I went to a Briss today. For those unfamiliar with Jewish tradition, a Briss is where a bunch of Jews get together, eat bagels and lop off a good portion of a kid’s penis. The bagels today were excellent: soft, chewy, topped with tasty accouterments such as onions, sesame seeds, and Rogaine (*many deli products are now fortified for hair growth). The fish was soft and flaky (like Tipper Gore) and the apple cake was to die for.

But getting back to the penis: surprisingly to some, I’m no biblical expert. But I believe that command for circumcision comes from the book of “Occupations” (in between the book of “Theselonians” and “Investing for Dummies”). In chapter 2 verse 7-10, God sets fourth the 4 eternal curses of the Jewish people. Here, verbatim, is what God said (I’m paraphrasing):

“I am the lord thy God. Draw nigh, as I spaeketh this day. If
thoust doesth not draw nigh, I shall take cudgel in hand
and smite thee. If I do not have a cudgel, I may take a
septor, or a large bat. Not like “bat” the bird, cause that
probably wouldn’t do the tricketh. But “bat” like the big
stick. Yeah, that’d hurt!

And don’t think I wouldn’t smite thee. I’ve smote many
before. I smote the army of Pharaoh. And once, this guy,
he disobeyed me before the rock of Jilalabad. And ya
know what I did? …Yeah, that’s right… I smote him!!

Anyway, for what purpose did I bid you draw nigh? Oh yeah.
I remember now. The Jewish people are my chosen people.
Specifically, these are the people I’ve chosen to mess with.
Thusly, you shall endure four eternal curses to your name.
These are:

1) eternal persecution throughout the world

2) a homeland surrounded by insane enemies

3) Neil Diamond

4) Every newborn Jewish boy shall have a good portion of
his schmeckle lopped off, then yee shall eat bagels.

The first thing you need for a successful Briss is a male child. The gender of the child should be unambiguous. None of this Jamie Lee Curtis stuff. Then you need a good moil. A moil is the guy who actually does the cutting. Now, there are many moils in the phone book, so how does one tell if one has a good moil? Well, first, I’d stay away from the “Discount Moil” ads. Your son will someday thank you for splurging on a moil who has both done it before, and does not moonlight as a Giant Cymbal player.

Also avoid moils with nicknames. I’m sure Ricky “Crazy Fingers” Goldstein, and Moshe “The Hatchet” Rabinowitz are nice guys, but I wouldn’t let them near my son’s package. The exception to this rule is American Indians. There may not be all that many Cherokee or Kikkapoo moils, but the few there are may be considered because their nicknames are so explicit. So for example, you may want to hire “Chief Clean Cut Eagle Eye,” but avoid “Geronomo Cut, Oops, Dick Be Gone.”

When the actual service started, I jostled for a good seat. Some people can’t eat during the actual circumcision, but that’s never been a problem for me. Although the baby’s Aunt Marge did get a little pissy when I offered her a gerken during the procedure. How was I to know she didn’t like small pickles? The moil seemed confident. He said reassuringly, “I could do this blindfolded.” Although he didn’t take me up on my offer when I shouted, “50 Bucks says you can’t!” And of course, Auntie Marge got all pissy yet again. There’s no pleasing some people. You should have seen her face when I turned out the lights during the cut! (Of course, you couldn’t have, because the lights were out.)

The actual lopping was very dramatic. I felt it called for a real-time narrative, which I gave in my best Phil Rizzuto voice. Since most people couldn’t see, I was their only source of information as to what was going on.

OK, here we are. The moil has finished his last shot of
Gin and we’re ready to go. He’s taken out his pocket
knife. Oh boy, that thing looks as dull as a dime! He’s
putting it in the general vicinity of the boy’s foreskin, if
you consider the left testicle the general vicinity. Boy, I
never knew a human hand could shake that much. The
moil’s aiming…he’s aiming….he’s lunging…he’s lunging…
HEY! Aunt Marge, what the hell….let go of my throat. I
wasn’t finished!!….can I at least get my BAGEL??

Alas, I never got to finish my report.

I think these traditions are good. Although I tend more towards the ones that involve giving a fruitcake and away from those that involve chopping off a sensitive body part. But if I ever have a son, I will probably do the same thing. Although I may do the moiling my self, just to be sure.

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