By COLlive reporter
A full crowd filled the main hall of Chabad’s Jewish Russian Community Center of Montreal to participate the bris milah ceremony for the son of Lubavitcher couple R’ Simi and Chana Wenger.
The celebration on Sunday was especially joyous, in addition to being held in the month of Adar, in a year of Hakhel gathering and the fact that a new child entering the covenant of Avraham Avinu.
Unlike most bris milahs, this child was older than 8 days old. In fact, the boy was 2 months old, having been hospitalized since his birth on the 7th of Teves 5776. He has been connected to machines and receiving close medical attention due to health complications.
“Can you write to say Tehillim for my baby,” the father asked COLlive.com to post a public Tehillim request on Rosh Chodesh Adar I. The name given for prayers was simply tinok ben Esther Chana (child son of Esther Chana, the mother).
On Friday, Simi Wenger already had good news to share. “Baruch Hashem, our baby came home Wednesday night,” he updated COLlive.
“We wanted to thank everyone who said Tehillim and had the baby in mind,” he wrote. “He went from being on a ventilator and fully sedated to being home 2 weeks later. We should all hear only good news.”
Following the circumcision, the child was finally given his own name: Ori Yosef Wenger. He was named after his great-grandfather, Rabbi Ori Shonthal OBM, the long-time Director of Ecole Primaire Beth Rivkah, a Lubavitch girls school in France.
If that wasn’t enough of a cause for celebration and joy, then came a chilling speech at the festive Seudas Mitzvah meal the followed. The speaker was Rabbi Pesach Sperlin, Director of Mesivta Ateres Menachem of Montreal and Shliach of Chabad Montreal West center, who performed the bris.
Rabbi Sperlin candidly told that when Simi Wenger first approached him to do the bris, he immediately declined. “I stopped doing brisim to focus on the Mesivta and the Chabad House,” he said. “If I make an exception now, it will be difficult for me to refuse others in the future?”
So what made him agree to perform the bris, after all?
Rabbi Sperlin said that a few nights later he had a dream about the child’s late grandfather, Rabbi Eliezer Wenger, the noted teacher, author, and publisher of works on halacha, who passed away on 22 Adar 5770.
“Rabbi Wenger, olov hashalom, was visibly very happy and asked me to wish him a Mazal Tov. I asked him what is the occasion and he replied that Simi had a son. So I wished him a Mazal Tov,” Sperlin told.
He continued, “Rabbi Wenger then asked him to do the bris. To show me that it was not just a dream, he told me to look in the middle drawer of my desk.”
When Rabbi Sperlin woke, he rushed over to the desk in his home and rummaged around a little. To his astonishment, he found a photo of himself standing alongside Rabbi Wenger and reciting the Birchas Kohanim at the Chuppah of Simi and Chana Wenger, the child’s parents.
Agreeing to do the bris was not a question any more…