Daily Archives: November 10, 2017

Good News Friday: A bris for my newest son brings me joy (and him a moment of pain). A children’s hospital becomes much less scary, thanks to new designs. And a groom breaks down in tears watching his bride walk down the aisle

Wow, the bad news just keeps on coming for famous men who behaved incredibly badly, and criminally in their past. Louie CK, good riddance. Roy Moore, I’m not at all shocked to hear you may have had sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, people. Let’s get ALL the sexual assaulters, famous and not so famous, named and publicly shamed for their deplorable behavior. OK, on with the good news part of the show…

So, I completely understand why the idea of a public bris would upset or or confound lots of people who aren’t Jewish.

“Wait, you’re going to take your week-old son, give him to a doctor with a small knife, and have the physician circumcise his penis in public, with, like, all your friends and loved ones watching? And then you’re all going to eat bagels and lox and cake 10 minutes later?

It does seem, out of context, like a kind of strange religious ritual. And to be honest, before my two sons were born, I didn’t really like going to these things. Oh sure, I understood it was part of my people’s history, that it was part of growing up Jewish, yada yada yada. But, you know, it was just … something you did. (And no, it wasn’t that I was squeamish about seeing a little boy snipped. Despite what TV shows and movies tell you, you never actually see a thing at a bris.)

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that participating in my sons’ bris (I still am getting my head around the plural there, like I almost can’t believe I know have TWO children) has made me much more religious. It hasn’t. But at little baby Theo’s bris this past Tuesday, I found myself thinking about a lot of things I never think about.

For those who’ve never been, a bris is a short ceremony at the beginning of a Jewish boy’s life wherein his Hebrew name is given, he is blessed, and prayers are read in his honor. This week we got to tell the world that his Hebrew name, Matan, is in honor of my late grandmother Marcelle. As I listened to the mohel (that’s what a bris performer is called) talk about my beloved Grandma, and about the traditions of our faith, I found myself getting choked up.

The long line of my people, tracing back thousands of years, all of that is what we’re supposed to think about at moments like this. But mostly what I thought about as Dr. Dorothy Greenbaum performed the ceremony was the links of my family, and how my grandmother, the best person I’ve ever met, was born in 1918. And she’ll forever be linked to son Theo, born in 2017.

At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Greenbaum puts a cover over the heads of me and my wife and new baby son, and says a prayer and a blessing. It was a powerful moment, reminding me of my huge responsibility with this little life in my hands. People clapped, a few cried, it was beautiful.

And then, as my people do, we ate. And ate, and ate. The bagels were really delicious.

**Next up today, I love this story. When the nurses and doctors and an industrial designer named Doug Dietz noticed how frightened pediatric cancer patients were of the giant MRI machine at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, they wondered what could be done to make the experience better. How bad is the fear? Eighty percent of child patients had to be sedated before getting an MRI or CT scan, according to this article.

So Dietz and GE Health decided to make the machines look less imposing. They put superhero stickers and other kids’ designs in the rooms and on the MRI machine, and made the whole place a lot less scary.

Children would cling to their mom’s leg and start crying, and you would have to pry them off,” said Kathleen Kapsin, radiology director of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Now they walk in and they are excited.”

The photos are awesome; check them out here.

**Finally today, a beautiful little scene of a groom breaking down upon seeing his soon-to-be bride walking down the aisle. Any man who’s gone through a wedding with the person they love most can empathize with Quintin Green here, who took one look at his bride, Ashleigh Reed and totally lost it, crying and nearly falling down.

His thoughts on what he was thinking when he saw her?

“I was just blown away by the woman I saw in front of me,” Quintin, 27, a kickbox trainer in Fenton, Missouri, told PEOPLE.com. “In the next few seconds, my heart started racing more and more and my heart was overwhelmed with happiness and the passion I have for her.”

The video (above) is pretty awesome, too. Love conquers all.