Becoming a Man

December 15, 2010
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I awoke from sleeping with a big yawn and a stretch. The minute my brain was back in working order my heart started pounding because I had remembered that today was my Bar Mitzvah. I pulled myself together and forced myself out of bed. Next I carefully dressed in all new cloths chosen especially for this momentous day. My dad tied my tie and we traveled to the synagogue where I’m going to have my Bar Mitzvah.
My mom whispered in my ear,
“Think about it today is your Bar Mitzvah.”
I answered,
“I know I can’t believe that it is finally here.”
I was greeted by what felt like the paparazzi but, it was just the photographers. My family and I first set off into the sanctuary. As the cameras were capturing moments of my smile I just kept thinking do I really want to do this. I mean I could just end it right here but I knew my parents would be disappointed in me. But as I kept thinking, I got excited. My mind was spinning and couldn’t get the idea out that today is my Bar Mitzvah and that it’s going to be a day that I will never forget. When I was finished with the pictures I thought my mouth was going to fall off because my mouth was aching so much from the pictures. I was led into the bema where I was going to chant my portion of the torah.
I can remember how timorous I was. My hands were crinkling. My memory tells me how I dosed off a lot and that I never was focused before I started. I also remember thinking to myself that this is either going to be a spectacular service or that it’s going to be a complete disaster. My head was throbbing because all that I could remember that today was a day that I was waiting ever since I was little and it’s actually happening. The canter spat out the word.
I managed to say back,
I was wearing my grandfather’s tallis, a prayer shawl, which he wore at his Bar Mitzvah in 1943. The first prayer that I chanted was the Viahavta. As I slowly strolled on to the beama I could feel my legs shaking. In the distance I saw all my friends glaring at me in the audience seeing what a Bar Mitzvah is like, I kept thinking to myself that all of these people are here for me. After thinking of what I just thought I became excited and anxious. I knew that I was going to do spectacular because I was prepared. I can remember for months how my mom was nagging at me to practice. I always gave her a fight but, in the end I knew it was worth it. In the beginning I was extremely nervous but I settled in and at the end I finished powerfully.
Finally they brought out the torah, an ancient Jewish bible. As the torah was being lifted out my stomach felt it was going to explode. The reason for this is that I remembered that I have to walk around holding it and I weighs at least 50lbs. Also if you drop it it’s considered extremely bad luck. I was terrified while I walked around the sanctuary but, when I gave the torah back to the rabbi, I told him,
“I’m relieved that I didn’t drop and I avoided a life long curse”.

One of the requirements of leading the service was giving an explanation of the ancient text I would be reading. Before I had to read from the torah I had to come with an idea about what the torah meant and to relate it back to the real world. I explained that mine was about the Israelites after Egypt and related it to the President and his Cabinet to help him. I used my yad, a pointer to help read the torah, which my grandma gave to me. When I was finished I was so happy because it meant that I had entered manhood. My service concluded and I couldn’t help but to glance at my parents and see the colossal smiles on their faces.
As the service ended I looked around knowing that I’m never going to get a day again that 200 people came just for me to celebrate this significant day. As I was saying my final good byes I was interrupted when the rabbi came up to me. He told me that I did phenomenal and that he enjoyed teaching me Hebrew through the past years. Everyone always asked me what I liked better the party or the service? I always say the service because I became a man.

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