Tag Archives: rashi

Barmitzvah – the Redux

As regular readers will know, we are making another barmitzvah at the end of the summer. My two eldest sons were born 13 months and 4 days apart.

Last year was the first barmitzvah and it was awesome. I worked really hard for it to be perfect, and my son couldn’t have been happier with his weekend. He is the type of kid that likes to be centre of attention, and is not nervous at addressing a crowd.

Our second son, affectionately known in these pages as Hopalong Squiggs, is more content to be behind the scenes, out of the spotlight. But he can’t stay there now, as it’s his moment to shine.

Every child is different, every simcha is different. However some things need to remain constant. When I was reporting on last years events I commented on how well everyone got along – step families and ex spouses and new spouses etc.  I am proud that we all put aside our differences for the sake of the barmitzvah boy, and I am confident that this upcoming barmitzvah will be the same.

This barmitzvah is bittersweet in a way. It’s probably the last barmitzvah we will make in Montreal. So I guess in some ways it will be somewhat of a farewell bash too. (ok so I am already panicking that I know no caterers in Monsey, know nothing about the halls or who does tablecloths – and I have 18 months until the next barmitzvah to think about it!! And we haven’t yet moved….)

This past Shabbat was a year (in the Hebrew Calendar) since the last barmitzvah. And what a year it has been. I met and married the love of my life, and we are in the process of moving to be with him in NY. Last year I was happy at this time, happy with the person that I was, not dependant on anyone for that happiness. This year I am even happier as I have the KoD to share that joy!

I am so excited to be at Squiggy’s barmitzvah, to watch him become a man under the watchful eye of his father and stepfather and brothers and the men all gathered round the Torah. (I would love to be standing next to him too, but that’s not how we do things here). I know in my heart that I have raised him well, brought him to this point in his life to accept the responsibility of an adult Jewish man and all that entails. I am proud of the person that he is, and I am proud to have helped form him in that way.

I listen to him practice his parsha, and watch him practice putting on tefilling. He is a leftie – so he does it different from his brother. Every time I watch this I tear up. Last year this is what I wrote about my oldest laying tefillin. The feelings are no less awesome watching Squiggy put them on. In 10 days he will be putting them on in shul with a bracha in front of the community. He will put them on every day after that for as long as he lives (except Shabbat and holidays). This is an amazing undertaking, one that I as a woman cannot fully grasp. I know Rashi’s daughters are reported to have davened with tefillin – but I am not so holy that I wish to take on this mitzvah.

I have been so blessed to have so many simchas in my life. This is the third in just over a year. 2 barmitzvahs and a wedding. May it be Hashem’s will that we celebrate many many simchas together in the coming years.

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Table Talk

Oy such nachas I am shepping….I think….nope, not yet. Sitting at supper tonight the kids were talking about their day etc, and they got into a very deep discussion about what hurts more – having your arm cut off or having it burnt off with acid. Apparently this is a discussion in Gemara. Rashi has opined, according to my little scholars, that acid hurts less, so those that are punished for a crime by being sentenced to lose their arm, would get to choose to have their arm lopped off by a sharp knife, or burned off with acid. Most chose acid. What a choice??!!


My chicken sat forlornly on my plate….the others around the table, being people of the puerile variety, had no such issues, and munched and crunched while discussing the merits of either punishment.


I know I should be proud, perhaps after I finish digesting the meal and the conversation I will be able to dredge up some pride for my kids who actually listened once in class.


Boys boys boys!!