Today function gave way to the faith of my child, dispersing the mist of protection I had created for myself...
We gathered today to honor my youngest daughter through the practice of the coming of age ceremony of Israel, the Bat-mitzvah. We had prepared for weeks; rehearsing Torah chants, baking, designing decorations, buying a special Bat-mitzvah ensemble etc. In all the preparations I had felt somewhat preoccupied with function—without which of course there is no tangible expression of faith. Today function gave way to the faith of my child, dispersing the mist of protection I had created for myself in an attempt to deny the reality of the change that was about to take place. As the moment arrived I closed my eyes to hear the angelic lilt of my daughter’s voice as she began to chant the Torah.
“Vay-daber Moshe, el rashey ha-matot…” The words of Moses concerning the journeys of the tribes of Israel.
Interesting, I thought, her Torah portion regards the journey of the patriarchs and matriarchs of Israel, beginning with the instruction regarding vows and the protection of women against rash vows. My daughter made her vow to G-d today knowing that He would lead her in peace, guiding her into the future, journeying with her through this world toward the Olam Haba—World to come. She was allowing the Father to make plans for her, willingly trusting Him.
At intervals throughout the ceremony she would glance up at me looking for direction or waiting on the next bracha--blessing. When her eyes met mine I saw another reality, a greater purpose. I saw her eyes meet the Father’s eyes and I saw her being directed by Him, I was standing in the background, a brother in faith, a fellow pilgrim.
The smoke I had blown into the occasion was simply my fear of losing her to womanhood, another letting go; this was easily dispersed by the wind of the Ruach Ha-Kodesh—Holy Spirit. I wasn't losing her, I was simply changing positions; once I had walked before her, now I will walk beside her and together we will lift our eyes to HaShem—G-d.
We gathered today to honor my youngest daughter, my daughter had come to honor G-d and His Torah—written and living--and in doing so she honored us all.
© 2013 Yaakov Brown
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,