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My Child's B'nai Mitzvah: Why It's Not All About Me 

In the book, “God’s To-Do List,” Dr. Ron Wolfson opens up the book with two verses: 

“I am but dust and ashes.” Genesis 18:27

“For my sake, the world was created.” Sanhedrin 37A

This shares understanding that we are all created from dust and ashes (also one day returning to that same place). We are also all uniquely special and important. Finding this balance is essential in feeling as though we belong; we matter. This concept is important for your children to understand as they become “individuals” in our bigger Jewish family. 

We want our children to embrace the balance of these two verses for their growth and developing self esteem. We all come from the same place, love some of the same things and share our differences. We also have to remember that in that, we each sometimes struggle with different things, smaller and greater. Whether as a parent to your child or a human to human, how can we remain compassionate towards those who are struggling, even when we just don’t understand?

We remember, that just as we were all created from dust and ashes, the world is also created for each of us. That means you on your best and worst days; same as me. Same as our children. We each have our own individual journeys, even if we are connected as family, community or friends. We help in the creation of our world, just as, it is continuously and beautifully created uniquely for each of us. 

So, as a parent, remember that your child’s B’nai Mitzvah journey is parallel to yours. It is not yours, however, and that can be one of the biggest realizations. You will have your own path to take during this time and I encourage you to embrace that path. Love yourself as a parent with your best days and your worst moments. Love your child the same.

If your child doesn’t practice her Torah reading one day, it’ll be alright. If you think your child should wear a suit and he really wants to go a little more casual, the world will still spin. If you cry your eyes out during the speech, it is ok. This time was created for you to grow. It is created for your child to grow. You come from the same place but are autonomously different. Embrace that individual uniqueness and rest in the flow; it is in that place where we truly embrace the magical expanse of what becoming a B’nai Mitzvah truly means. 

Tue, February 25 2020 30 Shevat 5780