Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Life Beyond Bar Mitzvah

It’s over, it was wonderful, it was one of the sweetest days of my life.

I wish you could have been there because I know you would have enjoyed it tremendously.

I am humbled, but also on top of the world.

My son read from the Torah scroll so beautifully. The assistant rabbi and cantor became an amazing team. My husband and I aced our speeches. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles read their portions, and performed their duties with loving care. My younger son added a most yummy sweetness to the ceremony (it was he who undressed the Torah before the bar mitzvah boy’s reading).

Afterwards, the whole congregation jubilantly pelted our 13-year-old with marshmallows. Oh–and the two Klezmer musicians (the ones I’d been worried about thinking it would drive the celebration “over the top”) were so right on the mark, so necessary to me, so exacting, professional and superb.


You’ll be hearing more about this as I myself absorb the day’s beauty. We were able to nod our heads toward mom’s Christianity, while at the same time perpetuating what is one of Judaism’s greatest traditions. My husband commended our son for his life-long perseverance when tasks get tough. I spoke in my speech of how, at this dawn of adolescence, a child begins to write his or her own narrative. Our son later told us that our speeches were the best part for him because they seemed so “heart-felt.”

If you are planning a bar or bat mitzvah within the next few years, you might want to email me and I’ll send you a copy of our Saturday morning service. I also might have an email-able tape of the whole service soon.

Our refrigerator is brimming with leftover food. And isn’t that the best metaphor? Our hearts too are brimming, overly full of spiritual resources that we can thrive on for years.

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posted May 30, 2007 at 1:21 am

Congratualtions and every blessing to all of you, Amy. You wrote of this so beautifully I was able to picture it in my mind. And I loved most your son’s appreciation for his parents’ heatfelt messages. You remind me again that these life-events feed and sustain us long after the date stamp expires.

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posted May 30, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Congratulations to your son and your family for a most momentous event. I’m glad that you let us know how everything worked out. A faith so steeped in tradition such a the Jewish faith touches my heart. Even though I’m of the Catholic faith, I can appreciate the traditions and values of others who all come from the Source- Our God and Creator.We are all one in Him. I’m also glad that everything worked out just right.

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Julie S

posted May 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Welcome back, we missed you. I’m so glad all went so beautifully, I’m sure we all said a prayer or two for you and your family. Now tell us did you serve coke?

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Amy Cunningham

posted May 30, 2007 at 5:42 pm

We did serve some 48 small bottles of Coca-Cola, but that was it! Not enough for any refills or repeats! After that, kids had to switch to “Shirley Temples” made from an “Authentic Grenadine” that contained pomegranate juice concentrate and no Red Dye #40! No one–not even our bar mitzvah boy–noticed or complained!

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posted May 31, 2007 at 1:09 am

Congratulations on things going so well. I’m constantly impressed at how you’re managing your mixed-tradition (mixed belief?) home life. Very cool.

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