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Holding With Open Arms

The Shabbat following Sarah’s glorious wedding marks the 26 th anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah.

Had she been born the day she became a Bat Mitzvah, she would be old enough to have celebrated two more. Where did the time go?

The sophisticated hairstyle of her wedding day was such a stark contrast to the huge bow she wore in her hair on the day she read from the Torah.

There were so many other differences too, most of them, obvious. She is now a sophisticated highly-educated professional who supervises lots of people. She has traveled much if the world and interacts seamlessly and respectfully with CEOs and house cleaners alike. She is the mother of two wonderful children whom she skillfully guides through the discoveries, joys and perils of childhood.

Without a doubt, the lessons she taught as a Bat Mitzvah from Leviticus Holiness Code (chapter 19) are part of her essence and clearly values that she and Clive uphold together:

  • Leave the corners of your field for those less fortunate than you.
  • Don’t take advantage of the vulnerability of others,
  • Don’t engage in gossip,
  • Treat those who work for you with dignity and respect,
  • Don’t stand idly by in the face of injustice.

All of these ideals fall under the rubric, ואהבת לרעך כמוך —  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)

On her wedding day many present noted what Vickie and I have both clearly observed: Sarah seems happier today than any of us can ever remember her.

And of course we are thrilled. Our daughter has turned into a a kind, caring, capable and loving woman of whom we are so very proud,

And yet—

As we danced at her wedding — though the years had transformed her — I embraced — with open arms — my little girl, who read from the Torah with the huge bow in her hair.

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