FC: Joshua Evans' Bar Mitzvah | September 10, 2011
2: Congregation Beth Ahabah
8: Torah Portion Deuteronomy 21: 10-21 Haftarah Portion Isaiah 54: 8-10
21: Joshua, where do I begin? Nearly fourteen years ago, our story began. Myself, barely twenty years of age; and you, so tiny, so perfect, so wonderful. Thus began our adventure. And what an adventure it has been! This journey of ours has been filled with celebrations and triumphs, as well as tears and heartache. And through it all, we stand strong. When the lights are dim I can always count on you to flip the switch, to shine your light on all who are near. Your uncanny ability to make others laugh and bring joy to those who surround you is a feature I admire, one of the many that you possess. Over time, you have developed into this very intelligent, witty, charming young man who stands here before me. Joshua, I do not think you realize the knack you have for bringing out the positive in others. Over the past few years I cannot remember the number of times that your teachers have come to me and said "wow, he is truly special! I cannot wait to see how he guides himself in life..he has the ability to really make something of himself, to truly help others!" Your charm, your wit, your intelligence, and yes even your hair help to make up the unique qualities that make you who you are. These qualities, Joshua, will allow you to go so far in life. You have so much to offer to those that surround you, as well as those that shy away in the background. Often I have reminded you that you never know how the things you say and/or do can affect others. While I am usually referring to you teasing your sisters, or arguing with a teacher, the underlying thought always on my mind is that you have been and continue to be a great of inspiration to me. As you go through your life shining your light for others, I am motivated and compelled to follow in your footsteps. As you continue to grow and mature my heart swells with pride and adoration. The challenges that you have overcome, the work that you put in to get to where you are today, is only but a glimpse of what I know you can and will accomplish. The magnitude of your achievements makes me proud beyond measure. I continue to be in awe at your choices and the nurturing, caring young man you have become. So today, Joshua, I celebrate you. I celebrate your achievements. I celebrate your downfalls. I celebrate every quality that makes you unique, and every quality that makes you common. And above all, I celebrate your future. Today, I offer you my praise, and my blessing. Continue being true to yourself, don't ever change to please others. Continue to stand up for what you believe in, and your path will only shine brighter for yourself and all who surround you!
26: Let the Celebration Begin!
30: although it's not something I often say I am thankful for what you do from making me study to showing the way Steven, please come light candle number two | she works so hard and is always there for me I thank you for all you have done for being the best a momma could be Mom, please come light candle number one
31: next is someone I love very much even though we don't always agree a very special grandma, my Noni is please come up and light candle number three | this person shares my love of gas and is always ready for more one with whom I love to laugh Funcle Lee, please come light candle number four
32: patience, humor, and a wealth of knowledge are qualities for which I strive someone who has all of these and more Brad, please come light candle number five I'll ask Brad to light yet another for someone who could not be here one who is hard at work healing others for my cousin Jeff, please also light candle number six
33: although the distance keeps us apart you two are never forgotten you are always in my heart Aunt Mar and Uncle Leo please come up and light number seven | you traveled from the city that never sleeps to share this day with me Your presence here is wonderful and great! Nini and Melanie, I'm so happy you are here please come up and light candle number eight
34: A family that is also special to me the respect I have for you is something I can't define always hard at work or helping others Mr. and Mrs. Son, please come light number nine | this one is lit on behalf of my Nana who watches over me every day my Nana would have been so proud, I know that is what she would say in honor and memory of my great grandma (Nana) Noni and Uncle Leo, please come light number ten
35: you may be slightly taller than me but my wit cannot be matched and although you are kind of nutty if you fall I will always be there to catch Mackenna please come light candle number eleven | I often tease and make lots of jokes but my love for you is great no, little sister, this is not a hoax or something we should debate Lily, please come light candle number twelve
36: thirteen I light on behalf of many I wish that could be here for my Dad, my Grandpa, my Grandma, and more to me they are all so dear | last but not least all of my friends are you ready to have some fun? please come up and light number fourteen and with that my rhymes are done!