In exactly 9 weeks and 5 days, I will celebrate my bat mitzah. Granted, it’s 39 years and 5 months late. But the fact that it’s still happening at all is a testament to hard work and determination. Many of my friends hit this milestone at the age of 13. Alas, my parents didn’t seem to think it was important. I’ve always felt as though I missed out on something important. When the opportunity arrived, I jumped at the chance.
First, I took adult Hebrew classes. I still remember the first class. Our teacher, Sarese, wrote a squiggly symbol on the board and declared it was the letter bet. I remember thinking that this was going to be harder than I thought. Somehow over time, it became easier and after two years, I was ready to begin my formal study with my cantor. Thank God for her patience. That time is almost at an end. I have crammed my poor old brain with so many different prayers and tunes that I worry that when the time comes to recite them I will open my mouth and nothing will come out.
In addition to the liturgy, I also have to plan the small gathering taking place afterward. I’m so grateful for all my friends that have offered to help me with the preparations. Having never done anything like this before, I’m truly shooting in the dark. I still have several prayers to learn. I don’t know how much more I can retain. All I know is that on May 14, 2011 I will accomplish what I have desired for almost 40 years. How many people can say that? Wish me luck.