While Matzah’s not my favorite, I do love Passover because it instills a sense of family and community as we come together for the Seders and remember the Israelites who banded together for freedom and to find a new homeland.
This past weekend, my son, Jesse, had his Bar Mitzvah at The Temple. A place where he grew up – went to preschool, Sunday school and Hebrew school – with the same kids and clergy for the past 10 years. Throughout the planning, our friends and family rallied around us with advice and offers of help and support – from helping design brunch and shabbat dinner invitations to making beautiful hospitality bags. Having our synagogue friends and their families going through the same process leant a different kind of support and love which seemed to radiate leading up to, during, and after the service in a way that unequivocally said, “we love you and are also so proud of Jesse.”
I am so proud of Jesse. Not just for the incredible effort he put into preparing for his Bar Mitzvah and how beautifully he read Torah, but because he puts that same effort into everything he does. While we would like to take full credit for the person he is, we recognize that raising children takes a village and we are grateful for every person that has impacted our family and are helping to shape our children into the Jewish adults they will become.
So often we get caught up in the minutiae of our own lives and do not pause to consider others that might need a bit of extra love and support in good times and in challenging ones. This past weekend, and in the many weeks previous to it, I was reminded of the power of community and the responsibility that we have to others. Everyone should have the opportunity to feel what we felt this past weekend, surrounded by our family and friends as we experienced unbridled Joy and
Nachas. From my family to yours, Happy Passover.
Ilyssa Klein is an account manager for the Atlanta Jewish times.