I’m sorry if some of you are sick and tired of hearing me talk about my son’s bar mitzvah. One more post on the post-bar-mitz (sorry for the lousy pun) and I’m done. I think.
I’m still busy clearing stuff out of my house, returning platters, writing thank you cards and finding space for all my son’s new Jewish texts, so this post will be done quick and dirty… here we go.
1. “He did a great job!” Thanks! I don’t consider that a reflection on me, just as if he’d flopped I wouldn’t consider it a reflection on me. I’m glad he did a nice job. I’m happy for him, and I’m happy, honestly, for his grandparents. In the grand scheme of things, though, it’s not that central.
2. I’m deep in the FOBISIDI phase. That’s “fear of bumping into someone I didn’t invite.” If you fall into that category (I do, for many other events) I hope you will judge me favorably. Here are some options to help you along:
- I goofed. (I’m frightfully fallible.)
- You come along with like 10 other people in your category. People I carpool with. People I see once a month. People who all know each other. If I invited you, it would be weird that all those other people didn’t get invited too.
- I honestly tried to figure out, if it were your son’s bar mitzvah, would I be invited? If I figured probably not, I didn’t extend the invite. (Could be I goofed…see the first option.)
- I know a lot of people and have a ton of relatives. We were seriously limited in space. I still like you. And I hope you still like me.
But I still have a bad case of FOBISIDI.
3. I’m so glad that all Jews pronounce “bar mitzvah” the same way. It doesn’t matter if you are Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or non-Jewish. We all say it the same. This gave me joy and peace. I know. I’m weird.
4. At the bar mitzvah, my worlds came together. My ultra-Orthodox friends all the way to my non-Jewish friends. Again, this gave me great joy and hope for the future of the Jewish people.
5. My son is different, post-bar mitzvah. While regular readers here know that I’m hardly a fan of big hoopla surrounding bnai mitzvah, it seems that the big deal has left my son impressed with what actually changed for him. I am glad he recognizes that big deal = responsibility. After the lights go down, and the wrapping paper is thrown out, that’s what it’s all about. I do not take this for granted, and continually pray that he gets it.
6. We had a kiddush at our Orthodox shul (mostly for our Orthodox friends who are used to that sort of thing) and a Sunday night event for our out-of-towners and other friends. The Sunday night event, while deeply enjoyable and fun, was not a “party.” There were hardly any kids there. No favors. No activities. What was there? A siyum (completion of Torah study). A short talk by my son, about Shabbat. A talk by my grandfather, telling my son what’s important in life. Lots of my friends talking, eating and socializing. A few words from my son’s principal. At the end, impromptu dancing with my son’s great-grandmother at the center. I’m happy. That’s exactly what I was hoping.
And now. For some sleep…. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz