Jared's Bar Mitzvah, and my best review – EVER!

This past weekend was Jared’s Bar Mitzvah.  I was so worried about this one, simply from a time constraint perspective.  No sooner did I finish Jess & Pete’s wedding in Orlando, I jumped in the car, drove home, taught Hebrew School from 9-10am, and was ready for Jared’s Bar Mitzvah at 10:30! (It required setup at 7:30 a.m., but it’s all in a day’s work..)

I was just worried that something might go wrong with driving back and forth, or that I might not be as focused as I needed to be, but from the moment we entered that room, there was a very special magic.

Jill’s friend, Janet, who is a mutual friend of my bff Mindy, was there, and she told me the story before we started about how she was responsible for baking Jared’s challah from scratch.  She baked one the night before, and she said “It just wasn’t feeling the love…” so..she got up the next morning, and baked a new one.  This time, she had all the positive, yummy, feel good intention for Jared that she was feeling as she was rolling the dough, and this one came out just perfect!  I thought – what a great thing to share in the service!!  It is so true that when we make things with love and positive intention, they come out even more yummy than we could ever imagine! YES!

The morning just got better from there.  Jared was one of the most poised, unflappable young men I have seen on a bimah. He knew his material, and was so proud to be there, that his attitude helped make the day so incredibly successful.  Jill, who was so worried about writing her “Dear G-d” prayer for Jared, spoke so beautifully and eloquently, and so did Bruce.  Their prayer for Jared was just what we all pray for, for our children, but knowing how nervous Jill was, it made it all the more special for me to listen to.  Hard not to shed a tear at that moment, for everyone – including me!

As I promised Jill, but she might not have originally believed, the service was over in a flash.  Torah reading, prayers, Aleinu, Kaddish…all short, but very sweet, and it was time to move on to the celebration everyone had waited for.  Jared was moving on to be the rock star of the day!

I moved on – to go collapse at home!  A wedding the night before and a Bar Mitzvah the next morning can take quite a bit out of a traveling Cantor.  But, the day was peaceful, and filled with beautiful memories of two amazing events in one single weekend.  This was one incredibly proud traveling Cantor!

What made me even prouder, was to receive Jill’s email the following day.  It was the best email I had ever received – and so I am going to be a tad boastful, and publish it here, on Jared’s blog entry.  (As well as my references page).  I’m just so proud and fulfilled to bring these kind of feelings to a an experience, not to mention a family who I have really grown to love…

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Debbi,
So, it has taken me 3 days to come back down from this high and now I can breathe again. Watching our son become a Bar Mitzvah was a moment we will cherish forever. He was so confident and poised. Jared was all grown up.
Since we had never seen one of your services we did not really know what to expect. Any expectations we would have had were exceeded. I know every parent must think their child’s service was the most amazing, but the service you performed was not only amazing and beautiful but truly moving and all about Jared. All that were there sharing this moment in our lives felt totally connected to Jared. That is because of you!!!! We could see the connection you have made with Jared. It was evident you both like each other, and the connection we have made with you. It felt like one big family witnessing Jared step on the next stone of the long path ahead of him.
We received so many complements on your behalf. I wanted to share them with you.
” I learned so much from Jared’s service, I did not know why all you do anything before Cantor Ballard explained them.” —Goodman
“I was so moved by the service, it is not often I feel a part of the service, and I have been to a lot of services.”
—-Premer
” I was so proud of Jared. This is my 4th grandchild to be a Bar Mitzvah and I finally understand what it is all about.” —–Krause
These are only a few of the comments.
Debbi, you really made this service everything we wanted it to be. We will always have you in our hearts and we look forward to having you guide Asher through this wonderful ritual.
With much love,
Jill and Bruce
xoxo
Debbi Ballard

Cantor Debbi brings warmth. passion, and an infectious smile to her ceremonies, serving Jewish-Interfaith couples and families for all of your Jewish lifecycle events in Florida, and around the world. For weddings, baby namings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs and spiritual worship needs, Cantor Debbi works personally with each family - no rules, just right!

2 Comments
  1. My boys have received some interesting questions when they have let the word out about having a private Bar Mitzvah at the house. The most interesting comment is, “You can’t become a Bar Mitzvah without a Torah,” or ” The Torah can’t leave the Temple!” I just showed them photos of Austin’s BM from a previous post to reassure them.

    Thanks so much for sharing the feedback from Jared’s family. I really like G, P, and K have learned so much.

    1. Denise,
      As you and I have had a few conversations about this topic – I think you know my thoughts are that a child does not become a Bar Mitzvah as a result of his geographic location. If we are to believe that G-d is everywhere, one does not need to walk in doors to find their connection – hence, I believe we don’t require doors to accept and honor a rite of passage.

      Torah’s do leave a synagogue, in fact, in Israel, few people actually belong to synagogues, because they worship in community groups. They don’t need synagogues, and neither do we.

      I’m thrilled to share – and for those I’m sharing with to see what joy and naches my families and I create together. Thank You for taking the time to read about them!
      Deb

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