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Mazal Tov to a special Bar Mitzvah Boy! 

06/13/2023 10:42:54 PM


Bar Mitzvah Boy Larry Edelstein with his dad, Sam

The end of June will mark the end of my first year at Adath Shalom. It is a good time to pause and to express my gratitude for the warm reception my husband and I have enjoyed. We truly feel we have come "home".  I have observed a full cycle of Jewish holidays with Adath Shalom, about a dozen b'nai mitzvah, several community events and some lifecycle moments. I reflect back to my first shabbat when I looked out at the congregation and saw faces of strangers and wondered how I would learn all these new names. Now, twelve months later I look at the congregation and I see people whose names and stories I have learned,  and  who I  have come to see as friends. But, all along, there were 3 couples, longtime members of Adath Shalom who have been my friends for many years. Their children (who now have children of their own) were my bar mitzvah students. They are the Edelstein family, the Moses family and the Nappen family.

I started my cantorial career  35 years ago at The Lake Hiawatha Jewish Center while I was still a cantorial student.  Larry Edelstein was the parent of one of my bar mitzvah students. He told me he wanted to re-learn his haftarah, Shelach Lecha. I  taught him haftarah trope and made him a recording of his haftarah on cassette and he has chanted his bar mitzvah haftarah almost every year since then. In fact, his desire to re-learn his haftarah led him to learn haftarah trope and he has used that skill to chant many haftarot over the years. He is one of the few in our congregation that can chant any haftarah. The truth is, Larry is the best bar mitzvah student I have ever had!! 

35 years later, I am Larry's Cantor once again. This shabbat Larry will once again chant the haftarah of Shelach Lecha in honor of his "2nd bar mitzvah" What is a "2nd bar mitzvah"?  Psalm 90 refers to the lifespan of a man as being 70 years, so it has become customary for people to celebrate their 2nd bar mitzvah when they reach the age figure it out. I hope that Larry's determination to learn the skill of chanting haftarah will inspire others this shabbat and maybe one of you will approach me and say "I want to learn to chant my original haftarah again." And, by the way, Larry still has that cassette tape that I made for him about 33 years ago. And, yes, his actual birthday is this shabbat as well. Happy Birthday and Mazal Tov on your "2nd bar mitzvah"!        

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784