A Father’s Reflections after his Son’s Bar Mitzvah

Yesterday reflects a course adjustment for my family that’s three generations in the making. Here’s why.

Our son had his bar mitzvah yesterday. He was amazing, even if I am a little biased.

He was prepared. He was relaxed. He hit it out of the park. For someone who doesn’t exactly crave the spotlight, he appeared relatively Zen.

My wife and I are so proud of him. This was his day in every way.

A Return to a Family’s Tradition
It also represented a major shift in the timeline for my family. It’s the first bar mitzvah in my immediate family in three generations. I didn’t have one, and neither did my father. But both sides of my family came from observant Jewish ancestors. So yesterday was a definite reset.

I couldn’t be happier.

Our son now has the foundation that I never received growing up. And as a young adult, I began to recognize the gap. That choice my parents made for me to not have a bar mitzvah is part of a much larger conversation about their perception of Jewish identity during those decades.

Suffice to say, it’s usually best to fully embrace who you are so you can fully become who you are meant to be.

I’m the bridge. My son is the future. What he decides to do with his foundation is up to him. But now he’s got it…

Seven Minutes of Pure Joy
At our son’s party, my wife and I wanted everyone to dance the traditional hora with us and lift up our son on a chair like you often see at Jewish celebrations. And that’s exactly what we did.

Watching him float up there was glorious. Then my wife went up, and finally it was my turn.

It was magical. I felt weightless. Time slowed down as I spun around in the clouds.

Family and friends were laughing, clapping and smiling. All of that love and support flowed around me and through me.

I will never forget the feeling.

Taking It All In
Yes, the feeling of an entire community’s warm support at our Congregation Beth El earlier in the day.

That knowledge that you were participating in one of the happiest days of your life.

And the love of family and friends, some who drove far through an all-day pummeling rain storm to be with you.

It was a special day.

Positive Momentum
Oh yes… Did I mention that we got an inch of rain yesterday? And of course, it derailed our outdoor plan A for the evening party. But we had a great indoor plan B.

There was simply too much momentum going. There could be no wash out.

As the evening party rocked inside, I occasionally glanced at the torrential rain outside.. And I smiled.

It was exactly as it was meant to be. And it was perfect.

My Message to the Universe
I don’t think you get many days like yesterday. So when they come along, it’s important to be as present as you can be to take it all in. That’s the advice I received, and I followed it!

I’m also finding it useful to write about it a bit to help seal in all of that joy.

So, I sat at my desk during my magic hour this morning. I reflected with my cup of Joe to the left of my keyboard. And the above is what flowed out.

And now I upload my story to the universe. I send it to the past. I send it to the future.

Everything feels right.