PARIS (JTA) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s first grandson was circumcised according to Jewish tradition.
Sarkozy’s grandson, Solal, was circumcised in a Jewish ceremony by a mohel, the president’s friend Patrick Balkany told French Radio J Sunday, according to the French news agency AFP.
“It happened like all circumcisions, with a rabbi and a mohel,” said Balkany, who was present at the brit for Solal, the son of Jean Sarkozy and Jessica Sebaoun, born Jan. 13.
Sarkozy did not attend the brit, apparently because of work-related obligations, but Balkany said the president’s entire family was present, including his parents and brother.
Jessica Sebaoun is “a very observant Sephardic” Jew and the French president “sees no problem with that,” said Balkany, the mayor of Levallois-Perret, a town northwest of Paris.
Sarkozy, Balkany noted, has a “Catholic family, a Jewish grandfather and evidently, he was marked by that double culture.”
Balkany, who also has Jewish roots, said that when he met Sarkozy more than 20 years ago, one of their first conversations was about their shared “Jewish origins.”