I seem to always cry at Bar Mitzvah services, mostly because I see our young children turning into young adults. Saturday May 26th, I just cried. I cried when Brandon Kaplan hugged the Torah with all his might, as though his life depended on it.
I cried when Brandon’s Grandma spoke to “her” Brandon.
I cried when his mother Dina would coax Brandon saying “Look at Mommy, Brandon”, and he would look at her adoringly, and sign his Torah portion.
I cried when his father, and our synagogue president, Michael Kaplan gave his “1 minute speech” which probably took him hours to write.
I cried when Great Grandpa of 103, recited the blessings over the wine and bread with a tear in his eye.
I cried because I am part of a Congregation that is a family. We are a family that is headed by our wonderful Rabbi Paul Kipnes, that always supports individuals and ideas, and that may not always conform to “normal” tradition. We all reveled that one of our family was making his way to becoming a man.
As Brandon signed through his Bar Mitzvah service, it was a joy to see his triumph, evidenced by the thunderous applause he received. Towards the end of his Bar Mitzvah celebration, Brandon signed “More Bar Mitzvah, more Bar Mitzvah”.
I cried…I wanted “More Bar Mitzvah” too!