I've broken my own rule and posted a picture of my eldest son. His Bar Mitzvah weekend - the weekend we have been planning for months, no, years - finally arrived you see and we have had the most incredible, whirlwind time over the past few weeks. Things are beginning to return to normal now and it seemed time to return to this little space of mine to show you what I created for his big event. This photo, showing the artwork for his Bar Mitzvah invitation, seemed the obvious thing to post here.
My son loves football and the English Premier League football club Arsenal in particular. I had to show him wearing an Arsenal shirt, football in hand, on his invitation. I kept in mind though that this was an important religious event for him and so he has his tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl worn during the morning prayers, draped over his shoulders and a matching red kippa (skullcap) on his head. In his other hand he is clutching his precious iPod. It's not all about sport you see.
My young man is rather good at maths. After our little photo session showing him with his paper look-alike, I cut out lots of little maths symbols and popped them onto the blue background box. The red number 13 represents the age that a Jewish boy becomes Bar Mitzvah. At this age, according to Jewish custom, he is considered old enough to have certain rights and responsibilities and is encouraged to fulfill as many mitzvot (commandments) as possible. (Bar Mitzvah literally translates as "son of commandment"). Finally I added a couple of books, one opening the Hebrew way from right to left, and one opening the English way from left to right. He's a keen reader and happily jumps between both languages.
The artwork was ready and, after exhaustive research of print houses both near and far, I ordered invitations, placecards, thank you cards and Birkat Hamazon booklets (Grace After Meals) all showing my son on the front. I actually had the artwork professionally photographed rather than scanned, to give it a little depth. I am perfectly aware that most of my guests couldn't have cared less if the picture was flat or not but, hey, it made me happy!
The invitations went out and the big day drew closer. Arrangements were made, lists were drawn up and the freezer was filled to bustin'! Our guests flew in, some for just a few days and some for much longer, and suddenly this great event which we had been planning for so long was happening!
This group of four photos by Fly on the Wall Life Photography.
I am proud to say that my boy did an amazing job in the synagogue, reading the whole weekly portion of the Torah and then the Haftara, a section from the Book of Prophets. The word haftara actually means conclusion. He then gave a special sermon giving his thoughts about the portion he had just read.
Afterwards it was time to celebrate! 26 guests came to eat with us on Friday night and then 32 for Saturday lunch. Fortunately the rain held off and our garden was put to good use. Then we partied some more at a beautiful nearby moshav... and frankly now I'm a little sad that it's all over. No more lists. No more research. No more things to book. Well... not until the younger son is Bar Mitzvah anyway. I have a little time and my son has a lovely reminder, handmade by Mum, on his bedroom wall.