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Tag : Bat Mitzvah

The Lilith Blog

April 30, 2020 by

What Carrying the Torah Taught Me About Faith

My daughter’s bat mitzvah took place on Purim, March 10, right as the country was introduced to social distancing and mere days before we were encouraged to stay home. The weekend before, my family went to shul together for Shabbat services. My son has been volunteering as a bimah boy since his bar mitzvah last year, so he’s there regularly with my husband, but my daughter and I often stay home.

Being in shul fills me with conflicting emotions. I love the community, the warmth, and the sense of connection amongst a group of people that large. But I have issues with some of the actual tenets of the religion itself, and a very uncertain relationship with G-d. It’s my love for the clergy and fellow congregants that keep me coming back. I spend my time there in reflection upon myself, my actions, and how I can be better in the future. I rarely follow along in the Siddur, feeling those words so separate from my own.

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The Lilith Blog

February 27, 2020 by

I Wasn’t Ready for My Bat Mitzvah at 13.

My Bat Mitzvah was a hit. After the service, I was approached by relatives, friends, and congregation members wishing me mazel tov and telling me what a great job I had done. So poised! So insightful! So well-spoken! But here’s the thing—I wasn’t. 

I should mention that I had an untraditional bat mitzvah—my family belonged to a Humanistic Jewish congregation that aims to celebrate Jewish traditions, history, and values. The “cantor” adapts many of the old classics to focus on peace and love instead of god. The congregation doesn’t even own a Torah. And for this, I am grateful; it was wonderful to be part of the Jewish community in a way that was consistent with my family’s varying degrees of atheism. 

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