Mazel Tov!

So the sunny girl and I went to a Bat Mitzvah this past weekend -- which was just about the coolest thing I've done this year. And I've done some pretty cool stuff!

There were just so many wonderful things about this day: I mean, really -- this collection of 13-year-old girls is so fabulous that I know you wish they were your god-daughters, babysitters, Girl Scouts, nieces . . . . There is not a dud in the bunch! This particular gaggle of girls are Girl Scout sisters, but there were also street sisters and B'nai Mitzvah sisters -- which I found out are girls who share the journey toward becoming a Bat Mitzvah -- a daughter of the commandments.

Basically there were just sisters everywhere -- which is weird because the Bat Mitzvah Girl is an only child. Just goes to show you . . . .

I have to tell you I almost passed out with joy when the rabbi asked anyone present at the Bat Mitzvah who had not encountered a Torah up close to come up onto the bima. People! Their gorgeous Torah was a work of art -- and the rabbi was so wonderful as she educated all the non-Jews about how a Torah is written (by hand; it takes a year); how it is constructed (sheaves of Kosher vellum are sewn together); and most moving of all -- the special significance of the Holocaust Torah that the Bat Mitzvah Girl would read her Torah Portion from. [This image is courtesy of, and is not a Holocaust Torah.]

I beg you -- please read here about Holocaust Torahs.

Well -- even though it would be too inappropriate to take pictures during the actual Shabbat services, please believe me when I report that the Bat Mitzvah Girl was brilliant, and that her parents are so proud of her, and her friends are so impressed with her . . . .

. . . and oh have mercy! but this family knows how to throw a party! Check it out!

As we arrived at the reception we didn't know that we had washed ashore on Candy Beach! I sat at the Starburst table -- which was fabulous because I have been known to make myself sick on orange Starbursts. [Each table started out with a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine, but ask me how fast I swiped an extra bottle of red wine from a boring soda-drinking table!]

The rabbi told us that the Bat Mitzvah Girl should receive "one hundred blessings" on her special day, and this huge eagle? falcon? hawk? blessed her with his presence for the duration of the reception.

The flustered feathers at the left of this photo belong to a very cranky bluejay, who kept dive-bombing the raptor -- who really could not have cared less about the jay.

The Bat Mitzvah Girl lit thirteen candles which represented thirteen blessings in her life; she honored family, friends, teachers, mentors -- her blessings -- by asking them to help her light each candle.

And then we danced . . .

. . . and danced . . .

. . . and danced. Here's the sunny girl and her street sister.

tangent: When you see this girl, just say, "Hey, munchkin! Pull my finger!"

And I am just so lucky, because I got to hang with one of my favorite families -- in from out of town for the Big Day . . .

. . . and I got to hang with these beauty queens. You have not had real fun until you have camped with these swingin' Girl Scout moms. Sometimes we even take our girls along.

It was just a wonderful day! And here's what I learned to say:

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai
E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-o-lam,
she-cha-lak mei-chach-ma-to

Blessed are You, HaShem,
our G-d, King of the Universe,
who has apportioned from His knowledge
to those who revere Him.

-- a blessing to be said upon hearing an outstanding Torah scholar.