This was the big bat mitzvah weekend for us. Our very close friends D & G celebrated their daughter's bat mitzvah and R's partner was H, the daughter of Rik's high school friend.
On Friday night both girls helped to lead services at the synagogue. They sang beautifully together but were a bit nervous. Then we enjoyed Shabbat dinner at D & G's home. (I had baked 8 loaves of challah for the guests to enjoy.)
On Saturday morning we arrived at synagogue early. Both girls led the service, read from the Torah, chanted the Haftorah, and gave a short talk about the Torah portion of the week. Each set of parents also spoke a few words about their child and their joy in seeing her achieve this milestone. D & G honored us with the closing of the ark at the conclusion of the Torah service. There was a bounteous luncheon after services (yummy smoked whitefish!). Rik particularly enjoyed catching up with the 10 high school classmates who came to town for this simchah. He hadn't seen some of them in 30 years.
Rik and I came home and I literally crashed into a Shabbos nap. After some down time, we got dressed for the parties. Yes, parties -- plural. Since we know both families so well, we had been invited to celebrate with both girls. We went first to H's party where we took lots of photos of the high school buddies.
Then it was off to R's party, where I led everyone in havdalah, the ceremony marking the end of Shabbat and the beginning of a new week. We had a delicious dinner, danced up a storm, and took even more photos! At about 10 PM, we went back to H's party for a dance with the high school friends.
At teen parties in Montreal they used to dance in a large circle. One at a time, each person would take the center and show off their dance moves. Rik had a great time strutting his stuff!
We were home by midnight, tired but happy. Mazal tov to both families!