Thoughts from the Rabbi...
Spring is finally in the air. After a wet and cold April, it is nice to see that warmer weather, brighter sunshine, and bigger smiles are finally on the horizon. I guess there really is something to that timeless expression about April showers. This is, perhaps, my favorite time of the year. It is a reminder – for me – of God’s ever-present creative Will. As nature finds a way to create new life each spring, so to do we find ways to reinvigorate ourselves lives through a rekindling of our the spirit and soul deep within.
This is the time of year that we each seem to thaw ourselves out, and emerge from our hibernation. We see more of our neighbors as we walk down the driveway to get our newspapers and collect our mail. It’s easier for those of us with younger children to remind them to “go out and play” – that is, of course, if they need reminding.
It is, then, that May was the obvious choice for me to plan the upcoming Adult B’nei Mitzvah service, scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at 10:00am. After all, each of the 11 participants in this year-long course of study with me has found within themselves, a personal blossoming of their Jewish spirit. They have each connected with something deep within that has called them to emerge, to see themselves and their connection with Judaism and with God in a new light.
Each of these students has spent nearly every Saturday morning throughout this past year learning about Jewish customs, ancient texts, current practices, and important Hebrew words and phrases. But much more than that, they have each learned something very important about themselves. What that is for each person, I cannot say. For each of them, what they have truly gained by this experience is both personal and unique… but it is real, and it has forever changed them.
Unlike the average pre-teen who approaches their Bar- or Bat- Mitzvah with at least some thoughts of, “my parents are making me do this,” each of these 11 adults has come to this experience with a full measure of devotion, their hearts pulsing with anticipation and excitement, and their minds open to learning everything possible in the given amount of time.
On May 21, beginning at 10:00am, each of these B’nei Mitzvah participants will stand on the bima prepared to truly become “Sons” and “Daughters” of God’s Commandments. Won’t you please join them?
Together let us join in celebration, as we honor the commitment of our Adult B’nei Mitzvah class of 5771:
William Alessi Aimee Mickey Michael Davila Mark Frankel
Esther Furman Iris Katz Anne Ladof Toby Reigart
Charles Seltzer Kristi Silberstein Anita Strong
Rabbi Jeffrey R. Astrachan