For All to See
Do you remember that scene in “A League of Their Own” when the women attend the exhibit opening and have their pictures taken in front of their younger selves?
That was my experience this past Sunday night at the Bat Mitzvah Comes of Age exhibit at the JCC of Manhattan.
There I was; in all of my awkward, adolescent “glory.” For all the world to see. What I remember most from that very moment was how surreal it felt to be holding something so precious. The heft of the Torah scrolls seemed appropriate. After all, it contained the (rather lengthy) love letter from God to our People. So many had died protecting it so that generations could live by it.
And it was mine.
Like any thirteen year old, I was excited by the attention my coming-of-age created. But at a time and place where the celebrations were low-key and the theme of the day was, I kid you not, Bat Mitzvah, there was ample opportunity to keep the focus more on the ritual and less on the extraneous. Even at the time, I was was energized more by the notion that I would be taking my place in the line of Tradition than by the Cross pens, LPs, and gold charms that were among the de rigueur gifts in the 1980s.
And though it should have been a sign of things to come, I was excited most of all to leyn (chant) Torah.