The first was in our own synagogue. We've known the family since we were married - our first Shabbat at home as a married couple was the bar mitzvah boy's bris. So, obviously, we had to be there for this. We hope to be at his wedding, too.
It went well. Maxie only leined the first aliyah (the first of the seven parts of this week's portion) and the haftarah (the selection from Prophets attached to this week's portion), but it's a long haftarah and he did very well. They sponsored a large hot kiddush afterwards, but their party will be tomorrow night.
And a good thing, too. Because. This week, they had a fire in their home, and it's now unlivable. (General theory - well, the fire started in their fifteen year old son's closet..) Baruch ha-shem, no one was hurt and the greatest damage was water damage. And yet, all we saw was pride and joy. (Okay, the eleven year old thought that the firemen were cool. :))
They have more offers of help than they know what to do with, including that of an entire house until their own home is rebuilt. Given that there are seven kids, this will be welcome.
We made our goodbyes and walked to another synagogue. This time, the bar mitzvah boy was the son of my husband's Talmud teacher. And there are few sweeter or kinder people than this family. They welcomed us when we moved to the neighborhood and we were happy to join in their simcha. However, Maxie's leining took precedence, which they understood.
It was a simple sit-down lunch of cold cuts and cholent, and I got to sit with my husband because Yossi (the father) hates separate seating at social functions. There were speeches, ranging from immensely long to just lovely to a school friend saying, in total, "Mazel tov!". And Jonathan got his meals for next weekend, when I'm away.
In other news, my brother-in-law got a tenure track job offer in Queens. This is wonderful and amazing and good and wow. (If only his girlfriend didn't have a tenure track position in Ann Arbor...)