Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Gadi's Bar Mitzvah

I haven't posted anything here for almost a month, and that's a very long time for me! We've been busy you see. My youngest son was Bar Mitzvah and the many, many months of planning, discussing, emailing and more planning finally came to a conclusion when we celebrated this special occasion with family and friends over a wonderful weekend back in January. This first photo, showing Gadi holding the artwork I created for his Bar Mitzvah invitation, seems the perfect way to start this post.
Gadi is a very keen reader. I have mentioned it once or twice in previous posts. I simply had to show him with a book in hand on his Bar Mitzvah invitation. He also loves to draw, so I put a bunch of pencils into his other hand. Thankfully he seems to have stopped chewing them, so these ones are clean and sharp! Gadi is wearing a green t-shirt with the badge of his youth group, NOAM, on it. (NOAM is an acronym for No'ar Masorti, Masorti Youth, a Zionist youth movement.) His precious phone is next to him, and a computer is open behind him, with the logo of Garry's Mod, a sandbox physics game, and one of Gadi's favourites, on it. 'G' of course also stands for Gadi...
Above the portrait of Gadi I added his name in English and Hebrew, along with a bright red number 13, the age that Jewish boys become Bar Mitzvah. My kids are bilingual and happily jump between the English that we speak at home, and the Hebrew that they use at school and with their friends. In fact, Gadi's Bar Mitzvah invitations were printed on two sides, one side in English and one side in Hebrew, to accommodate our various guests. Such is the life of an immigrant.
I ordered invitations, place cards, 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 pretty soon our guests were arriving from near and far, some for just a few days and others for much longer. Gadi, at the age of 13, is not the most devout young man, but I am proud to say that he 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. His portion included the Ten Commandments and he had, ahem, a few things to say about their relevance today. He spoke loudly and confidently in front of roughly 200 people. Whether everyone agreed with him or not, they all recognized how well he had prepared his thoughts and put them into words.
Photo credit: Gal Magnetix
Afterwards it was time to celebrate! 25 guests came to eat with us on Friday night, and then we were 32 for Saturday lunch. We were packed rather like sardines in a tin in our flat but everyone ate well and enjoyed the company. The following day we partied some more at the nearby Emek Ayalon Ranch. DJ Raphi was fantastic. Our Bar Mitzvah party was a blast thanks to him. A special mention must also go to our talented balloon lady, Ruti of Designed by Ruti, who made the yurt at the ranch look incredible!
Now it's all over. People keep asking me if I am sad. I'm not. I'm happy that we had such a fabulous weekend. I'm happy that all the effort we put in to planning the Bar Mitzvah paid off. I'm happy that my smart but sometimes chaotic and crazy son achieved so much. Now I have a little more time on my hands (but not much!) and my son has a unique piece of framed artwork on his bedroom wall, handmade by Mum, to remind him of a very special occasion.


Quinn said...

Congratulations to Gadi, and also to you! What a huge undertaking. Glad everything went so well. It must be especially nice to have an opportunity to use your amazing creative skills for your own family :)

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautiful work with the invitations Lisa! I am in love with the balloon centerpieces! I love that Gadi spoke his mind about the Ten Commandments. I always felt that laws and religion both need to evolve over time as societies change. Antiquated guidelines make no sense anymore. It is fantastic that the kids are bilingual!

Mami Made It said...

Wonderful work! Both cards and party! Congratulations to your son!

VeggieMummy said...

Congratulations to Gadi - he's such a handsome chap too. So glad that it all went well. It must take some courage to stand in front of everyone and give a sermon like that. The balloons are fantastic, as is your artwork and what a lovely memento of a very special occasion. xx

Down by the sea said...

No wonder you haven't written a post for a while. That looks a wonderful celebration you must be so proud of your Don. Sarah x