Tuesday, June 7, 2011


"See ya..." "You too..." "Bye Bye..." "See you soon..." Phrases like those seemed to run in an endless loop Sunday evening. People saying goodbye, hugs all around, and teary eyes as the very festive weekend comes to a close. This past weekend was my nephew's Bar Mitzvah and the entire family was in town to celebrate this milestone.

It all started Friday, with an evening service at the Temple. My son and nephew are very close as well as being close in age (a year and a half) so when they are together, they are like brothers, in fact closer than brothers because there is no sibling squables, they just mesh into each other. My son would do anything for his cousin and he knows his cousin with do the same. Since they are both only children, their brotherly friendship will carry them into adulthood and beyond. The service was nice and after a little over an hour, we were set to head over to a great restaurant to pre-celebrate the main events taking place on Saturday. The boys celebrated along with their sister cousins, all they way in from the west coast. The girls are a few years older but all four really love and enjoy each other immensely. The dinner was a perfect venue for catching up with distant relatives, getting into the party spirit as well as letting off a little pre-torah tension for the Bar Mitzvah Boy and his parents. A Bar Mitzvah requires a lot of studying, and preparation, it's the transition from boyhood to manhood and with that comes the pressure of accomplishing the tasks at hand which builds up to the day when you read from the Torah in front of the congregation and enter "manhood". So letting off a little steam with your family is just what is needed on the Friday night.

Saturday morning the temple is full, and at ten am the service starts. My nephew is sitting right in the front with my son acting as his wing man, ready to assist if needed.  There are songs coupled with opening verses and prayers, then the Bar Mitzvah portion starts. The emotions get going right away with a few words from his grandfather, who talked about the long turbulent history of the family and presented a few heirlooms to his grandson. The next half an hour was filled with various immediate family members participating in the service which brought on more emotional moments. Then is was time for the Bar Mitzvah Boy to read his portion from the Torah. The room is silent as the words are sung aloud in a softened crackly teen voice. A sigh of relief is shown in the form of a big exhale as the long portion is concluded. He did it! A very moving speech given by both parents brings more emotions from the congregation. Finally some more gifts are presented to the now Bar Mitzvah Man from the Temple staff and the service concludes. Everyone is joyous as we surround my nephew and shower him with hugs, kisses, handshakes and pats on the back. My son finally breaks through the crowd to congratulate his "brother". After high fives and a hug, my nephew steps back, and with a big smile proclaims "Your next!" Now the pressure is on.

Next, the Party...
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Bob in Virginia said...


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