You’re Invited

Dear Shomrei Community,

When my twin sons Ilan and Rafael became B’nai Mitzvah, just over a year ago, they weren’t able to have their B’nai Mitzvah in the synagogue due to COVID. While we were able to have a special celebration outside with a small group of friends and family, they weren’t able to celebrate with the whole community. Perhaps years ago, I took this simple idea for granted – that part of becoming a B’nai Mitzvah is being surrounded by the larger community – even if you don’t know everyone personally. But now I realize that this simple act is a gift.

This Shabbat will be the first Bar MItzvah of the year and my first Bar Mitzvah at Shomrei. We are a community that doesn’t have a B’nai Mitzvah every week, making the celebration of each young member of our community coming of age a special occasion. I highly encourage you to come to services and celebrate with us this Shabbat, and every Shabbat this coming year when we have a B’nai Mitzvah. Just by showing up, you are teaching our young adults the meaning of community.

This Shabbat, I will introduce a new melody for the ancient Priestly Blessing inviting the congregation to respond with the words keyn y’hi ratzon. I will be singing the words – May God Bless You and Protect You. May God’s Light Shine Upon You with Grace. May God’s Light Shine Upon You and Grant You Peace. The parents will place their hands lovingly on their child’s head and YOU, members of our beloved community, will respond, keyn yihi ratzon, YES MAY IT BE SO. Please come celebrate with us, shower our B’nai Mitzvah kids with blessings, and experience with them the power of community.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Julie Roth

image: “A yad is a small pointer used to read the Torah. While shooting a Bar Mitzvah last weekend, this one really caught my eye. I love the hand guiding the hand, careful not to touch the ink and pointing the way to read the holy text. #ru_one_18” by Madame Meow is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Rabbi Julie Roth
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