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Bar Mitzvah at a Golden Age!

Friday, 14 June, 2019 - 6:23 pm

Hand.jpgAn elderly man was one of several new faces to join us at our Shabbat program at the Wingate today.

As we began to sing some of the songs, he sang along beautifully with a graceful and melodic voice and seem to appreciate the songs in a different way than usual. I asked him his background and it turns out that he was a singer for his entire life, singing at all kinds of venues, weddings and Bar Mitzvah's.


As we reminisced about his life and where he grew up, he mentioned that he himself had never had a Bar Mitzvah as his parents were too poor to make one. The irony struck me, here was a man who had spent his whole life bringing joy to others through his songs and music, yet never got to celebrate his own personal Bar Mitzvah.

I had brought along a pair of Teffilin and suggested to him, that being that one of the main Mitzvot that a Bar Mitzvah boy does to mark his Bar Mitzvah, is to begin donning Tefillin, why don't we put them on right now and celebrate.

After I explained him what we were going to do and what the Mitzvah of Teffilin represent, I helped him don the Tefillin and recite the Shema. The gentleman was visibly happy and moved and it was a true joy to see. Upon concluding the Shema, we all congratulated him and sang Siman Tov UMazal Tov as we celebrated this special moment with him many decades after his actual 13th birthday.

As I visit with the residents, I am deeply aware that they have already been through and experienced so much of life. Their faces tell their stories and experiences of long lives with rich and diverse experiences full of happy, challenging and sad moments, and yet their joy at another meaningful and memorable moment, is always so palpable and special. 

Today their shared joy was no different!

Mazal Tov to my dear new friend!


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