Hear Our Voice

The Congregation Shma Koleinu Blog.

I am the luckiest Father, Husband and Rabbi I know!

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Shavua Tov! May you have a very sweet week!

There’s something truly magnificent about our Jewish tradition and you don’t have to wear a lot of ill-fitting “garments” in order to make it happen. Here’s the recipe I believe that our Sages may have followed in order to create some of the traditions they bequeathed to us.

  1. Pay attention to human nature. While technology and advancement have drastically changed how we encounter the world, none of it has fundamentally changed how we encounter ourselves. In other words, there is a reason why the Bar Mitzvah takes place when a boy turns 13. Something remarkable is taking place between 12 and 13 so Jewish tradition essentially said, “We need a ritual that helps us pay attention. Without it, we might miss one of the greatest growths our children undergo.
  2. Create rituals that cause us to stretch. Anything that’s too easy, too doable, too in reach, doesn’t feel like its worth reaching for. What an amazing gift to give our children, ritually! At one of their most growth filled times, the experience of first feeling, “This is impossible,” to recognizing, “I have overcome and endured something I was sure I couldn’t do!”
  3. Put your money where your mouth is! This is no adjuration to spend a giant amount of money on a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration. But, whatever you can afford, do the party, do the celebration, shower the people you love with love! Life is so short. And if we want our children to understand what we cherish and why, show them how to get down!

Samuel became a Bar Mitzvah today and it was truly a glorious celebration. I cannot say more loudly and clearly how blessed my family and I are to be a part of a Jewish community that understands so well the traditions above. CSK is here to impart Jewish tradition but in such a way as each and every Jew, Jewish family, family raising Jewish children and those who love them can find themselves and the holiness that abounds within.

Shavua Tov!

Rabbi Scott

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