Recently I had the pleasure of attending a Bar mitzvah for the son of a friend of ours.
My husband and I were extremely sore and tired after cleaning out a storage outdoor closet and several garages where we took everything out, sorted through 10 years of accumulations and threw away the old outdated things and put up support boards with special hangers to hold all the gardening equipment and such. We set a deadline for ourselves and actually we made it with 15 minutes for a nice sit and a cool glass of ice tea. Closing the garage doors was very satisfying that afternoon.
We showered and dressed for this special occasion and groaned as we heaved our tired bodies into the car. About half way to the event, I happen to look at the invitation and I told my husband, "….uh…..honey….this says "Black Tie-Formal Attire…."! "NO!" he said….."YES"….I said and he turned the car around an we came home laughing about our faux paux! It took us exactly 7 minutes to change and get back in the car, this time without groaning and with an urgency of time!
Once we arrived, we were not late at all, much to our relief. There were hundreds of people milling about eating and talking. After making our hellos we settled into the routine of the evening, with the rest of the guests.
Soon, we were all called into a beautifully appointed dining room and the planned festivities began. The thing that struck me was the overflowing of joy, tears, and LOVE that just came out of every person’s being in that room.
Have you ever felt that kind of love and joy?
The family had prepared this magnificent slide show of the ceremony in Jerusalem where the family, extended family and friends had traveled for the celebration of the boy’s coming of age, the celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday, and the Jewish Memorial Day.
Every photo beamed with JOY, smiles and pride of the child, family and country. The night was infectious!
Once the dancing and lifting up of the family in chairs high overhead, I noticed I wasn’t sore and tired any more. I was smiling and clapping to the beat of the music and joy was filling me up. It was a better solution than an anti-inflammatory. The floor was bouncing under my beautiful shoes! Even the table decorations were bouncing!
This ceremony of the coming of age of a young man or woman in the Jewish tradition show the "Joy in Continuity" of a love, a faith, a family, a tradition buried deep in history. Just as a Christening, a Marriage, A Baptism, A first communion, an anniversary, a holiday from any country or religion. It is our way of continuing the part of us which says "Who We Are". Look over here: "….this is ME…."; "….this is who I am and where I come from…." .
These are the transitions in life that keep us whole and connected. When was the last time you experienced one of these ceremonies or RSVP’d without a thought of "…I have to….", or a groan? It is always a season of transistions.
Enjoy the moment and let your soul be lifted up and fed.