Saturday my synagogue had an anniversary, and the celebration was wonderful. It was the kind of event that reminds me why I love being Jewish, and how spiritually fulfilling I find it. I didn’t have the time to volunteer and help to make this happen, but those who could did a great job.
The first part was a morning service, and they rounded up all the kids they could find who had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah there to participate in the service. Both girls took part, and Husband and I really enjoyed seeing them up on the Bimah (raised platform to where the Rabbi does the service and the Torah is held). Oldest One opened the doors to the Ark (which holds the Torah) and went up with her B’nai Mitzvah group to do an Aliyah (prayer before Torah reading). She hadn’t been expecting to do an Aliyah, but since it was done as a group she was fine. Little One opened the doors to the Ark with her sister, did an Aliyah with her B’nai Mitzvah group, and led us in a Hebrew prayer with her former Bat Mitzvah tutor.
In the evening there was a dinner, a slideshow and a performance by a Jewish band. I haven’t listened to much of the mainstream, modern Jewish music, but Husband bought a CD at the end of the night because we enjoyed it so much. It was wonderful to talk with people we hadn’t seen in way too long, and hear how everyone was doing.
The slideshow was terrific. We had been asked to provide a picture of our children at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah and a current one. As Husband pointed out, those kids could have kids today. I loved to see what they looked like now. I used to plan youth group activities and knew a lot of the kids, who aren’t kids anymore. They also had pictures from synagogue activities, and some that had the girls I hadn’t seen before. I managed to catch the slideshow from start to finish, and enjoyed it.
There was also a silent auction, and we won a couple of items. I have a really nice pearl bracelet now, and we also got a beautiful picture called Torah in Glass. It starts with the story of creation and over 4 panels goes through the Torah and ends with a Bar Mitzvah reading from the Torah. We are going to frame it and then hang it in the family room.
We don’t do as much with the synagogue as we used to, which is pretty common as kids get older and activities take over. But a night like Saturday reminds me that our synagogue is a delightful family that we enjoy being with. We may not go often but when we do we are always made welcome, told we are missed, and have a good time being there.