Arlo Benjamin Cortell was born June 1, 1999 at the Chicago Lying-In Hospital, part of the U. of C. Hospitals.

His parents are Elizabeth Wilding-White Cortell and Perry Cortell of Chicago, whose wedding album can be found at -- together with a few sonograms of Arlo himself prior to birth. However, now that he's here, take a good look at this:

Mind you, this is Arlo aged about five to ten minutes. He has been cleaned off and the cord is cut, and that's about it. He is so alert!

Perry's parents are Jay and Mary-Brenda Cortell of Boston. They have three children: Perry, the oldest, Karen, and Eric, who is married to Julia.

Perry's grandmother, Adele Levine, his parents, and his brother Eric were present on June 8, when Arlo's Brit Milah was held, with William Barrow, M.D. acting as Mohel. Arlo received the Hebrew names of Aharon (Aaron) Binyamin.

The ceremony included the traditional elements of welcome, a brief summary of the history and significance of circumcision, the placing of Arlo in the Seat of Elijah, the blessing of the wine, the circumcision itself, and the naming ceremony, and concluded with the prayers said by the grandparents and great-grandmother. Finally, the Mohel said the Priestly Blessing, which although in a different translation, is still present in Christian services as well. I give that translation here since I know it better:

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and grant you peace.

This is indeed our prayer for Arlo.