November 6, 2006

Ezrah (helping)

It is an honor and privilege to read the haftarah on the occasion of your bar mitzvahs. This was the exact same haftarah portion that I read at my own bar mitzvah 34 years ago. Because our birthdays are so close, we have the same reading. As my parents and my sister will confirm, I did a much better job back then than I did today.

Back then, I had tutors, and teachers and Rabbis to help me get ready and prepare. This time, I tried to do it all by myself. As we know, we always do much better when we have helpers.

Looking out in the sanctuary this morning, I am so glad to see that we have with us so many of your helpers with us today: your social workers, teachers, and many of your babysitters for the past ten years. The babysitters are the ones with the grey hairs, even the teenagers. And to each of them, your mom and I are very grateful for their support.

And, in fact, every one of our guests, every one of you, has, in his or her own unique way, been a source of tremendous support and strength to Lydia, me, Hart and Jeff. As we were putting together our guest list, we basically were creating our list of the 100 people who have most helped us over the years. If Crain's were to publish a top-100 list of helpers to us, you would be that list. Hart and Jeff, and Lydia and I could not made it through the past ten years without you. I hope you know how very much we appreciate you all.

Hart and Jeff, I know that you have learned that when we help others, we ourselves become better people. The importance of helping others is something that both of you already understand. I hope you will always do your best to be good helpers. To try to make the world a better place. I know that you both will always will take care of each other. And that you always will be the very best of friends.
And finally but very importantly, that you will always take care of your most important helper in the world, and that's your mom, who spends every single day taking care of you.

When I was a 13-year-old boy, just like you, wearing my first suit, in a synagogue not too far from here, I could not have imagined, in my very best dreams, that someday I would be reciting the haftarah for two boys who are as wonderful as you are. Your mom and I are very proud of you.

I hope someday each of you will have the same good fortune to recite the Torah blessings on the occasions of your own children's bar and bat mitzvahs.

_______ Hart's and Jeff's father's comments, November 4, 2006

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