Our living room is set up for services. On the lectern are printouts of K’s speech, her Haftarah and its blessings, and the blessings for the Torah reading. Siddurim are printed and stapled. The kippot are set out for the ten of us. I even ironed K’s bat mizvah logo onto white face masks. As Bryan Adams sang, I’m ready as I’m gonna be.
I remember helping my mom get ready for our b’nei mitzvah almost thirty years ago. There was no COVID, of course, so we had actual in-person services. I remember helping mum make little amenity baskets for the synagogue bathrooms: extra pantyhose, mouthwash, dental floss, pads and tampons, hand cream. I remember a scramble to finish our speeches and the introductions for the evening’s candle lighting ceremony.
They were all-weekend events: Friday evening there would be Shabbat dinner in our home for twenty or thirty (or more?) people. Then we had the service (i.e. the actual mitzvah) on Saturday morning followed by some kind of luncheon, a four- or five-hour break, and then a fancy party in the evening. Sunday morning was a brunch for all the guests from out-of-town. It was a happy, exciting whirlwind.
Tomorrow morning we’ll have over one hundred people joining us via Zoom, from near and far. Some of them wouldn’t have been able to join us if this was a normal in-person bat mitzvah; I guess that’s one point in favour of the Zoom-Mitzvah. K won’t have all the parties and the hullabaloo, but I hope that her bat mitzvah will at least feel special. I also want it to be memorable for reasons other than COVID.
I guess I’ve done all I can do. I’ve written all I can write. I promise to tell you all about it tomorrow night or Sunday.