Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jacob's Bar Mitzvah

On Saturday, January 24, 2009, I was blessed to watch my nephew, Jacob Levine, become a Bar Mitzvah בר מצוה. I had always thought that a Bar Mitzvah was a celebration for a 13 year old Jewish boy. However, the term Bar Mitzvah does not describe the event, it describes the person. Jacob became a Bar Mitzvah, he didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah. The term means “one to whom the commandments apply.”

Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein led the ceremony and Cantor Jay I. Frailich sang beautifully from their prayer book. However, the star of the show was definitely Jacob. He read and sang from the Torah and prayer book in Hebrew. He delivered the Haftarah, הפטרה which is a series of selections of the books of Prophets from the Hebrew bible.

He offered a heartfelt and inspiring prayer thanking God for the blessings he has received in his life.

After the Bar Mitzvah we went to a local restaurant that had been rented for the evening to celebrate this milestone in Jacob’s life. It was nice getting caught up with family members from my wife’s side of the family. Jacob’s father, my brother-in-law is a talent agent. Several actors were in attendance. The highlight of the evening was when Jacob played the bass guitar with his band mates. I don’t know what their first names are but they are the sons of Jane Seymour. She was very pleasant and cordial in person and happily videotaped the band as a dutiful mother while they played.

Adam and Naomi, thank you for inviting us to be a part of Jacob’s special day. It was the first Bar Mitzvah that I have ever attended and I feel privileged to have been there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Contest Time

Anne Bradshaw, over at Not Entirely British is running a contest to win the CD set of The Arthurian Omen:

A Celtic scholar is murdered when she finds a clue to a priceless fifth-century manuscript that could prove the identity of King Arthur. Determined to find the ancient relic and avenge her sister's death, Maren Southcott begins a quest that immediately puts her own life in danger.

In the tradition of Mary Higgins Clark, The Arthurian Omen weaves a tale of mystery and suspense as pursuit of the manuscript winds through the medieval castles and monasteries of Wales. Stalked by a psychopath with delusions of a Welsh revolution, Maren is shaken to the core when a new crisis threatens to destroy the one person she loves most. Can she find the manuscript before the murderer strikes again? Or is the manuscript — and the legend — better left buried in the past?

Please go to Anne's blog to learn more.