I went to a bris (ritual circumcision) today. The father, whose voice shook with emotion, said the prayers with an intensity I haven't witnessed in a long time. The mother, surrounded by friends, stood at the back of the room smiling nervously with the impatience of wanting her baby back in her arms. The grandmother, supported by a daughter-in-law, sobbed quietly into a handkerchief.
When the mohel finished his work, and the familiar thin wail filled the room, the crowd grew particularly quiet.
At this point of the ritual, an honored guest is asked to announce the name of the newest member of the Jewish tribe. There is usually an expectant hush, as everyone leans forward in curiosity.
This time the moment had a different feel to it. We waited, half in dread, half in hope, because we all knew ahead of time what the baby's name would be.
A year and a half earlier, an Arab terrorist approached a house in one of the settlements in Samaria, and shot through the front window. In addition to wounding a teenage girl, he killed this baby's uncle.
As expected, a trembling grandfather pronounced the same name he had chosen 47 earlier for his firstborn - this time for his grandson.
More tears, cries of "Mazal tov!", and the start of joyous singing, and this particularly poignant ritual came to a close.