Review Brooks & Crowley
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HOLIDAYS IN THE HOLY LAND A B’Nai Mitzvah Like No Other
Of course, we’ll be using the trip as a chance to explore the area from whence many of our religious beliefs originated. My ideas of these places were formed largely by Sunday school and attending mass as a child. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see them in person. My wife visited many years ago, but this will by my first time. I haven’t heard word yet on whether they’ll have shops where I can buy some gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open. Ultimately, the holidays are about the chance to create special memories with our loved ones. I think it goes without saying that this trip will be a chance to do just that. I’m so grateful to Teddy for recognizing what a special opportunity this is and jumping at it. I’m sure I’ll have more to say after we get back, but for now I’m just going to be excited. –Steve Brooks
A little over a year ago, my sister-in-law, Laura, called my wife, Kim, with a wild idea. Laura’s daughter, Tess, was thinking about having her bat mitzvah in Israel. Laura wondered if we’d be interested in combining Tess’ bat mitzvah with our son Teddy’s bar mitzvah in what’s known as a b’nai mitzvah ceremony. Obviously, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and when we floated the idea to Teddy, he was all for it.
the service is three hours. At the next, it’s two. At one party, the cake is chocolate and the music is Drake. At the next, the cake is vanilla and the music is Beyoncé. You get the idea. And while Teddy enjoys each of them, he’s now even more excited that he gets to do something totally different. Our plan is to tour the old city of Jerusalem, visit the Masada fortress and take in the Dead Sea, then go along the coastline and spend time in Tel Aviv. The ceremony itself will be held Dec. 24 at a spot adjacent to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. It’s pretty special that Teddy’s bar mitzvah will take place in such a historically significant place, where Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have such strong ties.
To be honest, we didn’t consider some factors at the time that make it feel like an even better decision today. Obviously, we knew for both my wife’s religion, Judaism, and mine, Christianity, that hosting a b’nai mitzvah in Jerusalem would be about the most meaningful place to do it. We also knew that being able to share the ceremony with both Teddy and Tess would make it doubly special. What we didn’t know, though, is that on the horizon of our trip, Teddy would be experiencing serious bar mitzvah fatigue. It seems like every weekend, Teddy’s off to another bar mitzvah for a school friend or a fellow summer-camper. And while each is a momentous occasion in its own right, they can start to feel similar in a hurry. At one ceremony,
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