Of all the Torah portions during the year, the portions this week and next are almost uniformly avoided by Bar and Bat Mitzvah students due to their examinations of things that leak out of or appear on the skin of a body. It can be an uncomfortable conversation for anyone, especially for young adolescents.
But this year, for the first time in many, many years, Etz Chaim will once again host this traditional coming of age ceremony with a women who was inspired by our recent Adult Ed class. Joanne Lewis will step up to the bima on April 15th in order to participate in this affirming ceremony. All members and friends are warmly invited!
This is a wonderfully uplifting event for Etz Chaim, which demonstrates how life-long learning keeps us engaged in our community and energizes our mind, heart, and brain to continually seek out new information and stretch our imaginations. Further, there is a great deal of comfort gained in gaining mastery over the traditional texts that may have confounded us when we first opened them.
Joanne, and all of the eighteen people who have joined in on this class, beautifully demonstrate how learning about our tradition and customs can not only fill up our own hearts, but also the hearts of those who surround us.