Imma’s speech at my bar mitzvah

by Aviv Blum on March 25, 2011

Imma and me after the speech

Aviv – Yasher Koach – good job on your reading tonight, on learning the megilla so well, and on your drash. You made Imma and Abba proud. Now I have a few things I wanted to say to you.

First of all, it is most appropriate that you are reading Megillat Esther on Purim for your bar mitzvah. You were born Yud Aleph Adar, a few days before Purim. You have been to Megillat Esther every year since then. You have fun with the Purim holiday, dressing up, going to hear Megillah, shaking your grogger, making mishloach manot and driving around town to give them out to all of our friends with Abba and Merav every year. It’s not a surprise you would choose the MOST FUN holiday to have your Bar Mitzvah because you LOVE to have FUN. I bet this is your favorite holiday, right Aviv?

Even though you love to have fun, the word that comes most to mind when I think of you is LOVE and that love has been unconditional. There has been such an expression of love between the two of us these past 13 years.”

A second reason that Purim is appropriate is that the story of Esther is one of overcoming difficulties and succeeding. Just as Queen Vashti said no to King Ahashverus and Esther showed courage by entering the King’s court uninvited, you too did a very brave thing by moving schools for 6th grade after being with the same kids for 5 years.

Aviv, you’ve always done things at your own rhythm and pace. When other babies were crawling, you scooted across the floor and only started taking your first steps when you were almost 20 months old – when YOU were ready! Our rhythms were different but you have taught me to accept people where they are. This was just what I needed to learn.

But after that, you have loved anything athletic, from your weekly sports date with Shalev to working out, doing judo and swimming. Lately you’ve even taught yourself parkour – jumping, climbing, vaulting and scaling walls. It takes a lot of courage and discipline to do all that.

There are many things you and I have enjoyed doing together since the scooting days: bowling, mini-golf, bike riding, taking walks, watching the changing sky and clouds. Even with all this activity you have a quiet about you, an ability to be introspective and you can admit wrongdoing in yourself and call it in others. I respect both those special traits you have. You have grown tall in height, but also big in your heart.

As many of you know, this last year we began a program of monthly hikes around Israel – 13 hikes for Aviv’s 13th year. Your hikes taught you so many things. 1) that you love hiking, being in nature, climbing rocks, and taking on physical challenges – and our beautiful country sure offers plenty of those; 2) you learned how to create a blog and gain public writing experience; 3) you got more in touch with your masculinity; and 4) you discovered that the best quality time and quality experiences with people you love can be free. All you need is a great attitude, which you have, and good physical health. You pushed us into making sure the hikes happened Aviv, we didn’t have to push you. We all really found something wonderful to do together.

Every human being is unique and different. I hope imma and abba have done everything we can to help you become independent and to celebrate who you are, because those differences are what make you uniquely you. We are so proud of all your accomplishments. I wish for you the courage to become your own best self. Mazal tov on this very special day.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and my parents for not only traveling 10K miles to celebrate with us, but for your constant love and support. It wouldn’t have been the same without you here and I thank God for your youth and good health to be able to come.

Thank you to Matan Gold for helping Aviv, Merav, and Amir learn Megillat Esther

Thank you to Asher Arbit for the hours you volunteered to mentor and teach Brian about reading maps and planning tiyulim. Without your guidance, this incredible journey we’ve been on with Aviv would not have been possible.

Thank you to all my friends who turned this event into a community celebration rather than a personal one by offering to help in so many varied ways. I couldn’t of done it without you.

Thank you to Reb Ruth and the Leviim for a gorgeous service tonight!

And finally, to you Brian, my life partner and friend whose skills compliment mine so much that traveling this journey called life together makes me whole. Mazal tov to us!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jessica kaz hoffman March 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

What a beautiful drash by jody and especially be aviv. The video was so cool also. Thanks for sharing with your friends who miss u and send u a huge mazel tov all the way in chicago.

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