Saturday, November 14, 2009

Falling off the wagon; bat mitzvah time

Whoops! I didn't write a post yesterday. This would lose me my NaBloPoMo cred, except that I was slightly ahead of the game with some multiple posts from last week.

Today I went to shul and was surprised (not because it was unannounced, but because I'd forgotten today was the day) to find that it was the day for an adult bat mitzvah, for a member of the shul, in her sixties, who is herself already a grandmother. The parashah for today was "Chayyei Sarah," or "The Life of Sarah," and around this reading she organized a women's service, conducted entirely by the women of the shul. As it happens our most active leyners and service leaders are for the most part women, so it wasn't such a signal shift from the way things usually go. It was, however, a lovely service.

As someone who came to Judaism as an adult, and as someone whose friends' children are all mostly under ten, I haven't been to many bar or bat mitzvah celebrations. So it was news to me when Mordechai (a senior member of the shul and one of our most reliable Kohanim) came around with a basket full of what looked to be high-end Halloween candy. When the bat mitzvah finished her leyning, everybody suddenly pelted her with Ghirardelli chocolates, and she danced around the bimah while the shul's children scrambled for the goodies and we sang a song whose lyrics say "This is a joyous occasion not just for us, but for the whole people Israel."

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