Thursday, December 19, 2013

a major achievement

My youngest grandchild, Robin, was Bat Mitzvah last Saturday. Bat Mitzvah (Bar Mitzvah for boys) is the coming of age ceremony in Judaism which marks the celebrant as an adult in the eyes of god and the community.

Robin on the bima

They are not adults in actual growing and legal terms, but at this point in their lives and after years of study, they are old enough to know right from wrong and bad behavior is no longer excused as being too young to know better.

In Judaism, while the Rabbis generally lead the services as the very learned teachers they are, any Jewish adult can lead the community in worship and so to introduce and welcome a new adult to the congregation, the Bat/Bar Mitzvah conducts the worship service.

This is not an easy task. Robin attended special classes for 3 years twice a week and religious school once a week and in the 6 months preceding her date, that study intensifies. She not only learned about being a Jewish adult but she also learned to read Hebrew as most of the service is conducted in Hebrew.

Generally, because the congregation is so large, each Bat/Bar Mitzvah has a partner and the services Friday night and Saturday morning are divided between them but Robin's partner was going to be out of town all summer and couldn't start the intensive preparations so they gave her a different date. Which meant that Robin didn't have a partner so for her, they decided to forgo the Friday night service.

When my kids were Bat/Bar Mitzvah, they led the service for the entire congregation both days. Now, because the congregation is so large and there is a Bat/Bar Mitzvah nearly every freakin' weekend and they started getting complaints from members who just wanted a regular service on Saturday mornings, the congregation in general holds services in the Chapel while the celebrant and their family and friends hold their Saturday service in the Sanctuary.

The Torah (old testament to Christians) is read in it's entirety every three years (one third of every book every year). They start at the beginning of Genesis after Yom Kipper (Jewish New Year) and end at the end of the Days of Awe (the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper). Every congregation no matter where in the world they are reads the same Torah portion on the same day.

And so Robin found a lesson in her Torah portion and spoke about the importance of forgiveness.

She did a great job and we are all very proud of her.

And then it was all over except for the partying!

Marc's immediate family and spouses minus 8...brothers, sister, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews.

ready for the party, all we need now are the guests


Robin and Thor


grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends

a little line dancing

her uncle's questionable taste in footwear

Autumn with her balloon headwear


  1. congratulations to her! intensive study and a lot of responsibility that goes with it, i'm certain. *sigh* farewell, innocent youth...

  2. As the REAL Thor, may I convey Mazel Tov to Robin as she grows into adulthood. May she have joy, prosperity, and a long, healthy life.

  3. Mazel Tov, Robin! Congratulations all around, because a beautiful responsible adult does not arise spontaneously but with the nurturing of an entire family.

  4. Mozel Rov Robin. And what an accomplishment for her. You must be very proud of her and she of herself.
    Looks like the party afterwards was a fun place to be....despite the questionable boots..hehehehe.

  5. A great accomplishment; job well done, Robin.
    No possibility my family could assemble that many relatives in one room Thank goodness for friends.

  6. What a beautiful young woman! I know you are all so proud of her.

  7. Yellow snakeskin is not questionable...just different. Congratulations to your beautiful daughter!!

  8. Awww so sweet. Mazel Tov, Robin. So lovely to see images from your special day. Thanks, Ellen.

  9. Congratulations!!! ...and thank you for sharing and taking the time to explain this. Very interesting!

  10. Congratulations to Robin and the whole clan.
    My, what a lot of relatives there are. I have probably no more than five, most of them distant.

    Enjoy the season, Jewish and Christian.


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