After it became clear that the israeli courts ( lower case on purpose) had no intention of letting Meir Ettinger out of his uncalled for solitary confinement so he could attend his first son's Brit Milah, and after the family announced that the public was invited, I decided to attend, just to make a statement. I figured if enough people attended, this Brit Milah would end up having the same electrifying effect on the nation as the famous wedding of Sara Litman, whose father and brother had been brutally murdered by an Arab just two weeks earlier.
It seems to me that whoever decided to keep innocent Meir Ettinger locked up, forbidding him to participate in this most important and holy Jewish duty for a father, made a huge blunder: they showed Am Yisrael how simply evil they are and turned Meir into a hero of the people.
This report is one more attempt to publicize the facts and give you a chance to sort of "be there", although belatedly.
The Bris was scheduled for 2:00 PM, but didn't start until at least 3:00 PM, giving the family time to arrive. Rabbi Ginsburg was given the honor of a special Minchah prayer even though they had just said it a few minutes earlier. Little by little the Shul filled up with all sorts of guests from various walks of life, mostly young people but also quite a few hoary heads, mostly family, friends and members of Meir's community but also individuals who, like me, chose to be part of this event even though they had never met him.
There was definitely a whiff of Mashiach in the air: one could feel the defiance of the powers that be ( PTB), at the same time as sadness for Meir's absence and the Kedushah of the Brit Milah; the atmosphere was intense: it feels good to do what is right when the oppressor tries to stop you! There was lots of singing with guitar accompaniment, lively and soulful songs of Torah, Geulah, and traditional Brit Milah songs.... and then the baby arrived. Being on the women's balcony I could not see who held the baby instead of the father; I did hear that the Kisseh of Eliyahu was given to Rav Yitzhak Shapira of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshivah, author of the famous book Torat Hamelech. To be noted is that Rav Ginsburg used to be head of that same yeshiva, - who it is now, I am not sure - so I guess the Od Yosef Chai Yeshivah was well represented ( by the way, when they mentioned the name of Meir, they called him Meir David CHAI Ettinger, adding a Chai to his name).
Then we heard the heart-rending piercing shriek of the poor baby - I always cringe during a bris, can't stand hearing the baby's pain -, the Brachot, and then his name solemnly announced in the midst of silence:
What a beautiful name. In memory of his uncle Rav Binyamin Kahane HY"D, a very special man in his own right, who was murdered in cold blood too ( ALLEGEDLY by Arabs, I don't buy it), just like his famous father, Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY"D; whose memories and teachings will live forever.
The baby would not stop hollering for a very long time; normally the baby calms down after the wine, but not this baby; I couldn't help feel that somehow he was wailing for his father too.
(I find it hard to be at a bris; I find the pain inflicted on the baby hard to bear, although I do understand the major importance of this Mitzvah, and I do get elated afterwards; I just empathize with the poor little creature, so helpless and painfully cut. It's Hashem testing us, seeing if we choose him despite the blood. We do, but at least to me this one hurts!!)
I had a chance to have a nice conversation with Meir's mother-in-law, and I asked her some pertinent questions regarding Meir, mostly regarding his incarceration. I was worried that they might still be torturing him, or deprive him of food, etc. Apparently not, thank G-d; however he is in a separate cell, NEXT TO ARABS WHO CONSTANTLY SHOUT AND THREATEN TO KILL HIM LIKE THEY KILLED HIS GRANDFATHER. He is allowed to visit with his wife for only half an hour once a week BEHIND A PARTITION. Now that is really cruel, considering that his wife was about to give birth ( and what will be now that he has a newborn baby?) . He is allowed to learn Torah. The mother-in-law told me that Meir is such a meek, gentle, kind person, such a good husband, it is ludicrous that they consider him the number one threat in Israel. He and his wife are strong in their faith, keeping in good spirits despite the situation, which is of course hard for them. An interesting piece of information by the way: Meir is the son of a Bat Cohen and the husband of a Bat Cohen, although he is not a Cohen himself!
Then there was the Seudah, open to all. I understand Rav Ginsburg gave a shiur towards the end of the Seudah, which I missed, about the Netzach and Hod sefirot ( this information is gleaned from the blog End of Days).
During the ceremony, young people were selling a book they put together containing poems Meir wrote, in Hebrew. I bought one, will try to read some of these writings.
All in all, it was a very uplifting experience; I am really glad I went. I was a bit disappointed that the streets were not overflowing with people, and frankly this is not exactly my crowd; still, I was left elated, with a very strong impression of Geulah and of special times that lasted until today. I can tell you one thing, the government has NOT won this one; if at all, this has brought us one step closer to Mashiach!
We will have to follow up.
Mazel Tov to the Ettinger - Kahane family.
ZARO CHAYO VEKAYOMO!
(#83, bottom of the list. Enjoy! The music was very lively at the Bris, this one is much more subdued, solo singer and without background music instrument, still nice.)
CDG wrote a good article about the bris too, and added a link to some wonderful PICTURES from the site Hakol Hayehudi. I am including the links to both here below.
It's really a shame that from the women's balcony it was impossible to see the bris at all: I had no idea Rav Ginsburg was the Sandek!
I wish I could have seen the whole thing. Why don't they build these shuls so women can see too? It's really not fair; I wish they would take the women's wishes into consideration. At least in America, in large shuls you usually have a Mechitza in the middle and so we can see the 'action'. Not so in the shtiebelechs and chassidish shuls. Maybe a question of the price of real estate in Yerushalayim?
... And finally, from The Daily Zohar: how appropriate to this Bris, what amazing Divine timing!
I am adding this Zohar because
Daily Zohar 2095
35. כָּל אָדָם צָרִיךְ לְהַקְרִיב אוֹתוֹ בֵּן קָרְבָּן לַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, בְּשִׂמְחָה, בִּרְצוֹן הַלֵּב, לְהַכְנִיסוֹ תַּחַת כַּנְפֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה, וְנֶחְשָׁב לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁהוּא קָרְבָּן שָׁלֵם שֶׁיִּתְקַבֵּל בְּרָצוֹן.
36. וְהַקָּרְבָּן הַזֶּה, כְּמוֹ קָרְבַּן הַבְּהֵמָה. זֶה לִשְׁמֹנָה יָמִים, וְזֶה לִשְׁמֹנָה יָמִים, שֶׁכָּתוּב וּמִיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי וָהָלְאָה יֵרָצֶה. בַּמֶּה יֵרָצֶה? בָּזֶה שֶׁעוֹבֶרֶת עָלָיו שַׁבָּת אַחַת. כֵּיוָן שֶׁעוֹבֶרֶת עָלָיו שַׁבָּת אַחַת, אָז זֶה יֵרָצֶה לְקָרְבָּן, וְזֶה לְקָרְבָּן. לָמָּה? מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנִּדְבָּק וְנִזְדַּמֵּן אֶל אוֹתָהּ הַשַּׁבָּת, סוֹד בְּרִית הַקֹּדֶשׁ, וְעַל כֵּן הַכֹּל הוּא בְּסוֹד עֶלְיוֹן. (ע”כ רעיא מהימנא).
Before the circumcision the Mohel prepares a vessel with dust of the earth to place the foreskin in it. Adam didn’t have foreskin because he was created as a pure being.
The foreskin is the aspect of the Snake because it came after the Snake corrupted the channel of Yessod for Adam and Eve. He is now fed with dust as God gave it to him.
“וְעָפָר תֹּאכַל כָּל-יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ.”
“And dust you will eat All the days of your life;”
The Zohar revealed that when the circumcision takes place below, negativity is pushed away. The foreskin should not be treated with disrespect because God gave the dust to the Snake as his dwelling place.
During the blessing of the meal that comes after the circumcision we have six special blessings. The first one is connected the day of the circumcision that is the eighth day after birth, to the sacrifices in the Holy Temple.
“הָרַחֲמָן, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֲבִי הַיֶלֶד וְאִמּוֹ, וְיִזְכּוּ לְגַדְּלוֹ וּלְחַנְּכוֹ וּלְחַכְּמוֹ, מִיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי וָהָלְאָה יֵרָצֶה דָמוֹ, וִיהִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו עִמּוֹ”
“The merciful will bless the father and mother of the child and have the merit to raise, educate and make him wise, from the eighth day on his blood will be accepted, and YHVH his God be with him”
“שׁוֹר אוֹ-כֶשֶׂב אוֹ-עֵז כִּי יִוָּלֵד, וְהָיָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תַּחַת אִמּוֹ; וּמִיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי, וָהָלְאָה, יֵרָצֶה, לְקָרְבַּן אִשֶּׁה לַיהוָה”
“When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be accepted as a sacrifice of an offering by fire to YHVH.”
Moses in this Zohar section teaches us that the child must go through a Shabbat before the circumcision. On Shabbat there is a revelation of the light of Binah and the unification with Yessod. On his first Shabbat in the world, the child connects to the light that will make his first correction during the circumcision process.
The table of the meal is the aspect of the altar and this special event makes the process as if the parents brought sacrifice in the Holy Temple. It creates unification of the Yessod and Malchut and all the people present in that event benefit greatly from this revelation of Light.
After the circumcision we take the cup with the dust and the foreskin to bury in the ground. There is a big merit in doing so and it is good to add personal meditation to remove negativity from the self. Because of the high spiritual value of this action It is customary to let many people cover to the foreskin with dust.