Rabbi Weisblum’s Tribute to Alyssa Janowitz On her Bat Mitzvah June 25, 2006
Mazel tov, Alyssa, on your bat mitzvah! Listening to your reading of the Haftorah and your speech really makes myself and your family happy. Your hard work shows how you made this day happen. You are lucky to have a wonderful family, great friends, and a caring Jewish community.
We at Congregation Kneseth Israel are very proud of you. I hope that we can always help and guide you. We are here to give you our support as you continue to grow. Alyssa in Hebrew your name Ahavah means love. Your are a person who has received much love and in kind gives love. As your Rabbi, I wish to give you a blessing to be a person of character, strong and gentle, righteous and honest. Wherever your life journey takes you, May your steps be firm and May you walk in just paths and not be afraid.
Whenever you speak, may your words be words of wisdom and friendship. May your hands build and your heart preserve what is good and beautiful in our world.
May the voices of the generations of our people speak through you and may the G-d of our ancestors be your G-d as well. May you remember that we are a people, with a rich Judaic heritage, to which you belong and from that sacred place you are connected to all who dwell on the earth. May the stories of our people be upon your heart and the grace of the Torah rhythm dance in your soul. Alyssa, we’d like to clear every path for you, pick up the stones over which you may stumble and light all the dark places. We know we cannot because there are journeys you will undertake on your own. Your family has given you the common sense, the inner courage and the humor to maneuver your way in life. There is nothing as a young woman that you cannot be. And there are basically two things you need to be: true to yourself and responsible to your community.
We give you the best wishes for the future. We call this day, Bat Mitzvah, because we believe that at this time, you are a capable and responsible adult. I have the privilege to know you and to see a young girl that has a promising future. Please remember that this synagogue is your second home, a place where you can find friends and feel comfortable.
Our traditional prayer states: Yesimech Elokim Kesara Rivkah Rachel VeLeah meaning May G-d makes you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.