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Sima’s Bat Mitzvah

30 Oct
It seems like such a long time ago now, but one of the first things I got to experience on my arrival back in Israel was Sima’s Bat Mitzvah-  Sima being Asya’s younger sister. Indeed, much of my first week on the kibbutz centred on the frantic preparations for this large outdoor party. Of the many jobs I was enlisted to, my favourite would probably have to be the afternoon spent sitting around a kitchen table with a group of middle-aged Russian ladies, churning out hundreds of Russian-style pasties. So yes, while I did move to Israel, there are many moments where I could just as well be in Russia – for those who don’t know Asya’s family is Russian and only immigrated to Israel in 1991.
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It’s a little hard to explain what a bat mitzvah really entails, especially as a kibbutz bat mitzvah probably has very little in common with the more religious sort – no readings from the Torah here! Along with the mountains of food and hundreds of guests from far and wide, there were various speeches and a power point presentation of the Kovarsky family tree.

Perhaps most worryingly for me was the family tradition of all family members getting up and singing for the gathered audience culminating in one big family sing-a-long. As much as I have been welcomed into the Kovarsky family I am glad to say, at least on this occasion, this did not extend to me being obliged to join them on stage for my own little rendition. But next time round there may be no exemptions…

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The Kovarsky Family Sing-a-Long

All the celebrations were held under an open sky, something which of course would be impossible back in the UK or Denmark. In fact, Israel was going through its own late summer heat-wave – the +35°C sort (any notions of wearing my suit for the occasion quickly evaporated!) However, unlike most Danish family celebrations where proceedings often head on well into the wee hours of the following morning, this bat mitzvah was rather short-lived with most people heading off home well before midnight. Hmm…I guess with the kibbutz being so far away from anywhere people must have needed to drive a long way to get here.

Anyway, luckily us  the local kibbutz pub provided idyllic late night entertainment with its very own outdoor sing-a-long to old Israeli “classics”. Whilst one poor fellow strummed his guitar along to countless old Israeli “classics”, I could just sit back, wine in hand, and yet again ponder the weird and wonderful ways of the world that had brought me here, of all places…

PS: For more Bat Mitvah photos click on the Flikr link in the right hand column of this blog. Hopefully along the way I’ll be adding more photos along the way from life here in Israel. Until next time then.

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Posted by on October 30, 2009 in Jewish Life, Life in Israel

 

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