Monday, October 31, 2011

The bar mitzvah we couldn't imagine

One of the first times in his life Sachy gets to eat some of his own birthday cake!

This last Shabbos we read Parshas Noach, the story of Noah and the ark along with the story of the tower of Babel.  In keeping with the theme, it poured (and snowed a bit too, maybe that represented the fire in the rain of the Flood).  Here in our home and synagogue, we celebrated Sachy's bar mitzvah.

Until just a few years ago, we planned that we would pretty much have to go to Israel for a family trip for this.  There didn't seem to be any point to celebrating here with family and friends when Sachy himself wouldn't be able to eat any of the food around which so much of a bar mitzvah winds up centering.  A kiddush, a seudah todaah, any kind of festive meal seemed ridiculous.  With Sachy firmly in remission of his eosinophilic gastroenteritis, though, the door was opened for him to celebrate with his friends.  The calendar of course threw a few problems in; his actual birthday is the day after Yom Kippur.  This year that day was a Sunday, and the following two weekends were both holidays for two days followed by Shabbos so that there was no way to celebrate with people from out of town on Shabbos until this last weekend.  So he had a whole three weeks of celebration, first leading the evening prayers for the Boy Scout troop, then being called up to the Torah at school (and celebrating with the other boys with Krispy Kreme donuts that morning), then reading the Torah at school all week last week, then this week having his guests-invited-in celebration.
with the Boy Scouts

at the Torah at school

that's my Sachy!

We're taught that the rainbow should be a sign of mourning and heartache for us; when we see it, it is because G-d is reminding us and himself that whatever our sins, no matter how deserving of punishment,  He won't bring another flood to wipe out all of mankind on the Earth.  All the same, when seeing it we are always first impressed with its wonder and beauty and rarity.  Sachy's celebrations are a bit bittersweet in the same way, since we are always unsure about his medical condition; is he done with eosinophilic disease forever, or will it come back at any time?  Is there anything we can do to try to ensure it doesn't (no one knows)?  Sachy himself though always sees the wonder of the rainbow while understanding its deeper meaning; he learns, he enjoys what life gives him, he accepts limitations and celebrates his successes.  If there's improvement to make, he makes it; if there are lessons to learn, he learns them.  We're so proud of him and happy to have been able to celebrate in all these ways.


poops said...

It sounds like a beautiful celebration is so very many ways. He's a great young man and you are a lucky mother. Mazel tov to Sachy and your whole family!

npl said...

Elise, you put it so beautifully. I remember all those years we talked about the what-ifs. It is so inspiring to see how Sachy has used his experiences to make the most of his life. Wishing you and Jeffrey much nachas from him.
Mazal tov!

galiah said...

mazal tov! mazal tov! truly a momentous occasion in so many ways...

Batbar Mitzvah Invitations said...

Indeed a wonderful celebration! R