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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Parents Bar Mitzvah Speech

Dad remembers when you boys both fit in his pocket. I remember a slightly different version. You didn’t want to leave my arms. [The boys would die if I said BREASTFEEDING.] Amazingly time passes quickly. Although, you have been men in my eyes for some time now, today is symbolic of me letting go and letting you officially become men as you are called to the Torah.

Our guests asked ahead of time if the ceremony is usually at a Temple. Yes, a Bar Mitzvah Ceremony is traditionally held at a Synagogue during regular Saturday service when a boy turns thirteen. With our family being an eclectic spiritual mix, the boy’s learning style, and my need to be unique, we decided to do it this way. Plus we wanted to open our new home to you.

In Judaism, the rule is, is if the mother is Jewish, the children are Jewish. With each passing generation, like many modern Jewish families, my family seemed to be getting away from the traditions that make us Jewish. With so much separation from customs, ironically, my biggest inspiration to rekindle the tradition is from you, my family and friends, who I observed, were faithful to your spirituality. Before we started our formal study of Judaism we actually attended congregation and camps with many of you. I was health-fully jealous that many of you had well-grounded spiritual homes. Although today we represent different denominations, every one, here today has influenced and inspired the boys to reach this mile stone.

With my desire to raise the boys in Judaism and our family’s unique needs, our last year of intense study, we found our Cantor Debbi, whom we are most appreciative for her flexible teaching style and accommodation to our needs. She has been driving to us monthly from S. Florida, calling us weekly, and available by e-mail. Looking back, I hardly remember the reasons we started private study as learning styles and interfaith family hardly matter with her special way.

My original priority in their training was to teach the boys to love Judaism as we rekindled the tradition in our family. When William and Scott were 7, like David, they didn’t know what a Bar Mitzvah is. I actually had not attended many myself. David is excited to plan his own. How our thinking has changed! William, I don’t care if your ”religious” or not. I want you to have a kind heart and a love for humanity. There are many ways to express your goodness. Scott, we love your depth of understanding on complex Torah-based concepts. I am proud of you both for learning your Hebrew and Torah portions. We are proud of you for the example you set through your karate and activity with Max. We are even proud of simple abilities like standing before a mixed audience to speak. Dad and I are proud of the sacrifice of time you have put into your preparation for this special day.

As you now have a foundation to be good men, Dad and I let go of your youth and pray for G-d to work on your heart as men and may He continue to guide you.


Tammie said...

Just had to say, this world is going to need some good men! Thanks for working so hard to raise some!!!

Denise Punger MD IBCLC said...

Thanks Tammie!

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