A Bris in a Far Off Land

On Sunday, April 19, 2020, 26 Nissan, 5780, an urgent request was raised in a group abroad.

“Urgent help is needed,” it cried out. “This Wednesday, there is a circumcision ceremony scheduled in Kovna (Kaunas), Lithuania. There is currently no mohel in the area and there is no way to perform the bris in its proper time! If anyone has a way or idea to help, please contact me.”

However, we are in a global corona crisis, with the borders of the states closed and the doors locked.

The message caught the eye of Rabbi Moshe Starik of Vienna, who read the post on a group, and his pulsating Jewish heart was unable to ignore the cry for assistance.

In a cross-continent operation involving many contacts, the group organized for a mohel to undertake the mission to bring the child to his bris milah in the proper time. The mohel traveled for 18 hours from Vienna to Kaunas, crossing the borders of Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania, and eventually was able to perform the bris for the child on the eighth day.