Saturday, July 09, 2005

Post-Bat Mitzvah Blues

My big day has come and gone. People said I did a good job, but all I seem to remember were the mistakes I made. Why must I always be so hard on myself?

It was actually a wonderful service. The rabbi, Susan Warshaw, is a rabbinical student who just pinch hits in the summer when Danny is on vacation. She met with us prior to the service today and we looked at the torah scroll and did a “dry run”. She told us to think about all the Jewish women who have never had the privilege of reading from the torah as we got up to read.

This service was all about women. There was a baby naming for a beautiful young girl. There was the female rabbi. There was Meryl, our cantorial solist. And of course there were Tamar, Judith, and myself. What a statement for modern liberal Judaism.

It was actually a great privilege to read from the Torah, an experience I will never forget. I’m sure this will not be the last time I do it, but firsts are always special and memorable. It is really powerful to think that Jews around the world were chanting the same verses that I was this morning.

Getting ready for this day, mostly on my own, has occupied much of my free time over the last few months, or at least 20 minutes a day. I can’t even begin to count how many times I went over what probably took all of 10 minutes to chant. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will I do it again? Absolutely.

But it’s a little depressing not to have this thing to do any longer. There’s always music to practice and books to read and maybe I should just learn how to enjoy doing NOTHING at all. But an adjustment from being so busy even to being busy doing other things is hard. We are all such creatures of habit.

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