Friday, September 6, 2013

Faith Fridays: My First Bat Mitzvah

Today is the second day of Rosh Hashanah. This post was written a couple of weeks ago. This is my first chance to post it.

The first time I heard Torah chanted was by a young girl who practiced for me before going in for her formal practice. I recognized a few Hebrew words so I had to ask her what it was in English. She said a few lines and I knew it for Deuteronomy.

In the few months I've been working at the synagogue, I saw her grow from a shy young teen to a new confidence as her 13th birthday neared.

It felt right that her Bat Mitzvah should be my first. 

First impressions:

  • So much music! The prayers are chanted, so are the readings (one from Torah one from prophets) and it's good music -- even the readings which I think the tropes make it a bit random tune-wise.
  • Most of it was in Hebrew (an possibly Aramaic, I can't tell the difference) so I was grateful for the little bit of reading I'd already done: I could sing along the beginning of all the blessings at least.
  • The prayers are beautiful. I think I want a Siddur for the blessings ands the giving thanks are just beautiful in the English transliteration.
  • The visual of gold wrapped candy flying through the air around her wa beautiful although they could have left a bruise: she grinned and ducked her head.
  • Being part of the community: as they sang a song about Shalom, arms around each other.
  • I feel like I witnessed something deeper. A deep joy in blessing God and in belonging to God.
Have you ever been to a Bat (or Bar) Mitzvah? What was it like for you (whether this is in your faith tradition or not)?

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