This Shabbat was anticipated to be a very special occasion for six women in our congregation. For nearly a year, the students in Michelle Eisenbruck’s class were planning to become Adult B’not Mitzvah on May 16.
Ann Anderson, Janine Charlton, Gigi Dornfest, Terri Gladish, Syrah Grannis, and Gerrieann Smith began their studies of Hebrew in the Fall of 2018. By last spring, they had decided that they wanted to continue their learning with the added intent of leading a Shabbat Service and reading from Torah.
It has been many years since Temple Beth Torah had an Adult B. Mitzvah celebration and I was delighted to support them in this process. Beginning in January, I began meeting with the group to teach about the Torah portion and to assist them in practicing their verses.
Everything was meant to culminate with a Shabbat morning service this spring. However, due to the pandemic, by late March we knew the May date was unfeasible.
With so much uncertainty about when synagogues will be open again for members to gather, we don’t know when these six women will be called to the Torah.
However, I have assured them that whenever their B’not Mitzvah takes place, they will not have to learn a new Torah portion. During a time of emergency, the customary rules of a congregation can be altered to accommodate the needs of the community.
This week’s portion includes Leviticus 25, which speaks of the sabbatical and jubilee years. No matter when this portion is read, it has many lessons to teach us.