Rabbi blesses the circus
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Rabbi blesses the circus

Apparently, blessings for the circus have a distinguished pedigree. "The Greatest Show in Earth," the 1952 Cecil B. DeMille film, is said to show a Catholic priest blessing the circus train (I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t really say.), and the Catholic Church even has a designated National Circus Chaplain, a position now filled by Father Jerry Hogan. The position has existed since 1928 — who knew?

And so it was that Rabbi Ira Schiffer, an assistant chaplain at Middlebury College in Vermont, offered his blessings to the Yiddish-y named Circus Smirkus. In the video below, Schiffer (introduced by Shmirkus founder Rob Mermin, also Jewish) says the shehecheyanu blessing in advance of the youth circus’ first show of the season.