Scores of boys sat at tables set for a party and lively music played in the background. The bar mitzvah boy and his proud parents sat at the head table as delicious, hot food was served. It seemed like a scene pulled from a typical bar mitzvah celebration, but one thing was different. This was no ordinary catering hall or shul. And this was no ordinary bar mitzvah. This was a Zone bar mitzvah.
The invitation read, “With much gratitude to Hashem Yisborach, you are invited to attend the Bar Mitzvah celebration of our dear camper, Ariel Bernstein…”
It was as Rabbi Simcha Ullman, Senior Division mashpia said in his speech, “Ariel’s parents came thinking that they are the family and we are the campers, but now they see that it is not so. We are the family. We are celebrating the bar mitzvah of a brother.” Which was indeed what it felt like. It was a celebration of tremendous significance, as Rabbi Ullman explained, on the occasion of Ariel’s becoming a servant of G-d.
The dancing was euphoric; Ariel and his father in the center of a whirlwind of joy. Ariel’s mother watched in delighted contentment, her only wish being that Ariel’s siblings could be there to join the occasion. Mr. and Mrs. Bernstein had traveled from Toronto to TheZone for Visiting Day the previous Sunday and were invited to return the following Shabbos for Ariel’s bar mitzvah. Little did they anticipate what a beautiful reception TheZone would deliver.
The bar mitzvah boy, a tall, handsome lad with a charming smile and sweet disposition, delivered his speech with poise, coached by his TorahMate, with whom he clearly had a special relationship. “In ten years from now,” he said, to roaring applause, “I will look back at my bar mitzvah and see it as the beginning of many years of my studying Torah.”
The importance of Torah study was the theme that Rabbi Chaim Mintz, beloved founder and leader of Oorah, emphasized as well. Addressing Ariel and his fellow Zoniacs, Rabbi Mintz said, “Do you know why Ariel is such a fine, outstanding, kind, caring and wonderful young man? It’s because he learns Torah every day in the Jewish school that he attends during the year.”
On behalf of the entire Oorah family, we wish Ariel many more years of happiness and growth in Torah!
mazel tov Ariel?