JUST LIKE THE FIRST TIME
Written by: Gilda Raquel Wajnsztejn
Just to understand the history: a Jewish boy celebrates his Bar Mitzvah upon reaching the age of 13 years (and a girl 12) making their Jewish adulthood – and thus their responsibilities - official for themselves, their families, and to the community. It is extremely important to all Jews from the orthodox to the more progressive.
The fact is that I had the delicious experience of reliving moments of a Bar Mitzvah that was long gone: as in a movie, I was led to experience the Bar Mitzvah of the Bar Mitzvah’s Bar Mitzvah of my nephew Marcelo.
Explaining: 26 years after his Bar Mitzvah, he decided to celebrate the second 13th anniversary of the date. I believe that the initiative was the result of a youthful mental creativity, despite his 39 years of age, coupled with the desire to reunite loved ones at his home in Sao Paulo - which has been for a few years his base every time he comes to Brazil, since moving to New York. And maybe even, dare I say, the reaffirmation of his maturity, since the event, the Bar Mitzvah of his Bar Mitzvah’s Bar Mitzvah, replayed what happened in 1982.
And when I say replayed I mean just that. Guests were assembled, mostly those who had been at the official ceremony when he completed 13 years of age. And his guests, when informed of the meeting were surprised by invitations that were replicas of the original.
Although almost three decades later, those who remembered the party, as I did, were moved by what they found: the Bar Mitzvah man was contagious with his love, joy and satisfied smiles. And he welcomed us wearing an outfit similar to the one he wore as a boy. In one corner of the room, decorating the environment, a table stood out, covered by the same towels, flower arrangement, napkins and dishes used in the original party.
And as if that was not enough, in another corner, a movie and digital images from the first Bar Mitzvah played continuously--the host boy in his suit, the ballroom tables, family members and guests on the night of the feast of his 13 years--taking us back to the future.
Such care, commitment and emotional investment led us to make instant trips back and forth in time. Either we entered the memories of that time, or we congratulated one another for the reunion.
And so, we toasted and danced to the Bar Mitzvah of Marcelo’s Bar Mitzvah’s Bar Mitzvah, as inebriated as he was.
I have many memories in my life that are happily unforgettable. But I can say I had the privilege of being among those people who had a wish come true that I believe is in the imagination of all of us: to relive a moment with the same emotion as the first time.