Yesterday, my husband and I attended a friend’s son’s Bar Mitzvah. Neither of us had been to a Bar Mitzvah before so we did not really know what to expect. Thankfully our friend’s wife reassured us beforehand that everyone would be very accepting and there was no need for us to wear a kippah (skullcap) but if we wanted to do so that would be fine. We felt that it would be a respectful to wear them and managed to acquire some rainbow designed ones. Might as well help people who we would meet for the first time to realise that we were a couple.
We found the Bar Mitzvah service to be very inclusive, despite some of it being in Hebrew, and loved how the whole family were included. We heard parents and siblings share their appreciation of and hopes for this young man with such love and sincerity that we were both moved to tears. I was struck by what a powerful influence this could be at such an important time in this young man’s life. I hope that when he faces difficulties that the memory of this day may sustain him and provide a balance to any self doubt that arises. To share in this celebration felt like a real privilege and was great fun too, especially the dancing later on.
Earlier in the week, I was on my way to a meeting that I was not looking forward to. I was wondering whether my contribution would have any influence and whether my efforts were worthwhile. Thankfully I met a colleague in the car park, and while walking together he very kindly told me how much he appreciated my input and how he felt it was missed when I was not present. Although I thanked him for these words, he probably didn’t appreciate how timely they were for me.
So twice this week I have been impacted by the power of appreciation and challenged to express my appreciation for others more often.