Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mazel Tov

Last Saturday was my 87-year-old grandmother's Bat Mitzvah.  Women having bat mitzvah's is a relatively modern idea so many women of my mother and grandmother's age never had them at 13.  She studied for months and did such a fantastic job, I am so proud of her!  The service was lovely and she and the other two adult women who were bat mitzvahed with her did a great job, but my grandmother's speech about her torah portion stole the show.  There wasn't a dry eye in the temple.  I've always felt a little personally conflicted about my religion.  I love being Jewish and the cultural heritage that comes with it, but I also fundamentally do not agree with organized religion and I am still undecided on my beliefs in god.  It was wonderful to hear my grandmother talk about her struggle with the same issues.  She opened her speech by talking about how great it is to be part of a religion that celebrates life, we find joy in love, friends, food, drink and (with many a giggle from the audience) sex.  My grandmother has had a pretty amazing life, she traveled the world with my grandfather, and she has always been and still is very philanthropic, I always have a big smile when I say my 87-year-old grandmother volunteers at planned parenthood.  I wasn't allowed to take pictures during the ceremony, but I snapped some before and after.  It was a wonderful day, and it was really nice to see the whole family together (minus one cousin who couldn't make it).

Mazel Tov Grandma!

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The three bat mitzvah certificates.
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The three beautiful bat mitzvah ladies together.
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  My grandmother with her tallit, borrowed from my cousin Sarah.
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My grandmother signing the bat mitzvah certificate.
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They gave each woman a turtle to remind them to speak slowly.
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The whole family together at my grandmother's house on Long Island.
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Rhys and my grandma toasting with champagne!

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