A close friend of our son’s held her bat mitzvah in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) at the site of a historic Jewish synagogue first built in the late 1700s. Her younger sister was having her bat mitzvah at the same time (the plural of bat mitzvah being b’not mitzvah, which is pretty much the extent of my Hebrew).
The ceremony was very touching and both girls did a fabulous job! The synagogue itself was beautiful, with its sand floor and whitewashed walls. The Torah was one that had survived the Holocaust, and the ceremony also honored two young girls, ages 7 and 10, who did not survive.
We arrived late Thursday afternoon, admired the beautiful views, and took it easy.
Friday was pool day. (Actually, every day was pool day.) Evidently, 10+ hours in a pool in one day is a totally fine way to spend a day for a 13 year old boy. So that’s exactly what we did. There was also the beach, the ocean, and kayaking.
Saturday’s ceremony itself was beautiful. Both girls did a fabulous job with their readings. The rabbi exuded such genuine warmth of spirit in everything he uttered.
The extrovert in our family had the time of his life at the party on Saturday night. There was food (a minor consideration when there’s a party), a speech to be given (that was surprisingly poised and articulate and heartfelt by the son), and dancing (with everyone).
A high point for me was the half-dozen or so moms who made a point to come up to me and tell me how kind and sweet our 13 year old was to all of the younger kids who were there. Even the little girl who announced that our son was her new boyfriend did not faze him, and he happily danced with her without (much) embarrassment.
Sunday consisted of more time in the pool and a snorkeling trip to St. John’s where we saw a variety of colorful fish and a stingray. Oh, and then there was more time in the pool.
All in all, it was a very meaningful trip to have our son be with his friend during this very important occasion and, of course, it was tremendous fun as well!