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Nachas in a Pandemic

I just attended my first Bat Mitzvah—first in-person service of any kind—since March. The Bat Mitzvah girl (not one of my students) led the Torah service, chanted her maftir and haftarah, and gave a thoughtful d’var torah. Her parents spoke beautifully. The rabbi, his wife, and the cantor led the main parts of the service; I did the Torah reading. The congregation was tiny—just a handful of invited guests in addition to the family—and there was no hand-shaking, hugging, or kiddush. While it felt strange, it was such a meaningful experience to recognize this girl’s achievement and help her family celebrate. The pandemic didn’t stand in the way of the girl taking on adult responsibility in the community. Truly nachas for her parents and grandparents. And for the entire congregation.

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