Question
Our daughter with whom we have a strained relationship has entirely abandoned Judaism, identifies herself as a non-religious atheist rather than a Jew, and lives in sin with a non-Jewish man. She is due to give birth to a baby boy next month. She adamantly refuses to have him circumcised. At the same time, she is depending on me to give her free babysitting when she and her boyfriend work during the day. Do you think we should go behind her back and hire a mohel to circumcise our grandson? Yes, it is illegal and is a betrayal of trust, but she would never press charges against us because she is too dependent on us for money and childcare. My hunch is that she would be angry at first, but then get over it.

Question
Why is circumcision performed at eight days old? Why not wait till the child is old enough to choose to have it done because he wants to?

Question
Dear Rabbi, a cousin of mine is pregnant. What’s the accepted way to congratulate her? The only thing that comes to mind is “mazel tov” but somehow that doesn’t sound right. Thanks.

Question
Is there any requirement in Jewish law to name your child a Jewish or Hebrew name? I am pregnant with my first daughter. I want to name her after my grandmother. My grandmother was not Jewish (my mother converted before my parents met). But she was still my grandmother. She was my favorite person I ever knew. I spent more time with her than with my parents when I was growing up because my parents both worked. She made me who I am today. And though she was a devout Christian who attended church every Sunday, she was close to the Jewish community. Almost all her friends were Jews, and her Jewish friends inspired my mother’s conversion, something she was very proud of. She had more exposure in her life to Judaism than her own faith. She understood Jewish laws and traditions well and kept a kosher home so we could all eat there. She was an incredible woman who is very deserving. I think of her as a ger tzedek. The times I had with her were the best times I ever had. Sadly she passed away four years ago and I miss her very much. I want to name a daughter after her and call her by that name. The name she had is not biblical and is very popular among Christians but almost unheard of among Jews. There is no Hebrew equivalent and are no existing Hebrew names that remotely resemble it.

Question
Dear Rabbi, why is circumcision performed at eight days old? Why not wait till the child is old enough to choose to have it done because he wants to? Thank you.

Question
My Jewish daughter and her non-Jewish husband are having a baby boy. We are planning a Bris. Their plan is to name the baby for the baby’s Jewish grandparents. Rabbi, our question is this: Is it acceptable to give a third name for a non-Jewish grandparent? We certainly want to be respectful to both sides of the family. Thank you very much.

Question
Hi Rabbi, we are new grandparents and have not been told what the newborn will be called at the baby’s naming ceremony. Is it usual to wait until after the ritual to tell the grandparents? Thank you.