After telling him the story of Rabbi Akiva, I encouraged him to realize that it is never too late to begin exploring his own identity. Ironically, it is only now that I see an interesting tie to the bris itself. The grandfather of the baby and I had a discussion about keeping one's mind active in later years by learning new ideas. Gabriel told me that he didn't believe in God and that he chose to live his life by the "Golden Rule". What was most fascinating to Gabriel was when I told him that the only reason he believes that he should live by the notion that we should be kind to one another was because his people taught the world that notion. Besides the fact that without an absolute arbitrator of right and wrong the notion is ludicrous because the very idea of right and wrong would be so subjective I wanted Gabriel to understand the sheer joy of knowing that his identity as he sees it now is directly a result of his being Jewish. At first he was shocked. He wondered wasn't it the Greeks that taught us about empathy? Interesting, not if one looks at what Aristotle thought: "There must be a law that no imperfect or maimed child shall be brought up. And to avoid excess in population, some children must be exposed. For a limit must be fixed to the population of the state." (Aristotle, Politics, Book VII: ch.16) I encouraged Gabriel to begin a new journey in his "explored" life and uncover the richness of his heritage. Too often our "enlightened" society convinces us that because we are so cultured and advanced we don't need those backwards ideas of religion while in the same breath glorify the ancient civilizations that molded our world. Yet without the influence of our ancient religion the world would never have embraced our accepted "golden rules". Thank you Gavriel for being an angel of a driver.