Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Bar Mitzva to remember

Today was a difficult and painful day for Israel, as rockets were flying in the south and a bomb went off in the center of Jerusalem.  Again, there are deaths, injuries, property damage and trauma.  Again, the ugly and despicable acts of terror cast their grotesque shadow over our beautiful country.  How long will our tears continue to flow?  How much longer will this dreadful galus last? When, oh when, will Hashem send us the geula that we so desperately need?  Enough false promises of futile peace with the enemy whose aim is our destruction, regardless of where we live, south, north, center, settlements, whatever. The Jewish response is to continue to live, to build, to unite together and eradicate this evil by bringing more holiness and light into this world that is so very dark right now.  I hope that our government will act decisively and not stop half way in doing what they have to do to stop this outrage.  But I digress.  Here is something that I meant to post yesterday but didn't get to, but it illustrates the point I am trying to make very well.  I went to a Bar Mitzva of my good friend's son, a couple of days ago.  It was a very simple affair but one that was beautiful and moving and touched me in a very profound way.   If anyone deserves some nachas from their kids, surely my friend and her husband are prime candidates.  They are a kind of people who always seem to have a smile on their face no matter how many curve balls life throws their way and their life has certainly been far from easy on many different fronts.  And especially this particular Bar Mitzva boy who had to struggle so hard and so long but is now, B"H, on his way to growing up into a kind of a man who will be a credit to his family and his people.  There were all kinds of people at this Bar Mitzva, from all walks of life,  old neighbours, family and friends that came together to celebrate this milestone.  There was great food, beautiful speeches and spirited dancing and the Bar Mitzva boy's sister put together a lovely slide show of her brother's pictures from babyhood until today.  It was a very memorable event.  But more than anything I think it's a good metaphor as well.  Sometimes life can be very hard and there are many unknowns, there are choices that have to be made and sometimes lots of bumps and bruises and tears along the way, false starts,  challenges that almost break one but with G-d's help and love of family and support of friends and community, dedicated educators, a miracle takes place and a beautiful child grows into a special young man and is given a chance to develop himself into a person he was meant to be.  And the family experiences healing and joy and strength where before there was despair and fear and endless pain.  I think it's true for us as a nation as well.  We will not break, we will continue to live and grow and blossom despite the setbacks and false starts and many mistakes along the way and G-d will make more miracles for us and give us strength to carry on, together with our family and friends and teachers and communities and give us a true and enduring peace which only comes from being true to who we are and doing what G-d wants of us .  Hashem oz L'amo yiten,  Hashem yivorech et amo Bashalom- G-d gives strength to His people, G-d will bless His nation with peace.


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