Today You Are A Man (click here to read or leave comments)

Today You Are a Man by Debra H. Goldstein

Last weekend, our oldest grandson had his Bar Mitzvah.  When he was called to the Torah, he became a man in the eyes of our religion. In my mind’s eye, he still is the infant his grandfathers supported on a pillow during his Bris. Somewhere, along the way, I blinked and thirteen years passed.

I kid that I’m not old enough to be the grandmother of a Bar Mitzvah boy, but that isn’t true. His mother (and her brother) were part of the package when I married their father. That gave me an edge on having a grandchild sooner than might have been the case, but the reality is many of my high school and college friends, who didn’t go to grad school or work, have grandchildren in this age range or older.

But, I digress from the most important thing – our grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. With grace, humor, wit, and intelligence, he stood on the pulpit before friends and family and became a man. He spoke from the heart, he recited time honored prayers, and he made his parents and grandparents proud.  He was perfect.

During the past thirteen years, he hasn’t always been perfect.  There are times he’s been rude, sloppy, bossy and occasionally mean to his sister.  At other times, he stood up for his sister, was considerate and sweet, and did an act of kindness without being asked. His curiosity and intellect prompted him to be a reader, challenge ideas, and explore new worlds.

His grandfather and I alternated smiling and frowning as he matured, but since the day his parents and he were assigned his Bar Mitzvah date, we tingled with anticipation. Yet, our excitement was tinged with nagging thoughts about the passage of time.

The Bar Mitzvah was everything we wished and prayed for him. Deep voiced and with a sense of confidence, he became a man, but I couldn’t help wiping away a tear remembering him as a boy


  1. B.K. Stevens says:

    Lovely piece, Debra. Our grandson becomes a Bar Mitzvah next year. (And I DID go to grad school and work–I just married young, and so did our daughter.) Yes, having grandchildren can make me feel old sometimes, but in most ways it makes me feel young again. It’s wonderful to have another chance to be a part of children’s lives as they go through the adventure of growing up.

    • Next year, I wish you all the joy we had with our grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. When each of our children had a Bar or Bat or B’nai Mitzvah, it was unique and special, but this was a different moment. BTW, hats off to you for having juggled grad school, work, marriage, and children….it isn’t an easy task!

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