Rabbi Moshe Cohen carrying the baby
Rabbi Moshe Cohen carrying the babyYad L'Achim

Dozens of regular participants at an "outdoor minyan" held every morning in a park in Sha'ar Ha'ir, a new Chabad neighborhood in Lod, merited to participate in a very special circumcision ceremony.

The story begins two months ago when a young Jewish woman from Lod who was involved with a Muslim youth took advantage of the fact that he had been arrested abroad for a crime committed in a foreign country to sever her ties with him.

The young woman contacted Yad L'Achim for advice on how to go about it and how to win the custody battle for the baby she was carrying.

Eight days ago she gave birth to her first-born son and asked that he be circumcised in a traditional Jewish ceremony.

Yad L'Achim tried to find a synagogue that was open in the later hours of the morning in which to host a circumcision, together with a quorum of worshippers, but came up empty-handed.

Alternatively, it looked for an outdoor minyan that was being held in a shaded place and find one in the heart of the park in the new neighborhood of Sha'ar Ha'ir near the western entrance to Lod.

The regular participants of the prayer group were only too happy to participate, and even helped Yad L'Achim get hold of a "Kise shel Eliyahu" from the main synagogue of the adjacent Chabad neighborhood.

The emotional high point came when the person who runs the prayer group, Rabbi Mordechai Michaelshvili, who was honored with the blessings, said with great emotion, "raise this boy to his people and his mother."

Many of the participants approached Yad L'Achim and said the circumcision was an opportunity for them to see another aspect of Yad L'Achim's activities.

Rabbi Moshe Cohen, who organized the circumcision on behalf of Yad L'Achim, thanked the mohel, Rabbi Yishai Dahan, from the Bris Yosef Yitzchak organization, who volunteered to circumcise the child.

After the circumcision, Yad L'Achim activists traveled together with Rabbi Dahan to the home of another Jewish woman who lives in Lod with her four children, all from a Christian-Arab father, to perform a "Hatafas Dam Bris" ceremony - a ceremony performed for those who had a circumcision but not as part of a traditional Jewish ceremony - on the youngest child. During the ceremony, the child, who at birth was named after the founder of Christianity, was named Moshe.