Special Events

A Socially-Distant Bar Mitzvah

Certainly, these are unusual times. Most unusual, I received an inquiry for some socially-distance bar mitzvah photos—service rehearsal only, as hosting a party was out of the questions these days—and it turns out, the mother inquiring was someone I WENT TO CAMP WITH WHEN I WAS 13. We were in the same cabin for two years, and I remembered many details about her—that she had long dark brown hair, that she was into acting, and that she was funny. It was then quite fun to reconnect decades later, find out not much had changed, and meeting her own kids, one who was the same age as the last time I saw her.

In any case, her kid was a total trouper, going through his readings even with a mask on his face and adding Lysol wiping of the Torah to the sacred rituals. The synagogue had set up some super-duper web cams to capture all the events that were going on currently, since, despite a pandemic, milestones big and small were still happening. In honor of his bar mitzvah, he even carefully drew every single design, by hand, on the dozens of yarmulkes that were sent out to invited guests who watched by Zoom. According to his mom, he did wonderfully at his service, even if it was to a mostly empty sanctuary but a crowded Zoom room.

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