I began my journey to doing a Bat Mitzvah, which is the jewish coming of age tradition, when I was 12. At that time, the world was all flower power, but I didn’t feel powerful, nor enough self-confidence to stand in front of the entire congregation and my family and risk failure. In those days, I defined failure as making even one mistake. So I let myself down, and did not complete that which as an adult I realize that I always wanted to do.
As I stepped up to the Bimah to begin my reading this past Saturday, I was standing together my mother, my brother, one son and one daughter. My voice trembled as I began to sing the Amen. So many times I had practiced and still in this moment I felt my voice shake. Our dear Cantor Ruth, standing behind me reached and put her hand on my back; I felt the warmth of her hand suffuse and give me strength and the blessing was that my voice began to flow. I chanted my portion correctly and was able to be in the moment and enjoy chanting the portion as each word began to come. It was exactly as she had suggested, I didn’t look at the congregation; I was just one with me and each word on the Torah scroll. How magical. I feel today that an important part of what has been missing is now whole within me.
Without releasing the clutter, I would not have been able to focus these past two years. It has been an important part of the journey of becoming fully me. I am grateful for the 15 other women and men in the Adult B’Nai Mitzvah class; together we reached this life giving moment.