Hannah's Bat Mitzvah
Jessica's Bat Mitzvah
October 12, 2002
SOS: Thank you, all of you, for being with us this evening. You are among our greatest treasures and we so appreciate your coming. We are particularly grateful that Jessica's grandparents, Paul and Lillian Singer and Bernard and Rena Olshansky were able to be here to make this celebration so meaningful and special.
Before we address Jessica, I want to say, Mom, we are thinking of you and missing you so much this weekend! I know that you are out there shepping naches (that's Yiddish for getting great pride and pleasure) out of this occasion and maybe even "critiquing" the proceedings in your own special way!
Now, Jessica. When you were six weeks old, Daddy wrote a prayer for you that we read to you on the occasion of your Simchat Bat (naming ceremony) on Saturday, February 17, 1990. On that day, you were given your Hebrew same, Sarah, after my grandmother Bobie Sonia who, incidentally, first set foot in this country 79 years ago this week. We would like to read that prayer for you, just in case you don't remember what we said:
GIS: TO OUR DAUGHTER, JESSICA SARAH
We join today with the people most important to us --our family, friends and spiritual partners --to celebrate your birth, and affirm our love for you and each other. We commemorate the heritage of your people and family, from whom we hope you will draw the love, compassion, patience, respect, integrity and wisdom to help you achieve, and maybe even exceed, the best of each of us.
We have indeed been blessed. With our health. With a religion rich in values and traditions. With wise, loving and generous parents. With siblings we not only deeply love but also genuinely like. With friends we both like and genuinely love. And now with you, our beautiful daughter Jessica.
Together with Rachel, Adina, Jason, as well as your yet to be born cousins (Sam, Gideon, Clara, Melanie and now Emma, Jesse and Sophie - not to mention your sister Hannah!), we wish you a future limited only by your imagination. We will consider it our ultimate achievement if we are able to teach you the meaning of Mitzvah as our parents taught it to us: to do what is right, decent, proper and responsible.
Jessica, with your birth we have already discovered new depths of feelings for you, our family, and each other. As we look toward the future, "we promise to try to be ever open, cherishing each other's uniqueness, to comfort and challenge each other through life's sorrow and joy, to share our intuition and insight with each other, and above all, to do everything in our power to permit each of us to become the persons we are yet to be."
SOS: Jessie, our dreams for you haven't changed at all in almost 13 years, but looking at you now, and knowing you as we now do, we are watching those dreams come true. We are so proud, respectful and, frankly, in awe of who you've become and love you more than we ever imagined was possible.