July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Beauty of a Simple Simcha

I had the privilege of attending the bat mitzvah of our eldest great grandchild. It makes us sound really old to have great grandchildren, but keep in mind that we married when we were 6!

Chaviva and her family live in Cherry Hill where she is a student at the Politz School. She and her family relocated there when her father became affiliated with the ever-growing Foxman Torah Institute.

The celebration began with a lovely Shabbat, also attended by her great grandparents from Atlanta and Rochester. Her grandparents from Rochester and Chicago relished the time that they were able to spend together. How fortunate we are that different families coming from individual backgrounds were able to blend together as one. At each meal speeches were made with the thrust mainly on the importance of family and our deep commitment to Hashem.

All meals took place at home, with the catering done by the exemplary Chaya Eisenberg, Chaviva’s mom.

On Sunday the Eisenberg home became similar to a reputed catering hall. Balloon arches, (artificial) flowers appropriate for a party for young girls, platter after platter of gourmet salads lining the serving tables.

In one room a horseshoe shaped table was set up for Chaviva and her friends (at least 20) to spend time doing the specific activities planned for them. In another room were tables beautifully set for the adults. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents all sat together kvelling their nachas as one.

All of Chaviva’s little brothers (four of them under 11), wearing shirts and ties, and her two sisters (5 and a few months old) were dressed in their Shabbat finery. Chaviva shone as a friend of hers came over and curled her hair and she wore a new dress for the occasion which she can easily wear again next week for Shabbat.

The party began a few minutes after everyone arrived and people had helped themselves to some of the yummy homemade delicacies.

There were two speeches. The first was given by Yoel, father of the bat mitzvah girl and our eldest grandchild. He spoke about Hashem’s love for humanity and how he rewards even the smallest things that we do in such a special manner.

With great pride he shared what a pleasure it was to have Chaviva as their eldest child and how over the years she has evolved into the special young lady that she is. She is her mother’s right hand in many ways. Taking care of her younger siblings, sharing many kitchen duties without being asked and taking her role as a bat Torah very seriously. Yoel made it a point, as well, of introducing what he called the five star caterer, Chaya, his wife, who took it upon herself to be the party planner, animator, cook and everything else for this very special occasion.

I am certain that he had no idea that there is such a company as Five Star Catering. He acknowledged both his parents and his in-laws and gave much mention to his grandparents, with whom he had been fortunate enough to spend years of quality time.

Following Yoel’s speech, he introduced the star of the afternoon, Chaviva. Her words, after learning diligently, were primarily about how significant the obligation of not speaking lashon hara is. I listened to her and am aware that she takes her obligations very seriously as a young Jewish woman.

Following this part of the program the girls retreated to the room where they were seated at a beautiful table. Before their activity began they were led in Tehillim by Chaviva’s bubbie from Chicago. I was impressed by the seriousness in which they all were reciting each perek. Following that, a very intricate jewelry-making project began, with each girl receiving a packet of necessary items to help them follow through. They seemed to be having so much fun.

I have given much thought to the differences between the smachot taking place in our communities for 12 year old girls. Sometimes I wonder how their weddings will be different from their 12-year-old celebrations.

Chaviva’s party was specifically a party for a 12 year old, with all of her friends and family having the opportunity to participate in a very different fashion. They really spent time with each other. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents from different sides of the family all continued to maintain and enhance the bond that began so many years ago when these families first intertwined.

It cannot get better than that.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected]

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