Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Missing Ceremony

Last wek we were invited to a Brith (Jewish ritual circumcision) 'party'. When you are invited to a Brith or wedding 'party', it means that the ceremony was performed before the event and all we have to do is just party.
When we entered the hall of the beachfront northern hotel, we congratulated the parents and grandparents of the newborn and proceeded to the reception area, full of appetizers from sushi to hummus. The salads, main and side dishes, as well as the dessert were already layed out on self-service tables in the main hall. Guests came, took their seats, chatted with friends, eat anynchronously and left. The venue, food and athmosphere were good, but something was missing.
We all complain about boring ceremonies, speeches and proceedings we'd rather skip, but I felt someone should have stood up and tell us why we were there and had more than usual food for this Friday lunch. The speech did not have to be religious, explaining the meaning of brith based on acient sources, but rather something light, enlightening and even entertaining.
Do we still need ceremonies in modern days or are they anachronistic activities performed by distant tribes?
Traditional or new age, ceremonies give us a sense of order, succession and belonging to traditions longer than our own lives.

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