Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TBE Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary: Sam Baden on Shabbat ha-Hodesh

Happy New Year everyone!

In case you were wondering, the biblical new year is Nisan, which begins this week. Today, not only is it my Bar Mitzvah, but it is the first day of spring and shabot hachodesh, the special shabbot announcing this new month. For those of you who don’t know this I was born on the 1st day of Passover, known as chag haaviv, the holiday of spring, and Nissan is known in the torah as chodesh haaviv, the month of spring. So everything, as you can see, really ties together.

At this time of year so much comes alive. From deer frolicking in the fields, and all the snow birds coming back from Florida, and all the flowers growing in your yard, the Yankees getting ready for opening day, except A-roid I mean rod, and of course those annoying bird waking you up at 5am. And this year another cycle of nature is renewed. The day before Passover, we are going to say a special blessing of the sun, which marks the return of the sun to the exact place where it was at the moment of creation, according to Jewish tradition. We only say the blessing once every 28 years, so it kind of a big deal.

As this new cycle begins, it makes me wonder what the world will be like in another 28 years. When I imagine the future I think of flying cars, a giant whole in the ozone layer and maybe by then the economy will be turned around, maybe. And I’ll be 41, wow that’s old.
However, some things will stay the same. For instance, Judaism. It has been going on for 3000 plus years, and it’s still going strong. And I think my mom is old (hold for applause). But seriously, my family also has deep roots, they’ve been right here in Stamford for a very long time. I am the first of the 5th generation to be in Stamford.

I am so lucky to have so much family. Today there are 4 generations in this very room. I’m very privileged to have 5 living great grandparents, 5 grandparents, 12 cousins, and 8 aunts and uncles. I’m the first of 8 on one side, and the second of 10 on the other. I want to give special mention to my 2 talises. One is all the way from Israel, and is from Grandpa Manny, and this talis will be passed all the way through the Leferman side and eventually it will come back to me. My 2nd talis is from Mema, it is very special to me because it’s mine to keep forever.
So once again, happy new year, and I hope you paid attention because I am not repeating this speech for another 28 years

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