In an effort to uphold everlasting Jewish traditions,
Cornell Hillel hosted a Big Red Bar Mitzvah in Duffield Hall this
past weekend. The goal of the event was to provide the opportunity for students,
who had not previously held the sacred ceremony, to become Bar or Bat Mitzvot.
But Hillel did not stop there. Yesterday in Barton Hall Hillel hosted its first
annual Big Red Bris, which gave a lucky freshman the opportunity to partake in
the eternal Jewish covenant. The circumcision featured a live Klezmer band and
the appearance of the Cornell Big Red Bear.
To promote the event, Hillel encouraged attendees to post
pictures of their own brisot on the Facebook event page. Close-ups were adorned
with comments like: “Such a diva pose!” or “OMG so cute totally making a poster
out of this!” While this marketing strategy may have worked for the Big Red Bar
Mitzvah, the university shut down the event page within hours.
The ceremony itself was a huge success. Students were
visibly enthusiastic during the circumcision, which had the air of a
Cornell-Harvard hockey game. Chants of “CUT-THAT-MEAT!” and “FAST-AND-FIRM!”
rang out through the former military drill hall. There were also reports of
cold cuts being thrown at the mohel.
While the bris went smoothly, a member of Hillel claims it
was not easy to pull off: “Finding a mohel was the most difficult part. We
called surgeons, butchers and even loggers before finding the right guy: the
dude from the hot truck. We knew he would make the cut.”
Circumcisee Jacob Grabowitz ’15 was pleased when he first
heard this decision: “I knew the hippy who works in the hot truck was someone I
could trust to chop off parts of my shlak. Although, I’ll admit I was a little
concerned when he made a dramatic entrance with a butcher knife and chef coat
and yelled: “Did somebody order a Sui?!'”
“We asked if he wanted to get paid,” the Hillel member said. “He responded by saying, “No, I just do it for the tips.’ That’s when we knew he was our guy.”
Grabowitz was quite pleased following the operation: “Did I enjoy my bris? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Thank you Hillel and everyone who came out to support me. It’s opportunities like these that make Cornell such a great place.”