Alex Ross Bar Mitzvah â€˘ July 20, 2013
A Bar Mitzvah Blessing Kim: Alex, We cannot believe we are at this moment: the day at which you become a “Bar Mitzvah.” It’s been an amazing journey. At times, your path has been easy, as certain elements have come naturally to you. At others, you have struggled, reaching within yourself to learn new and foreign skills. Through it all you have persevered ... as you always do! Mike: Alex, You world has been expanded, as you have helped those less fortunate with homelessness and hunger through your community service project. You have reflected on your Torah portion, and drawn conclusions that are uniquely your own, so beautifully stated in your D’var Torah speech. You have learned so much, and we have been awed, as we have watched our little boy disappear, to be replaced by the young man who stands here with us at the Bimah. We are so proud of your commitment, diligence and your devotion to Judaism. You value your heritage, and for that, we are full of pride! Kim: On this day, we want to leave you with this special Bar Mitzvah blessing from the Talmud: May you live to see your world fulfilled. May your destiny be for worlds still to come. Mike: And may you trust in generations past and yet to be. May your heart be filled with intuition. Kim: And your words be filled with insight. May songs of praise ever be upon your tongue. Mike: And may your vision be a straight path before you. May your eyes shine with the light of holy words. Together: And your face reflect the brightness of the heavens…. Alex, We are so very proud of you. We love you. Mom and Dad
Alex Ross, Bar Mitzvah
July 20, 2013, Congregation Beth El with reception at Hilton Garden Inn, Bangor, ME Photographs and album design by Bell Imaging & Design LLC, Hermon, ME All rights reserved, 2013. Congratulations on achieving this very special honor.
The Casares Family:
Let me say some stuff about them. My Aunt Ally thought of a great idea to mail me me mini wisdoms every day. My Uncle Peter, the best comedian ever. I always laugh when he comes over or vice versa. Andrew, my first first cousin. You’re the one always encourages me to get taller because when you grow five inches, I grow one. Olivia, my best friend, I always have fun with her whenever I see her.
Great Aunt & Uncles (Mom’s side):
Uncle Joel, Aunt Carol, Uncle Marv, Aunt Bobbie, Uncle Bruce, and Aunt Judy ... thank you for traveling across the country, or a couple hour drive to support me on this special day.
Uncle Ben and Aunt Laura:
Well, the technology side of the family. Aunt Laura, the newest person in the family, I have come up with some nicknames for both of you. Uncle Ben, and Numi, the not-so-good food stealer; Aunt Laura, food protector and hand talker. Thank you for coming.
Great Aunt & Uncles (Dad’s side):
Uncle Henry, Aunt Robin, and Aunt Nancy ... A very big thank you for coming and helping me through this by being here.
Adam, Kayla, Sydney, Justin, Olivia, Laura, Michael, Lauren, Justin and Amanda:
I’d like to thank the parents by coming up here to but there ‘s too many people, do it spiritually maybe, anyway thank you guys for coming and I just wanted tell you guys that I had fun at all your Bar Mitzvahs and I will have fun at the ones coming up, so have at least little fun at mine.
Nana, Pops, and Gigi:
Nana, you are always being so creative with everything from painting shoes to yarmulkes. Pops, the tennis teacher and persevering through five back surgeries. Gigi, I feel so lucky to a great grandmother where not many do.
Grammy and Papa, Great Aunt Honnie:
Grammy, one of the best embroiderers I know (actually the only one I know), but she can do a lot of amazing things as you saw this morning with my tallit. Papa, “Captain Obvious,” with those jokes, you can always make me laugh. Aunt Honnie, nice to meet you! Even though today is the first time I’ve met you, you’re still awesome. Love you guys.
Wil Bedford and Tracy Daugherty:
Wil, my fraternal twin (or my brother from another mother), Tracy, my second mother. Whenever we are together she is always looking out for me and Wil because we need a lot of that, just kidding, just kidding. Thank you. Love you guys.
The Linn Family:
My first two friends when I came to Maine. Whenever I have nothing to do, I can call one of them up and I’m not bored anymore. They are always supporting me in music, performing, and sports. Giselle, the corn lady, you always look to keep me, Aubra, and Elise safe.
Thank you for spending too much of your time just for me to have this amazing day. You kept me practicing and practicing until that trope made me crazy. Thank you.
Any of my friends who want to come up, I’d like to thank you guys for celebrating with me and supporting me throughout the year.
Max, I want to tell you a little story. When you were about to be born, I was bouncing off the walls. No, seriously, jumping on Grammy and Papa and touching ceilings, you know know how short I am right, ya. I will never forget that day and whenever you are gone for a long time, I always think of that day when you are about to come back.
Mom and Dad:
Mom and Dad, I can’t say enough. I’ll say a little about each one, this guy right over here. He works 12 hours a day treating most of you guys over there (point to my friends). That’s one of the reasons we can have this amazingly planned party (point to mom) and we can go on so many vacations to go see all the family members that are here. Let’s give a giant round of applause to my amazingly awesome Dad. My Mom ... So she, as I said before, planned this whole thing. Like she ordered everything. She also makes sure that I can play on soccer teams where and whenever I want. My Mom makes sure our stocks and our house isn’t going to be foreclosed. Let’s give a big round of applause to my mom. Thank you. Hugs and kisses.
A Special Toast to Alex Mike:
Hello everyone! First, let us say how thrilled we are that you all are here to celebrate with Alex. We know many of you have traveled far and have made special arrangements to be here ... and from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!
So, on with the toast ... Alex, we are so very proud of you! Your participation in the service this morning was outstanding. It brought joyful tears to our eyes! We loved watching you up on that bima. You commanded such a presence ... as you always do!
Alex: Your enthusiasm for life is not only evident, it is contagious. You character contains so many amazing talents, coming together in a perfect mix of flavors to produce the extraordinary young man who stands before us today. Your mother and I struggled to find a fitting analogy with which to explain your many amazing talents for this speech. Drafts of this toast were written, discarded, rewritten, dismissed. Finally, two days before the Bar Mitzvah, as we sat down to dinner, you reached for your favorite condiment, and it hit us:
Ketchup Not only is ketchup your favorite condiment: applied liberally to your traditional burger and fries, but also to food choices as varied and unique as Rice Pilaf or salmon. Ketchup: Alex’s constant companion. The Ross family ketchup consumption typically equals 1 squeeze bottle per 2 week period. This produces a yearly estimated RFKI (Ross Family Ketchup Index) of approximately $130/year of liquid tomato heaven.
In his short essay book “What the Dog Saw,” literary journalist Malcom Gladwell devoted an entire chapter to ketchup. Mister Gladwell noted that ketchup was the world’s only “Universal food.” Everyone loves ketchup, because ketchup contains all the ingredients that define taste – sweet, salty, thick, bitter and tart. Unlike mustard, of which there are several million brands, there really is only one type of ketchup. Just like there is only one Alex.
Alex: You are a perfect mix of your own ingredients. Whether you are acting on stage, singing your heart out in concert (or in your room before bed) or deftly maneuvering a soccer or basketball, you exude passion. Your presence brings happiness to those around you. Your intelligence allows you the ability to carefully consider a problem and chart the best solution. You have an emotional balance and elegance that defies your age, and an approach to challenges that are inspirational. You never back down from adversity, and you never stop until you are victorious.
One of the most gratifying things a parent can receive from a child is inspiration. Alex, you have inspired us in so many ways. Happiness abounds you and you bring happiness to all those around you. Your many talents will be with you for your lifetime, and they will make your many dreams come true. With your kindness, empathy and unconditional nature, you will make a difference in this world ... and for that, we are so incredibly proud of you!
Let’s all raise our glass to Alex! Tonight, we celebrate you!
Photographed and designed by Bell Imaging & Design LLC, Hermon, Maine. All rights reserved. www.bellphotostudio.com