Now I am a man

Beltane and the Bar Mitzvah Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Bar Mitzvah done. Tom and Paul here. CBE. My sacred community. Sarah and the Moose. Maine. Minnesota. California. Tree sex. Rabbi Jamie. Veronica. Rebecca. Joanne. Tara. Mindy. Presents. Finishing. All the Trees in the Arapaho National Forest.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Veronica

One brief shining: Veronica and I pulled open the doors of the ark, Rabbi Jamie lifted each Torah scroll and handed one  to each of us and we took the Torah scrolls throughout the congregation, prayer shawls in hand or with prayer books, folks touched the dressed scroll.


As you may have noticed, I missed yesterday. A busy day. Up and out of the house at 7:30 am. Over to Evergreen with Paul to meet Tom at the Bread Lounge. Breakfast. Corned beef eggs Benedict. A Cuban coffee. Conversation with two old friends.

Realized that their presence here added the experience into the long memory of our friendship. How long term relationships remain strong and fresh. It also reveals the limits of Zoom. 3-D, high touch has room for casual interaction, for direct care, for hugs. For meals eaten together. Having said that I’m still a fan of Zoom. It maintains connection in a much more direct way for me than the telephone.

After breakfast we drove over to the synagogue. It was only 9:30 so we had a half an hour to wait. I introduced Tom and Paul to various folks, we chatted.

At tennish we began. Rabbi Jamie gave Veronica and me a pep talk. Clumsiness makes it more human. This is a celebration of something that has already happened. Enjoy yourself.

Because Veronica sings and chants like the music major she is, she and Rabbi Jamie ended up doing most of the service. As agreed, I only came in on the parts I’d practiced.

Reading my Torah portion had its hiccups, not the best rendering of what I had learned. Not a big deal however.

I did feel clumsy about when to bow, when to rise up on my toes. And, boy was that Torah scroll heavy. By the time I’d made my circuit my left shoulder let me know it was ready to be done. Rabbi Jamie took it from me when I got back to the bimah.

We read a Marge Piercy poem at two stanzas each. I introduced the Mah Tovu and the Shema. Veronica chanted her Torah portion which was much longer than mine.

Our d’var torahs came next. Mine was predictably intellectual, hers much longer and heartfelt. Why the parish was never a good fit for me.

Veronica might make a good rabbi if she decided to go that direction. Right now she’s a mechanical engineer working for Lockheed Martin on spacecraft.

I did not realize how much standing would be involved. By the time the service ended, at about 2 hours, I was exhausted. More limitations of the body.

At this point I’m glad to have this done. Finished. It puts a cap on the whole year. I’m finished with preparation, ready to live as a Jew.

It was so good to have Ruth and Gabe there. In a way this was a pivotal moment for the three of us. Grandpop now firmly in their tribe. Ruth cried a bit, remembering Jon. And that too was good.

I did leave my phone at the synagogue. Got some gifts which I’ve not yet opened. Had some deep conversations. A special, sacred day.