Yes, total blasphemy to mix the sacred with the scatalogical, but the Yenta family has always met overwhelming circumstances with poopy humor. Sue us.
I love this painting by Yemen-born, Boca Raton-based Chaim Parchi because it really captures the colorful chaos of our home. Thank God for Shabbat, for a day of rest, for a weekly piece of the sacred in the shitty.
It’s been a difficult week preparing for the big bar mitzvah, and I find myself wound up pretty tight. There are still hospitality bags to stuff, service booklets to staple and haircuts to wrangle. RSVPs are still trickling in from invitations sent in NOVEMBER. The party menu has not been finalized. The next person who tells me to “Relax and just enjoy the process” is going to get a rotten banana in the ear.
I confess to yelling, crying, pacing, hissing, moaning, sighing and basically spazzing my way through the last few days. I also crushed my fingers in the new garage door, likely due to my unmindfulness around the “the process.” Surely I won’t be the first mother of the bar mitzvah to only have seven fingernails, right?
But today, while I was suffering over how to make a two-sided copy come out kosher-style (that would be backwards, like a prayer book) I came across this quote from the Talmud:
May you live to see your world fulfilled, may you be our link to future worlds, and may your hope encompass all the generations to be. May your heart conceive with understanding, may your mouth speak wisdom and your tongue be stirred with sounds of joy. May your gaze be straight and sure, your eyes be lit with Torah’s lamp, your face aglow with heaven’s radiance, your lips expressing words of knowledge, and your inner self alive with righteousness. And may you always rush in eagerness to hear the words of One more ancient than all time. ~ Talmud, Brachot 17A
Sums up what I have been missing as the bar mitzvah boy’s mother, and all and everything I want my dear son to know and feel with all his heart.
While I’m still rushing around this afternoon, it is with eagerness that I look forward to sundown, to break challah quietly with my dear El Yenta Man and our unbelievably beautiful children this evening before next week, when we will celebrate raucously and joyously with our beloved extended family.
I am so incredibly proud to be a Jewish mother, and every ounce of effort we’ve put into the upcoming simcha is worth it, bruised fingers and all.