Sunday, February 21, 2010


This is the year that Ross turns 13 and becomes Bar Mitzvah. Throughout this school year, he attends the Bar (for a boy) and Bat (for a girl) Mitzvah’s of all his classmates. In some instances, DDTF and I are invited as well.

At each service, there is a program that describes the activities of the shul we are attending, the service, and various other aspects about the event and the child being celebrated.

At a recent Bat Mitzvah, there was a poem in the program that brought tears to my eyes. I sat there thinking about the love we all have for our children. I looked around the shul which was filled with a mix of people. There were people there I consider to be friends, some mere acquaintances and others I had never seen before. We were however all united by several common threads; our heritage, an understanding of what we were there for and of course, wanting only the best for our children as they move toward their futures.
I am not sure why, but I also found myself thinking about how quick people are to judge others. We form opinions about people without any knowledge of what goes on in their lives. I find this interesting because we all go about our lives wanting, needing and striving for the same things: Acceptance, love, to be respected and quite simply, just to be seen and appreciated. It’s unfortunate how easily distracted we are from what is important to us and how quickly we forget that each person may feel the same way as we do.

As soon as I could get Ross’ attention, I called him over to me and just held him close. I was sitting behind the last pew as I was in my wheelchair. I was so grateful in that moment to have this child who has an amazing ability to move through life and not be hindered by my restrictions at all in a world that can be overly harsh at times. I closed my eyes for a while and listened to the Hebrew commentary, none of which I understand because I don’t read or speak Hebrew yet it takes me to a place I enjoy very much. I thanked my G-d for my blessings and I thanked my body for sustaining the process of bringing this child into my world.

This evening, Daniel and I had all our children at home for the first time in almost two years. Somehow, through hardship and the deepest of hurt and lack of understanding, the togetherness of a family ultimately makes the most sense. To quote someone whose name I can’t recall right now, “To find peace, you have to find all the pieces”.




I wish for you to be a
person of character
strong but not tough,
gentle but not weak.

I wish for you to be
Righteous but not self-righteous
honest but not unforgiving.

Wherever you journey, may your steps be firm
and may your walk in just paths
and not be afraid.
Whenever you speak, may your words
Be words of wisdom and friendship.

May your hands build
and your heart preserve what is good
and beautiful in our world.

May the voices of the generations of our people
move through you
and may the G-d of our ancestors
be your G-d as well.

May you know that there is a people,
a rich heritage, to which you belong
and from that sacred place
you are connected to all who dwell on earth.

May the stories of our people
be upon your heart
and the grace of the Torah rhythm
dance in your soul.

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso