APRIL 22, 2002

The bris

Monday morning we drove across the George Washington Bridge for the bris of Joseph Morris Miller, the son of Yael and Eric. Now, the proper pronunciation in modern Hebrew is "brit," but when speaking of an ancient procedure that evokes such anxiety, especially in men, it is more natural to use the word, "bris." Driving through suburban New Jersey, I kept picturing myself at the wheel of a massive SUV, breaking into song: "Got yourself a gun...shotgun shy...."

We miscalculated the time, got lost, and arrived, as Neal put it, "in the nick of time," just as the knife began to fall. Sam, as the sandek, smiled proudly.

The cut

Afterward, the mohel, himself a member of the Screen Actor's Guild and known as the "Mohel to the Stars," took a bow.

Mohel takes a bow

Eric welcomed everyone, thanked his wife, and spoke of the grandfathers for whom the baby is named.

Eric's speech

Sam spoke for about 45 minutes about the meaning of life, while everyone took a nap.

Sam speaking

But seriously, folks, Sam spoke graciously, thanking Eric for taking such good care of Yael during the difficult last part of her pregnancy.

Gilda hustled the beautiful baby off to have his wounds bandaged.

Joseph and Gilda

And how do Jews deal with their castration anxiety? How do Jews deal with anything? They eat! The Millers put on a wonderful brunch of French toast, bagels, great whitefish and lox, and herring. And we all enjoyed each other's company.

Yael, Neal, Andy, Carol..Daniella & Michal

Gilda & Ofra..Michael & Gilda

Afterward, Carol returned to Manhattan with Neal and Andy, and I drove back to Providence with Daniella, who drove from New Haven to Providence, letting me catch up on some sleep. I am pleased and proud to report that she is an excellent driver, who goes fast and always chooses the best lane, just like I do. It's all in the genes.

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