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Mazzal Tov! Bar Mitzva Event In Jerusalem

Orly Wolstein - 27 March 2018

Shalom dear Friends,

Remember we announced a special event of Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem? Thank you for joining us and for keeping us in your prayers! Fourteen children from the First Home in the Homeland got a chance to celebrate their passage from childhood towards adulthood in Jerusalem by the Western Wall! Even in most courageous dreams it couldn’t be more powerful! This event was brought to life thanks to your generous support. More details in the article below with a short special testimony of Svetlana from Ukraine at the end of this article – don’t miss it!

One of the greatest Chassidic leaders, the fifth Rabbi of Lubavich Shalom Dov-Ber of Lubavitch wrote to his son before his bar mitzvah:

Three things you must know to be an adult:

Don’t fool yourself.

Don’t fool others.

Don’t let others fool you.

—and do it all without trying to impress anybody. (Sefer HaSichot 5704, page 36)

 

In the Jewish religion, a bar or bat mitzvah ceremony is the rite of passage from childhood towards adulthood. A boy in the age of 13 and a girl in the age of 12 take responsibility to observe the rules (mitzvot). It’s not a matter of a party, but rather an important spiritual event, a milestone of life.

Bat Mitzva in Jerusalem

On the 15th of March fourteen children (can we still call them “children?) of the First Home in the Homeland program celebrated Bar/Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem. They were born in different countries – Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan, but met near the Western Wall in the Holy City. Now they live in different kibbutzim, from the very North – Neot Mordekhay in the Upper Galilee to the very South – Elifaz near Eilat. Eight boys, six girls and their parents came to share with us one of the biggest and spiritually highest events.

Eight boys, six girls, their parents and some Christians for Israel staff


It was the first time in the 26 years of First Home in the Homeland that such a celebration came to life!
In the year when Israel is celebrating its Birthday 70, we celebrate together with these boys and girls the beginning of their adolescence – full of meaning.

The day started in the main office of the Jewish Agency of Israel (JAFI) in the historical place that is called now Weizmann hall. Here on December 27, 1949 the first assembly of the Israeli Knesset took place.

On the same place in 1949 first Assembly of the Israel Parliament took place

It was our big pleasure and honour that our friends and supporters from Christians for Israel could be with us on this day!

Roger van Oordt (Director Christians for Israel), Hans and Marie-Louise Weissenböck (Leader of Christians for Israel Austria) joined us for the celebration.

 

Roger van Oordt – Director of Christians for Israel

I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.“- read Roger to the children from the Jeremiah 32:41.

Dr. David Breakstone, Deputy Chair of the Executive of the Jewish Agency delivered a speech where he mentioned how “Am Israel” (People of Israel) continues its way through centuries, with support of our friends from the nations.

Besides the main ceremony near the Kotel, the boys and girls together with their families and guests were invited to the tunnels under the Western Wall for special activities. Girls prepared candle holders and learned about the mitzvah of lighting candles. One candle holder they took as a gift, and the second one every family prepared for a Holocaust survivor who didn’t celebrate his or her Bar/Bat Mitzvah because of the horrors of the Catastrophe. Boys learned the main prayers and wrote them down in a traditional way.

Parents, brothers and sisters, and even four grannies (!) took part in the event.

A small testimony of Svetlana Homuk from Ukraine, mother of one of the Ben-Mitzvah boys:

My grandfather was a rabbi in the area of Kiev, our family was persecuted for a long time. In Kiev we left a Torah scroll kept in secret for many years. My dream was to see my son reading a Torah portion, today this dream comes true!

Bar Mitzva in Jerusalem

For the boys and girls themselves it was a special ceremony, undoubtedly they will remember it as a part of the process of going up (aliyah). Going up to Israel (Aliyah laAretz) and going up to the Tora and Mitzvot.

The celebration was possible thanks to the help of Christians for Israel from all over the world. Thank you so much for your generous spiritual and practical support! Are you joining us for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration in 2019?


Please support the “First Home in the Homeland” Project. Any amount is welcome!
Assisting a family in the “First Home” program costs € 230 euro / US $ 250 a month.

 




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