Monday, February 4, 2013

A WASP Goes to a Southern Bar Mitzvah

This past Saturday, White Anglo Saxon Protestant me and my fair-haired children went to our first Bar Mitzvah.

Here are some things I observed:

My children were the only naturally fair-haired people there.  Oh, there were other bottle blondes, like, ehm, yours truly, but my kids kind of stood out.

So did my coworker next to whom we sat. She and her family were the only African Americans there.

Did you know that the first 45 minutes or so is just recitations of scripture and you don't have to get there right on time?  I did not. We got there right on time and may have seated ourselves before we were supposed to.

Did you know that the Torah is backwards?  I made it 36 years without ever knowing this.  As such, I just could not get the hang of turning the pages.  The Boy was having fits of giggle watching me before he finally just turned the pages for me.

Did you also know that these things last for over 2 hours?  I did not know this. We missed the luncheon after because we had to skirt out to get to The Boy's basketball game. We were still late, missing pictures and forcing him to play with no lunch! D'oh!

Teachers, when getting together after hours, will make complete fools of themselves!

I think I need to meet more Jewish people! *grins*

In all seriousness, I was honored to be invited and attend. I was grateful to expose my children to a religion other than their own.  The Rabbi was aware that there were many friends in attendance who were not Jewish and was helpful in leading us along as he went. 

As we listened to the Hebrew reading of the 10 commandments I was able to help my children follow along in English. They were able to see that we are not so very different... a wonderful teaching moment.

Since the of honor has a brother just one year younger, I'll be better prepared next year! *grins*


Angelwithatwist said...

Ihave several Jewish blogging friends.Although I have never been to a bar mitvah I would love to attend one.I am glad that you and your friend went and got to experience one and even better that your son knew Hebrew is read from right to left instead of our left to right. Did you also know that Hebrew has no vowels..

Heather said...

Happy that you had fun. The Bar Mitvzah tradition is definitely unlike anything we have in the Christian religion. Next year you will be a pro!

Bev Feldman said...

I am Jewish and have been to many a Bar Mtizvah, so it's really interesting to read it from the perspective of someone who has never been before. I always marvel at the sea of dark hair when I go to services, and those services do tend to be long! But it sounds like it was a good experience for you and your children :-)

The Dose of Reality said...

I just love the ceremony. I think it's so beautiful and meaningful. I'm glad you had such a great time.

Blond Duck said...

That was so nice that you went, even though you had to miss lunch!

Shell said...

I have never been to one!

Andrea B. said...

Now I really need to make sure my daughter has one (bat mitzvah) so I can invite you, and Shell! ;)

Glad you enjoyed yourself. I have so many different thoughts and reactions to what you wrote, but mostly I'm happy you and the kids enjoyed the experience.

Diane said...

I've never been to one. I don't even know anyone Jewish unless you count a couple of online friends!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I agree that it's a wonderful thing to expose kids to all kinds of different experiences like that. I didn't know some of these details either. You're not alone!

Babes Mami said...

I have never been however Nate has asked to go to a temple a few times, I'm not sure where he heard that!

Big City Mom said...

Wait, you sat through synagogue services, but missed the luncheon? That's not fair. Next time make sure you get to go to the nosh (food) - it's always sooo good at bar mitzvahs!


Melanie Cheripka said...

Happy Sharefest!!
The 5th Level of Motherhood