Thursday, January 1, 2015

Another "notch" in the timeline of life.... thank God.

At the beginning of the party when Shifra came in, these flairs were set off!!
"Oh what a night! Late December, back in '63 2014. What a very special time for me, 
'cause I remember, what a night!"

(...What a lady, what a night!")

(anyone remember this song, popular when I was a kid in the 70's? It's a good one.)

Actually, the whole weekend- from Thursday until Monday- an entire BatMitzvah extravaganza. And everything went very well, thank Gd!

Thursday morning Shifra read Torah in our house with a women's t'fillah (prayer) group as we prayed the Thursday morning service. There were about 20 people here, I think. It was so nice!!

Friday had us all preparing for Shabbat and our kiddush which was going to be on Shabbat day at our synagogue. I don't even have to tell you what an insanely busy day it was, even with things planned out! I didn't sit down much. Hardly at all, actually. My sister-in-law says it's important for me to learn how to pace myself. She's right, but it sure didn't happen that Friday!

Friday night had our dining table extended to the max with another table added on to have a meal with 17 relatives... only relatives! Many more on Robert's side than mine, but with my two brothers there and my lovely niece, I felt blessed. Lots of food, free-flowing wine and whisky, and togetherness. Thank Gd for the good milestones!!

Shabbat day in shul was a total Klein affair. even Azriel participated in praying from the pulpit!! He publicly prayed the beginning of the morning service, the only part that a young boy (pre-barMitzvah) is can do (p'sukei d'zimrah). Ya'akov led morning prayers after Azriel, Robert read (chanted) the whole Torah portion, and Robert also delivered a beautiful d'var Torah. Dov led services for "musaf", the extra service on Shabbat after Torah reading. After Azriel sang for the synagogue his lovely (and adorable) "Anim Z'mirot", Shifra delivered her own d'var Torah to the entire congregation.

After services there was a beautiful kiddush outside (it was a warm, sunny December day here!) for the whole community. Again, lots of food. Many women in our community helped cook dishes, set up and clean up. It was such a treat to have so much help. If you are one of those special people who helped with the kiddush, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Returning home on Shabbat (Saturday) after the kiddush, *exhausted*, I opened the door to see that the table for 17 had already been set up, and salads were being chopped! I felt so loved and taken care of. Shifra was so happy, bouncing off the walls, actually. Her Torah reading and the d'var Torah were over, she could relax. All that was left was a HUGE party the next night!

Lots and lots of setting up and cleaning up, chopping and mixing, popping up and down from the table, going back and forth to the kitchen kept me on the move constantly. It was OK, I didn't actually have much pain, but it was exhausting. Exhilarating, but exhausting!

Sunday morning found me waking up feeling *lousy*. I had a fever. My body was in over-drive too long and it was talking to me. So, by some miracle, I stayed in bed most of the day. Shifra still didn't have shoes that matched her dress for the party, so Robert went out with her on Sunday to look for shoes. She & I had gone to so many stores, there weren't that many left, but another stroke of miracle, and they found *the* pair of shoes!! And the same shopping trip yielded the perfect shirt that Dov wanted for the party. Nothing like last minute!

While I was sick in bed on Sunday, I realized that one of the gifts of having that time is that I could really think about my speech for the party. With our bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, usually Robert does the public speaking in shul on Shabbat, and I give a speech at the party. It has turned into a sort of tradition. I wrote my speech... Anyone interested in reading it can write to me and I'll send it to you! It was personal, mushy-lovey, and straight from the heart. The only way I know how to talk about my kids. I think Shifra loved it.

At the party, whoa.... I was buzzed on Tylenol and Advil for the fever, not much eating or drinking all day, and I was a bit dizzy. But, the photographer got pictures, people started flowing in, and the party got off the ground! In the beginning, Shifra spent more time in the bathroom with her girlfriends checking her hair than with us in the hall, but that's OK. She's 12. :)
When dancing started up, I danced with all my energy. After a few minutes of that I was getting dizzy, so I opted out a few times, but did get to dance with my lovely girly, and my dearest friends and family! I'll post pics when I get them.

Here are a few pictures- these were all taken "un-professionally"- the one at the top (with the sparklers) was taken by a good friend, and the other two I took, at the end of the party when I got reunited with my cell phone.

her pretty braided hair
After the party... the dress!
So, we got home from the party at 12:30am. We were all sooooo exhausted, but not Shifra! She wanted to open *all* the presents! So, I sat on the floor with her in our sweat pants and opened presents. Lots of OOh!'s and Ahh!'s for all the pretty things she got. Lots of jewelery, some great books, and some wonderful, original gifts as well. We stayed up way too late. She was finally ready to conk out at 4am, and asked to sleep with me in my bed. That was the sweetest way to end the day, holding hands with my girlie while we drift off into dream-land. After a whole three days of being in the spotlight, she wanted some cuddles and mommy time. I love how kids can be so organic and natural in having their emotional needs met, you know?

In the days since the party, we've had more family time, but slowly family members are making their way back to "the old country". This Shabbat we have my oldest brother and one of Robert's brothers staying with us. Next Shabbat we are back to our little family again... I'm good with that.

Today, the exhaustion hit me hard. It is exactly a week since the festivities began, and my body is breaking down a bit. Had a fever today, coughing, and lymph node/nerve pain. My body's way of putting out the "stop sign". Tomorrow is Shabbat again, thank God. Hard to prepare for, but a gift to experience.

More pictures to come, as I get them from the photographer. These are actually the only ones I have! The ones from the Torah reading haven't been sent to me either. I'll post some when I get them!

These types of landmark events are so hard to organize, prepare for, and go through, but on the other side of it one always is so glad they put in the effort. All worth while things take tons of effort, right? And most importantly, Shifra is so happy. She told me that her BatMitzvah was everything she dreamed of. And my daughter is everything *I* ever dreamed of... and more.


  1. so glad things worked out. You are a brave woman...just hosting meals for 17 scares me. You';; have lots of great memories when you finally get to rest a bit. Shifra looks fantastic...12 is a hard age for girls.

  2. What a great party we had! Such good times :-)

  3. Mazel Tov! Lovely young lady!

  4. Thanks for sharing those exciting moments. I really had a great time and am very glad I went. Can you please email your speach to my mother? I think she'd like it.

  5. Mazal Tov! A simcha is truly a simcha when shared with family and friends. Yasher koach and lots of love.

    Devorah :-)

  6. Glad to hear it all went well! And Shifra has a beautiful dress, by the way. ;-)

    1. Thanks!!! She finally got what she wanted when the seamstress made it for her. Although even at the seamstress she changed her mind once. She's quite something, lemme tell ya. ;)​

  7. Wow! What can I say? May you have much, much bracha and nachas from all of your beautiful children. May you always feel held and cared for...

    Lots of hugs and Mazal Tov,