Saturday, November 07, 2009


He (not the boy above) was just a little boy, this 13-year-old who gave us lessons in optimism and activism today.  He started off his bar mitzvah weekend by reading a poem about love of family at last night’s service.  Today he was called to read the Torah.

Gideon lamented the fact that his birthday falls on September 11, forever a date that will strike fear in our hearts.  He has come to peace with this by determining to make the world a better place in his lifetime.  He challenged us to not only be optimists, but activists as well.

For his bar mitzvah project, he is collecting bicycles which will be sent overseas as part of the Bikes for the World project.  You can read more about how to participate in Gideon’s project here

What actually brought the most tears to our eyes this morning was Gideon’s 98-year-old grandfather who had traveled from New Rochelle, NY, to be a part of his grandson’s special day.  He came up to the bimah using a walker.  After doing his aliyah with other family members, he took some mike time to tell Gideon how much he loved him and what a great job he was doing.  He said he had prepared all week for this trip and thanked everyone in the audience for coming to celebrate his grandson’s bar mitzvah.  This was indeed family at its best.

Gideon had one of the most challenging portions of the Torah – the one where God tells Abraham to take Isaac, his son, up on Mount Moriah and sacrifice him.  It’s hard for people of all ages to comprehend.  Gideon’s question to our rabbi Danny was just how closely we should follow what God tells us to do.  Danny summarized his remarks by saying, “In every act there should rest a grain of doubt.”

So much food for thought.  But meanwhile, if you have an old bike lying around, please consider giving it a new life abroad.


Blogger lettuce said...

what a great project.

and 98, wow.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

At first I thought you meant the boy having the bar mitzvah was the one pictured -- which didn't seem very likely.

But anyway, bravo for such a great project. These bike projects are very worthwhile and anyone who's been to a developing country knows that bicycles play a vital role there.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I would guess the bicycles of the world far outnumber the cars. A bike is such a "green" form of transportation.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Lyn said...

It is so heartwwarming and hope restoring to witness our youth in action. They have more of a global perspective on life and seem to understand and act as citizens of the planet. They can teach us much. I am inspired by one so young trying to make the world a better place.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Don't you love it when kids inspire you to do better, to be better? I'll put the word out about the bike project.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

need more kids like Gideon in the world. Danny sounds like a wise man.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that belief without a shred of doubt isn't conviction but auto-mind-control...


5:54 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Gideon does sound like an inspiration. It must have been great to share his big event.

9:11 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home