An Upsherin in Byron, Georgia
Last week I asked for you JewishMOMs of 3-year-old boys to send me your Lag Ba’omer upsherin (first haircut) photos. And the day after Lag Ba’omer, I received an Email from Nedavia Frankewich packed with photos of her adorable son Efraim at his upsherin. What was interesting about Efraim’s upsherin was that it took place in a very surprising location: Byron, Georgia!
The truth is that I got all teary-eyed seeing Efraim Frankewich all proud of his big-boy peyos and kippah way down South, in the middle of Nowheresville.
In my neighborhood, I see dozens of boys with peyos just like Efraim’s every single day, including the peyos of my favorite 4-year-old, Yoel Weisberg. But seeing photos of Efraim Frankewich being raised as an Orthodox Jew in Augusta, Georgia (where his family lives) makes me feel so emotional.
In Jerusalem or New York or other major Jewish centers, the light of Judaism- the yeshivot, and the Jewish schools, and the shuls, and the families- are like a sky-high Lag Ba’omer bonfire. And my Yoel’s peyos, for example, are just another small stick in that immense fire of holiness and Torah.
But in Augusta, Georgia, Efraim’s peyos are just one little lit match trying to stay alit despite the hurricane winds that will rage all around him, G-d forbid.
I pray that this holy little boy should grow up to be such a great torch of Torah and love of Hashem, to light up his entire community and the whole world, too. Please G-d, may Efraim grow up to bring so much nachas to his holy parents who have chosen to go against the flow, raising their son as a proud and committed Jew way down South.