With deep humility we stand before you, El Rachum, 12 years ago our prayers answered.
For as God’s dew brings forth blessing upon the earth, so too, we experience the daily blessing that is you, our daughter, overwhelmed with gratitude upon your becoming a bat Lit. Commandment. It is traditionally held that there are 613 mitzvot (plural) in Judaism, both postive commandments (mandating actions) and negative commandments (prohibiting actions). Mitzvah has also become colloquially assumed to mean the idea of a “good deed.".
We were taught – teach your children to swim. We watch you now, strokes bold and confident in all waters. May you continue to plunge in; adventurous, curious, risk taking, fully present, often choosing to struggle against the tide. Swim strong, yet pace yourself; breathe, reach, glide, breathe.
Song fills her mouth as waters fill the sea. May the songs never far from your lips be songs of joy, of gratitude, of confidence, of compassion. Dive into complex harmonies, deepening relationships, interests, commitments. For if we still carried timbrels I bet you would take yours everywhere, gathering hands, circling round.
Your ancestors were sustained by the wellspring of The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general.. May you soak up every drop of deep nourishment your family provides, seeing yet avoiding bitter waters, choosing and strengthening that which is sweet in your inheritance.
May the security of God’s protective and loving care surround you, providing strength and courage in the face of fear, calm and solidity in the face of disruption, wisdom and presence of mind in the face of pressures from within and without.
With overflowing hearts we thank you, God, for the blessing that is our daughter.