A Special Bar Mitzvah Boy

A Special Bar Mitzvah Boy

A few Shabbats ago, I noticed a friend standing at a kiddush outside a nearby shul. As I was schmoozing with her, I realized I recognized the person making the kiddush. He is a well-known educator who, I realized, was making a bar mitzvah for his son.

If I had to describe this educator in 3 words? Dignity, excellence, determination.

The father was literally glowing with pride. As though he had been transported to another dimension almost–the planet of nachas.

And then I glanced over at his son, the bar mitzvah boy. He was standing alone by one of the kiddush tables, chewing alternately on his kippah, which he had removed from his head, his tsitsit, and then his sleeve.

But the father’s eyes were focused not on his son (and his chewing), but above him, into the distance, his heart clearly overflowing with joy and emotion as he spoke about educating our children, and educating this special child of his in particular.

“The Work of Eternity” he called it.

Yesterday I was reading a newly-released collection of letters which the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote to women and girls called “In Response to her Letter” (Alumot-HEBREW).

And I was struck by the Rebbe’s words to one woman facing a challenge in her life. He told her: “Just as the Holy One Blessed be He is eternal, so too, any actions performed by a Jew connected with the Holy One Blessed be He are eternal…These actions remain for all of eternity.”

And I was reminded of the bar mitzvah boy’s nibbled kippah.

And his father’s unwavering love and pride.

Eternity.

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