This weekend was Abby's Bat Mitzvah celebration.
A Bat Mitzvah is the ceremony where a 12 year old girl is called to the front of the congregation and up to the Bima (essentially the pulpit) to take her place as a full-fledged member of the Jewish community and to read from the Torah.
To say she did fantastic would be an understatement.
Even more introverted than her father, she got up in front of a crowd of about 385 people and delivered an excellent Dvar Torah (an essay on the portion she read where she applies it to today) that she wrote completely by herself. It was written so secretly by herself that she did not let her parents hear it until she delivered it.
She then perfectly recited not one, but two Torah portions and her Haftorah reading (which was quite large), followed by the Ashrei and some other blessings, again all perfectly. Typically you do one portion, but she had practiced and studied so well that she had mastered it early and they asked her if she wanted to do another one and as she never is one to under-achieve, she said ok and then did it with style.
It was a large audience because, in addition to her Bat Mitzvah, there was a 95th birthday celebration, a 65th Wedding anniversary (yes, the couple has been married for 65 years and are still going strong!), and an engagement ceremony for the granddaughter of the 95 year old. Quite a day full of life events indeed.
Abby took it all in stride and did a fantastic job.
A very proud father I am.
It's amazing to think how far she's come and developed in 12 short years.
Leah also did a great job reciting the closing prayers which are traditionally reserved for the younger siblings to chant at the end of the service.
Family came in from all over the US and Canada, and Abby's best friend from summer camp came all the way from Ithaca, New York to be here for the celebration.
While I typically don't post photos of my kids on blogger, but, since others this weekend took pics and published them on Facebook, they're out, and after all it's a special celebration so a few will do here.
|Abby Holding The Torah|
|Reading Her Portion From The Torah|
|After the practice, ready for the real thing|
These photos are from the practice held on Thursday as picture taking is not allowed at the Synagogue on Shabbat itself.
To say that I am beside myself with pride for the incredible devotion, effort and wonderful result of the hard work that she put into being ready for her day would be an understatement. The kid is more than all right, she's awesome.