Today I am blessed to be going to the Bar Mitzvah of my young friend Jacob Myers. I’ve been to one Bat Mitzvah, an adult Bar Mitzvah and now Jacob’s. I love this rite of passage, marking a moment in time when boys/girls are called to the Torah, called to be men/women in their community.
It’s also coming up on a year since my beloved Aunt Mickey passed and I made the trek out to Yuma, Arizona for her wake and funeral.
And I just booked airline tickets to go to Atlanta in February for a baby shower for my niece Courtney and her husband Nick, expecting their first child in May.
Weddings. Retirement parties. Christenings. When we get to liminal times in our lives – times when we are about to cross a threshold into a new way of being, a new self – it’s so important to mark the occasion. And, I think, it’s important to have our tribe with us. The ‘me’ that does the crossing takes the step alone. This is most evident with death – and I love Jackson Browne’s lyric that “no matter how close to yours another’s steps have grown, in the end there is one dance you’ll do alone”. But having witnesses to encourage us, to walk with us up to that limn/threshold is not only important for the one doing the crossing, but for the community.
I’m really looking forward to Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah this morning and honored to be included. For while I personally, as a gentile, have not been called to the Torah, I HAVE been called to community and to service to God. And to Jacob and his family.
What rites of passage do YOU have on tap? How do you feel about them? I’d really like to know!