First night was lovely - just the four of us, but we had a terrific, relaxed seder that ended nice and early for a change. Second night had some fireworks before the main event, but all has been settled and the ten of us also had a fun time - and we even pulled a surprise bar mitzvah.
The young man in question was only vaguely interested in Judaic studies and his parents had other difficulties, and we, of course, were not going to push, since that would be wrong, but Jonathan was sondek at hs bris (he held the baby) and there is some sense of responsibility. Also, it's easier to get forgiveness than permission.
It was very simple, really. The purpose of the bar mitzvah celebration is to demonstrate that the young man is considered an adult in terms of Judaism and can therefore do things as a representative of other adults - lead prayers, for example, or say a blessing, and have others rely upon him that it counts - if they acknowledge by answering "amen".
There are lots of blessings in the Haggadah, including FOUR for the cups of wine. We simply had the young man read the blessing for the second cup AND the paragraph preceding it in English, and ensured the table answered "Amen." Then we congratulated him and gave him a book - Telushkin's Jewish Literacy. Still not sure about his father's reaction but his mother was thrilled. He himself was...thirteen. "Yeah, okay. Fine."
And that fifteen pound turkey? Gone. Four people on Monday night, four people for Tuesday lunch, a big hunk given to my mother-in-law, who LOVES turkey but didn't get to make one this year and the rest into a pot of soup. YAY!
And the real blog post: April 1, 2010 for realz