As you know there was Mother's Day. And my friends visited LA. Which always calls for a celebration. ;) The other big event we had was a Bar Mitzvah.

Bar Mitzvah is a big deal for the Jewish. It's when their boys and girls turn 13 and, come of age. It's like us turning 18. Sidetrack a bit: Which is a bigger deal? Turning 18 or 21? Drinking and driving or clubbing and RA movies?

This is the STAR of the day! Handsome hor? I wasn't concentrating on what he was saying.. heh.. His name is Matthew and he is Kelly's cousin's son. So I call him Kelly's nephew. But Kelly calls Matthew his first cousin once removed. Bleah, sound so distant. Ang moh different system.

The ceremony takes place on a Saturday which is the Jewish Sabbath day or day of rest. A rabbi starts the ceremony and offer a blessing to the kid. Matthew gets to lead part of service which involves reading his favourite passages from the Torah book in HEBREW and the audience chanting or singing.

At some point, Matthew's grandma is called on stage to bless him. And his father puts the family tallit over him.

This is the family bowing before the Torah. During the service, this colourful scroll inscribed with the five books of Moses is taken from its ark, as the resting place is called. To symbolise the passing on of Jewish traditions and wisdom, Matthew's parents will pass the scroll to him. Matthew then carries the Torah in a processional around the synagogue.

After the procession, the Torah is spread open and Matthew recites a blessing from it in HEBREW. Imagine all the memory work the boy has to do for the day!!! The reading is followed by more songs and prayers then the birthday boy gets to do his speech.

Not a thank you speech. The speech is a religious one where Matthew summarises the portion he read from the Torah in English, does an interpretive teaching on it then talks about the impact of Judaism on his life.

Matthew's sister is so bored during the long ceremony that she falls asleep. Hats off to the uncle lor. He supported her head with his hand the whole time she was sleeping, so she won't fall, get a shock, wake up, see her family not with her and cry.

Yay! Matthew finishes at last and time for the scary part. He is hoisted up on a chair by 4 strong men and amidst much cheering, Matthew gets lifted out of the synagogue. Looks fun!

This is Kelly wearing a Yarmulke.

After the ceremony, there is the Kiddush. A ceremonial blessing where the guests partake of kosher wine and braided egg bread.
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