Our oldest grandson will become a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday. And he is a very lucky boy. Not only is he well liked by his peers and well loved by his family, he is in the position of having all four of his grandparents alive for this event.
My father's father died when my father was six years old and my father's mother died before I was born - I am named after her. My mother's father died when I was about 3 years old and her mother died when I was 10. No chance of any of my grandparents' being around when I turned 13. But I was not Bat Mitzvah'd. We belonged to Rodeph Shalom, a very reform Jewish congregation. In fact, it was a rare occurrence for a boy to be Bar Mitzvah'd at Rodeph Shalom in the 1950's. And then, Rabbi Wice spoke to my father and suggested that I become a Bat Mitzvah. My father almost had a fit. He was so angry, we almost left Rodeph Shalom. "We joined here because the emphasis was on confirmation, not Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Never. She will never be a Bat Mitzvah." And that was that.
I was confirmed, as promised.
Neither of Edgar's father's parents were alive for his Bar Mitzvah but, his mother's mother was there and proud as could be. His mother's father died when Edgar was about 10 years old. Edgar's grandmother and his mother's sisters prepared all the food for the sumptuous Bar Mitzvah party. And Edgar remembers that it was a cold day in November and the heating system had failed in the synagogue. He was adorned in his brand new suit and shiny shoes. He was proud of his clothes and refused to wear a sweater or coat on top of them. That's what he thought. As he carried the Torah up and down the aisles of Ahaveth Israel, his father came up behind him, and threw his coat on over his shoulders. He didn't care.
Our grandson has been preceded to the Torah by his older sister, Kayla, who, as usual, did an excellent job.
We are looking forward to the grand coming together of our family and friends for this very happy occasion.