rated on Yelp, and I discovered there are now female mohels, often former pediatricians, who refer to themselves as a “mohelet.”