Mazal Tov, Natalie and Benjamin!


Ok, so the details are vague, but I know you’ve been holding your breath since the Golden Globes, if not earlier, waiting, sitting on the edge of your seat… So here you go:

According to The Telegraph and other sources, Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied have had their baby!

People magazine, which broke the news, gave no details of where the baby was born or when. A publicist for Portman was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

Natalie Portmand and fiancé Benjamin Millepied are “celebrating” the birth of their baby boy. I’m guessing we’re still within the first 8 days of his life, as the couple have not yet shared the name with me (or the rest of the press). My theory, in part, is based on some of the other Jewish traditions Portman followed during her pregnancy:

She admitted she stuck to tradition when it came to babies’ births.

” think it’s a Jewish thing to be kind of superstitious,” she said in April. “You don’t do any of the baby stuff before the baby arrives.”

Natalie and Benjamin, if you’re looking for a mohel who’ll work with an interfaith family, just fill out our Clergy Officiation Referral Service form!

Mazal tov to the new family!

UPDATE: June 16 For more, check out Rabbi Jason Miller’s blog post (on his blog or on Huffington Post).

UPDATE: June 20 Feeling a little cheeky, Crushable offers up some name suggestions for Li’l Portman. The bris is scheduled for June 22. We’ll have to wait until then to find out his name…

UPDATE: July 6 We have a name!

2 thoughts on “Mazal Tov, Natalie and Benjamin!”

  • If Natalie is Jewish, which she is, then the baby is Jewish and a bris is not a problem halachically. The baby is Jewish because his mother is.

  • I think finding a mohel for dong the bris for an interfaith family is easier than finding a rabbi to officiate at an interfaith wedding because the circumcision of a baby who not “halachically Jewish” is not explicitly forbidden.

    When my son was born, many years before I converted to Judaism, we used the same Orthodox mohel as our minyan friends did for their sons. That mohel only recently retired after having done literally 10’s of thousands of circumcisions in a very long, busy career. I have very positive memories of the event and am grateful to the mohel for the role he played. It would have been distressing for us if it had been difficult to find a mohel to do the circumcision in a halachic manner. The mid-wife who delivered my son told us that one of the doctors in the practice of the mid-wife who delivered my son is a “mohelet” (female mohel), but I don’t know if she does a fully traditional brit milah. We were happy be able to have the same mohel as the other minyan families. In fact, at the bris, the mohel looked around the room and noted that he had done the bris for most of the boys in attendance.

    The mohel had no problem with doing the bris “for the purpose of conversion”. He was very courteous and respectful to me—unlike one of the rabbis who was condescending to me when we took my son before a Beit Din at the mikvah. The mohel probably didn’t approve of our intermarriage, but he gave absolutely no outward indication of that. And I would guess that he saw our intentions of converting our son and raising him as a Jew to be a good thing to encourage.

    There were only a few minor differences in the way the bris was done from how it would have been had my son been a “Jew by Birth”:

    –  One technicality is that my son was born on a Saturday, about an hour before Havdalah, so if the bris was “on the eighth day” it would have been the following Shabbat. For a Jewish baby, the positive mitzvah of brit milah takes precedence over the negative mitzvot of Shabbat and the bris is still done on Shabbat. However, since my son was not born Jewish, it was not a required mitzvah to circumcise him, so it was done on the next day. The good thing about that is that since a majority of our lay-led minyan is Shomer Shabbat and would not be able to drive to our apartment at that time which was several miles away from the neighborhood where most of the minyan members live, we would have had to try to do something like stay over for Shabbat with friends in that neighborhood (where the mohel probably lives as well). As it was, since it was on a Sunday morning, we had a great turn-out of friends and our apartment was stuffed to capacity with all the people. My daughter, who was almost three at the time, quipped: “There are too many crowded people here.”

    –  The wording of the blessings said was slightly different. Actually, I’m just assuming this in retrospect because at the time I was much too overwhelmed to listen to the words!

    – The mohel made out a certificate that said that the brit milah was done “for the purpose of conversion”—I imagine there is a different certificate for the bris for a Jewish baby boy. We had two of our Shabbat-observant friends who were thereby “kosher witnesses” sign the certificate. (We had those same friends sign our ketubah as witnesses some years later when my husband and I had a small Jewish marriage ceremony after I converted.)

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