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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Women Reading Torah for Women

Years ago, when someone from my Women's Tefillah Group asked me if my eldest would layn (read) Torah at her Bat Mitzvah, I responded, "ask her."

I knew that the desire to learn to read Torah had to come from my daughter and not from me.

To my surprise, and pleasure, my eldest chose to read.  She was so excited!  She had six grammar lessons before she even began learning the trope (cantilation) and, she looked forward to every lesson!  In the end, she read six out of seven aliyot.  I read the fourth aliyah, which she did not learn.  It was a great way for me to be involved in her Bat Mitzvah.

When my youngest daughter also expressed interest in layning her parsha, I felt so happy and proud.

I would have liked to teach her, but from my experiences with my eldest and my middle, I already knew that I just did not have the energy, or the discipline, to teach my youngest properly.  My good friend, IS, who taught me to layn back when we were still in college, taught my daughter.

When my daughter discovered how challenging learning to layn is, she expressed doubt that she would be able to learn at all, much less learn the entire Torah reading.

We assured her that whatever she did would be good enough.

A few weeks ago, I realized that she had really mastered the skill of learning to layn, and suggested to her that she probably could learn the entire parsha.  She did not reject the idea, but doubted she could do it.

I will never forget the moment when she came to tell me, with her eyes shining bright and a huge smile on her face, that she knew it all!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Karen said...

Meant to get in touch with you sooner.....my email has been messed up and I have not been able to respond to you as you had asked.....I am so sorry!.....In answer to your question....I fell on your blog quite by accident and have been following it ever since!....I adore!....God bless you and yours....

Bernie said...

Your children sound wonderful and I do hope you are well....:-)Hugs

Sarah said...

I also remember the moment-- I was at your place at the time. It was magical for me to hear her excitement as she did the whole last aliyah for us. She is a very special girl!

May you reap lots of strength from the nachas!

Yedida said...

She read beautifully and so confidently. It was a pleasure to hear her. I was especially proud of her rememberin what a challenge it was for her to do anything in public - opening the aron kodesh was the first step. I remember the first time she agreed to do Anim Zemirot. What a long way she's come! Mazal Tov again.

Anonymous said...

wishing you lots of nachas every day :-)

mikimi said...

you definitely have what to be proud of! continued nachat.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Karen - There are at least THREE commenters on my blog whose "signature" is Karen. Can you please add something to your signature so that I know which one you are.

Bernie -- As my mom would say: "My children are angels... when they are sleeping!" They really are wonderful, but also quite challenging.

Sarah -- I am so happy that you were here to share that moment! Come again!!

Yedida -- It meant a lot to me to have so many friends from the Tefillah group who really understood the magnitude of her accomplishment. I, too, remember how hesitant she was to even open the doors of the Aharon Kodesh. When she eventually agreed to sing Anim Z'mirot, she insisted I stand with her, by her side. And now, to see her standing on her own and reading so confidently, it just blew me away. Thank you so much for making the effort to be there with us!!

Anon & Mikimi -- amen!