S: The Bar Mitzvah of Sam Lichtenstein
BC: OH! THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! by Dr. Seuss Congratulations! Today is your day, Sam. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go. And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too. Oh! The Places You’ll Go! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and percent guaranteed.) You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights. You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. So...you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!
FC: The Bar Mitzvah of Sam Lichtenstein August 13, 2011
1: The Bar Mitzvah of Sam Lichtenstein Saturday, August 13, 2011 Temple Beth Am, Juipter, Florida Rabbi Alon Levkowitz } Cantor Tanya Greenblatt
3: S | sam lichtenstein | family and friends are invited to celebrate
4: Excerpted from the program: The Service Tallit-Prayer Shawl At the beginning of todayÂ’s service, Sam will be presented with a Tallit by his grandparents, Cary and Bette Lichtenstein. The Tallit is one of the outward signs that SamÂ’s change in status in the Jewish community has taken place. The chief purpose of the Tallit is holding the Tzitzit, (the fringes on the four corners). The combined number of strings and knots in the Tzizit equal 613, the number of GodÂ’s Mitzvot. Tzitzit are worn as a constant reminder of GodÂ’s presence and GodÂ’s law. Passing of the Torah (LÂ’Dor VÂ’Dor) A poignant moment during the service is when the Torah is taken from the Ark, and is passed from SamÂ’s paternal grandparents, Cary and Bette Lichtenstein, to his maternal grandparents, Manuel and Virginia Abello, to his parents, Jeff and Veronica, and then to Sam. This is to symbolize the continuity of passing Judaism's wisdom and traditions from generation to generation. Sam will then carry the Torah around the temple. You may see congregants reach out and touch the Torah with their prayer books and kiss the prayer book afterwards. This expresses our love of the Torah. Torah Reading from the Torah is SamÂ’s most important privilege as a Bar Mitzvah. All over the world, Jewish congregations read the same Torah portion for that day, uniting them all in ritual and spirit. The Torah contains many of the laws and teachings of the Jewish traditions. Each week, a portion of the Torah is read and studied until the end of the year on the Hebrew calendar and then the scrolls are rewound and started again, thus never breaking the chain. Studying to read Torah is very difficult as it is lettered in Hebrew without vowels. Sam has been studying Hebrew for many years. Our deepest appreciation goes to Cantor Tanya for her assistance in teaching Sam his Torah and Haftarah portions. We would also like to give special thanks to Debbie Baseman and Bruce Benson for their dedication to SamÂ’s education.
5: Aliyah-'Going Up' Today when Sam reads from the Torah, you will see people come to the bimah (pulpit) to read or chant a prayer prior to and after each section. Reciting Torah blessings before and after the Torah readings is an honor called an Aliyah or Â“going up.Â” One goes up both literally, ascending the bimah, and spiritually, by participating in the ritual. You will see Arthur Gelman, and Veronica and Jeff Lichtenstein, come forward. Even though Sam will chant all of this morning's Torah sections, he will only be called up by name for the final one (Maftir) and this will be the first time he recites the blessings before and after the Torah reading. This marks SamÂ’s transition into Jewish adulthood. Haftarah After the Torah readings are done, Sam will chant an additional biblical passage called a Haftarah, usually taken from the writings of one of the Prophets. This reading is not from a scroll but from the Book of the Prophets and is typically linked to the Torah portion that precedes it. Sam has studied with the Cantor to prepare the proper chant for the Haftarah section. D'var Torah (The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Speech) Sam will discuss this week's Torah portion and relate the theme to his own life, family, community and/or the lives of Jewish people. D'var Torah means Â“word of the TorahÂ”. We sincerely thank Rabbi Alon for helping Sam gain a deeper understanding of his Torah portion and offering perspectives to consider in preparing his speech.
6: Tallit Presentation: Grandparents Cary and Bette Lichtenstein Opening of the Ark: Aunt Lisa Lichtenstein, Aunt Christine Ensslin Passing of the Torah: Grandparents Cary and Bette Lichtenstein, Grandparents Manuel and Virginia Abello, and Parents Jeff and Veronica Lichtenstein Undressing of the Torah: Cousins Quentin and Sasha Millora-Brown First Aliyah: Longtime friend and Beth Am classmate, Arthur Gelman Second Aliyah: Parents Jeff and Veronica Lichtenstein
7: Lift (Hagbah) the Torah: Family friend, David Sales Dress (Gelilah) the Torah: Cousins Jack and Dylan Ensslin Opening the Ark to Return the Torah: Cousins Quentin and Sasha Millora-Brown Cousins Jack and Dylan Ensslin ADDITIONAL READINGS For our congregation: Â“TitaÂ” (Aunt) Christine Ensslin For our country: Cousin Rosette Millora For the State of Israel: Aunt Lisa Lichtenstein Our service will conclude with the Kiddush, the blessing over the wine, and the Hamotzi, the blessing over the challah (the traditional braided bread). The purpose of this is to break bread together and to thank God for the blessing of food and drink. Kiddush and Hamotzi: Sam and his sister, Jade Lichtenstein
8: Excerpted from the program: Sam’s Mitzvah Project Due to a personal loss of a childhood friend, Sam has chosen to focus his mitzvah project on children with cancer. His research and outreach has connected him with The Kids Cancer Foundation, Inc. – a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide hope and support to local children and families battling cancer and/or blood disorders. They accomplish this by providing supportive medical care, disease and treatment education and financial assistance amongst numerous additional services. The Kids Cancer Foundation, Inc. (12989 Southern Blvd. Bldg. #3, Ste. 201, Loxahatchee, FL 33470) is aiming to re-open their renovated facility by mid-August to mid- September. When that happens, Sam plans to tutor, play, and basically ‘hang out’ with the kids who are there for care. In the interim, he is collecting new toys, books, video games etc. – anything that can occupy and entertain a child while he/she is receiving treatment. Also, gift cards make a noticeable impact by helping to provide basic necessities, enabling the families to purchase food, clothing and gas/transportation to and from treatment; as well as provide emergency funds. If you would like to donate any items or are interested in volunteering yourself, you may contact Sam (please take a business card) and he will be happy to pick up your donation OR call Michelle O’Boyle, President, at 561-371-1298 for more information (www.kidscancersf.org). Brochures about the program and facility are also available. | Saving the Water: another cause Sam believes in Artwork by Sam
9: Sam's Mitzvah Project Speech The reason I chose to focus on cancer as my Bar Mitzvah community project is because many of my family members have been afflicted by it. If we all look to our left and then look to our right, I’m sure one or both of our neighbors has a similar connection to it. Unfortunately, cancer affects all of us! In 2010, shortly after my sister’s 7th birthday, my grandma was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Thankfully, with her positive outlook and the good doctors at MD Anderson, she is with us today to help me celebrate. You may ask, why would I focus on children with cancer? Part of my reason is that my Aunt Lisa fought and won the battle with the big C when she was just 13 years old, a very relatable age to me! The biggest reason, however, is that I lost a Kindergarten best friend to the disease the summer I was going into the 2nd grade. Nate was a great kid who, although he had a short amount of time here, made a difference in my life, and many others as well. Although I was very confused by his death, it taught me to use my chance at life wisely. I am motivated to not be miserable eating chips on the couch, screaming at everybody, and being unhappy. My life counts. You could die as far away as 90 years, or as close as tomorrow. In honor of my friend, I plan to spend some of my free time playing, tutoring and reading to the children who come to The Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc. for support services. Its building is set to re-open in Mid-September and is located in Loxahatchee. In the interim, I am collecting NEW toys, video games, books–basically anything a child who is receiving treatment would enjoy playing with while waiting. The most significant impact, however, are the gift cards. Susan O’Boyle, the President (and also Nate’s personal nurse), explained to me that parents can use these gifts as emergency funds. As I mentioned in my email to you, today I will have a treasure box available at the celebration to receive your generous donations. Please also take my business card which contains my contact information, in case you would like me to pick up something at a later date. Further information about this Foundation is also readily available to you. NATE, I think about you often. Thank you for teaching me to enjoy the best thing that ever happened to me–life.
10: The Service is over. Sam is a Bar Mitzvah! | Congratulations, Sam! Time to celebrate!
12: The Kiddush
14: Candle Lighting | "Help me light this candle."
16: Sam's Candle Lighting Speech This man always sticks up for me and gives me great advice on everything. He taught me all about business. I love going to the movies with him and just goofing off. This woman always makes time for me–she takes me to fun places, even when she’s not feeling good. I love you, Grandma and Grandpa! Accompanying Song: Here Comes the Sun, by The Beatles This person always plays along with any of my schemes. I remember him getting stuck in a tent because I wanted him to play camping with me when I was little. This woman takes my phone call anytime of the day. I love all the long conversations we have! I love you, Papa and Lola! Accompanying Songs: Mixture of Papa Was a Rolling Stone and Lola, by the Kinks All religious school educators- please come up here (Rabbi, David Sherman, Enid, Cantor –just to name a few throughout the years). Thank you for making all the adjustments you did for me. I knew you always cared about my Hebrew education. Accompanying Song: Don’t Stop Believin’, by Journey Believe it or not, I wasn’t always this chatty. I was a late talker. I owe a lot of my speaking skills to this lady. Donna Wexler, let’s communicate! Accompanying Song: We Are the Champions, by Queen These two men are trainers in two very different areas of my life. Phil Williams, you taught me to believe in myself and that I could become an athlete. Because of you, I can ride a bike, and I just ran my first 5K a few months ago. Tito Ortiz,you took something I’m already good at, computers, and made it better. Thanks for helping me stretch my potential! Accompanying Song: Theme song from Rocky This woman is an old friend, and I’m so pleased to see her here today. She used to help my mom out by picking me up from school and playing with me. Grace Durango, thanks for being there for me! This woman has been in my family’s lives for so long. She’s like another grandmother to me. Bubbe Alina, please come up here! Accompanying Song: You’ve Got A Friend, by James Taylor
17: Jupiter Academy Teachers: Mr. Boffice, you always make time for me. I appreciate those walks. I know how busy you are running a school. Ms. Bently, Mrs. Leavitt, and Coach McGee, thanks for keeping me alive! Accompanying Song: Stayin Alive, by the Bee Gees All Friends: Thanks for coming and celebrating this great day with me. Some of you have been in my life a long time, through the easiest and toughest of times. I’ve gotta feeling, it’s gonna be a great year! Accompanying Song: I’ve Got A Feeling, by Black Eyed Peas This woman got me to like school after a tough preschool period. My kindergarten teacher is here! Mrs. Schrader, come help me light a candle. Accompanying Song: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends Cousins Rosette, Quentin, Sasha, Jack, and Dylan:There’s nothing like family, especially if you’re friends on top of it. We only get to see each other one time a year–maybe twice, if lucky–but we always have a blast! Thanks for jumping on a plane to come see me! Accompanying Song: Party Rock Anthem, by lmfao What would I do without my aunts? Aunt Lisa, I love all the trips we take together. You always make time for me. Tita Christine, I always look forward to seeing you. I loved that you traveled to be with me today! I love you both! Accompanying Song: We Are Family, by the Pointer Sisters Jade, you are one of my best friends- my partner in crime and good alike. I think you’re very funny and thanks for thinking that I’m funny too! Accompanying Song: Fireworks, by Katy Perry Parents, I owe you two so much! Dad, no matter how busy you are, I love our snorkel time together. Mom, thank you for taking me to all the places that I needed to go and where I wanted to go. Thank you for stopping me from eating too much junk food. We have a fun house and I love my childhood! I love you both! Accompanying Song: Our House, by Cosby, Stills, and Nash Sam, thank you for being a part of my celebration! Accompanying Song: It’s My Life, by Bon Jovi
18: Pool Party | at Admiral's Cove
24: Parents' Speech Words to Sam during his Bar Mitzvah From Mom: We are very proud of you and the young man that you have become. You are a gentle spirit, always kind to your sister and making sure she is included in everything. This also applies to your friends. No matter how long or short of a time they have been in your life, you never forget them and show this by working hard to keep them in your life. Even today, you have dedicated your Bar Mitzvah to a friend! Your caring nature extends to big world and economic issues. I'â€™ll never forget your obsession with global warming, or when you started timing our showers because of your concern for the water shortage. Anyone who takes a walk with you would not be surprised to see you pick up litter in an effort to keep the streets clean. (Too bad this notion doesnâ€™'t extend to your room!) Sam. you are a sensitive, caring young man. Although respectful of rules and you listen to advice; you are not afraid to think out of the box. You ask questions and readily voice your opinionâ€, even if itâ€™'s unpopular. â€œI don'â€™t have this, therefore I can'â€™t do itâ€ has never been an excuse for you. You decide what you want to do and then formulate a plan to get there. For example, itâ€™'s no secret that your lack of coordination makes you a lousy dancer. But, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you decided to take dance lessons to fix that fear. Now your dance repertoire is no longer a flailing rendition of the chicken dance. This extends to your resourcefulness. You took an old computer and with a strong will to make a video game, you taught yourself how to computer program. I think most people would have complained that they didnâ€™'t have the updated equipment to make it happen. | Sam, you care about being a good Jew, and a good person. Youâ€™'ve met with the Rabbi several times whenever you have questions about anything you have learned in religious school. You thoroughly enjoy servicing and helping other people. On Christmas Day, a fun day for kids, itâ€™'s so sweet to see how much you look forward to helping at Morse Geriatric. Itâ€™'s never a task where you are anxious to leave. You like serving and cleaning dishes and get pleasure out of the joy you bring to others.
25: Sam's family is proud of Sam and his decision to become a Bar Mitzvah. We love you,Sam! | From Mom and Dad: Speaking of business, thereâ€™'s the matter of your much talked about company, Sam Plan, Inc. We have no idea what this company does and haven'â€™t seen any product in the 5 years youâ€™'ve been talking about it, but we know that after all the board meetings you and your sister have had, itâ€™'s bound to be successful; just like everything you do, Sam, because you put hard work and love into everything that matters to you! Your passion to learn and your kind soul will serve you well throughout your life. Always be true to who you are and follow your dreams. We will always be there to support you and know you will make the world a better place. Congratulations, Sam, on all your accomplishments and becoming a Bar Mitzvah! Thank you for being our son. We love you! | From Dad: Last month I went home to Chicago. I visited my Grandpa Gerald'â€™s grave site. On his tomb, it reads, â€œ"Keep It Simple"â€, which was a motto he used for running his business and life. Itâ€™'s a good saying. Well, your Bar Mitzvah is today and I again thought of Grandpa Gerald during this family time. I became a Bar Mitzvah in Israel. Unlike you, Sam, I didn'â€™t know my Hebrew well. I was worried about my prayers. Grandpa Geraldâ€™'s advice was to mumble. So when I got stuck I would chant out the 6 lines with which every prayer seemed to start: Baruch Atah Adonai. Eloheinu, Melech Ha-Olem. Hmfdumf trampone Aholem. (in low voice)----AaaaaaMEN. It worked like a charm... Anyway, my Grandpa's favorite slogan was, "â€œYou canâ€™'t do a good deal with a bad guy,â€ and â€œyou can'â€™t do a bad deal with a good guyâ€. The bad guy is selfish and only wants to take care of himself. The good guy wants you to succeed." My Grandpa never would take on a customer or buy from a supplier whom he didn'â€™t think was a good guy. Bad guys are filled with negative energy and have similar referrals. They suck the life out of you. Good guys have positive energy, great referrals and are a joy to be around. Sam, you are a good guy, meaning that you will make many good deals in your life. Remember that itâ€™'s ok to turn down business and acquaintance relationships from a bad guy and put your energies towards the good guys. You will do better in business and be happier at work and in life for it at the end of the day.