Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bat Yisrael (Daughter of Israel)

As I watch my daughter study Torah in Jewish school I began to realize she is just four years from bat mitzvah and it struck me we have to start planning now. But then I breathed a sigh because I have been planning this since she was born. The only real tangible thing we can give our children is Torah because it is the only one thing that shows her how to be a good Jew and be a good fellow human being. I want her to live a good spiritual life and pass on Torah to her children. I read Psalms 128 and I realized this blessing is not just for a man but one that is for a woman. Women have the most influence on children and I pray I have been doing ok in that department.

שיר המעלות אשרי כל־ירא יהוה ההלך בדרכיו׃
יגיע כפיך כי תאכל אשריך וטוב לך׃
אשתך כגפן פריה בירכתי ביתך בניך כשתלי
זיתים סביב לשלחנך׃
הנה כי־כן יברך גבר ירא יהוה׃
יברכך יהוה מציון וראה בטוב ירושלם כל ימי
וראה־בנים לבניך שלום על־ישראל׃
Psalms 128

Women don't have to be like men, and men don't have to be like women, every single creation has a purpose in this world, a purpose which no one else but him or her can accomplish. Being religious jewish family I am told that a woman does not need the spiritual elevation of milah, or a kippah for that matter. Nor does she need an aliyah to the Torah. The word "aliyah" means to be called up, be elevated; a woman does not need the public elevation which comes from being called up to the Torah. This is because she is either naturally elevated due to her unique spiritually sensitive feminine soul, or because she achieves elevation through observing those special mitzvot which are designed to elevate the Jewish woman. But my daughter wants to go up to Torah not because she wants to be like a man or to prove she can do anything like a man can.

 My daughter says she wants to have her special moment singing her "Song of Miriam". She explains it like this. When Moshiach arrives we will sing the song of Moshe and Miriam. And that song is our portion of the Torah that is troped based on the date of our birth. Wow talk about spiritual at age 7 1/2 already! She describes that the Song of Moshe and Miriam in the olam haba (world to come) is it will start with Jewish people who were born during weekly parsha reading of Bereshes will sing and then the next parsha to the next until the whole Torah is sung. Powerful scene right? Needless to say I was speechless by her dream and vision also by her strong desire to learn her portion's trope (Hebrew cantillation) so she can indeed make alyia at her bat mitzvah. I have lately been exploring options where she can be frum still and have her alyia to to read the Sefer Torah. "Women of the Wall" maybe that option or "Feminist Orthodox Movement" maybe another option.
The chassidic masters teach "The tenth song, says the Midrash, will be the shir chadash, the "New Song" of the ultimate redemption: a redemption that is global and absolute; a redemption that will annihilate all suffering, ignorance, jealousy, and hate from the face of the earth; a redemption of such proportions that the yearning it evokes, and the joy it brings, require a new song -- a completely new musical vocabulary -- to capture the voice of Creation's ultimate striving."
see (http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/2744/jewish/Miriams-Song.htm) My daughter says "this the singing of the whole Torah in the Olam Haba." My daughter is definately touching on a huge spiritual concept at such a young age.

Whatever choice we find to make my daughter's dream a reality, we know that she will make every step towards her bat mitzvah a wonderful journey. My daughter wants to go beyond the party and reading a poem or even having a speach she says I want to sing that song that Hashem gave every Jewish Neshama born into this world. Then she really sends my mind on a high beyond high and says she has to have to have that practice time for the olam haba (the world to come). So we have four years to prepare and if Moshiach arrive then she will be ready if not then B"H she will have her time to practice. Either way I already know she is taking Torah and will pass it on to her children. L'dor V'dor! (generation to generation)

May you live to see your world fulfilled.
May your destiny be for worlds to come;
May you trust in generations past and yet to be.
My your heart be filled with intuition and words with insight;
May songs of praise ever be on your tongue
And your visions be on a straight path before you.
From the Talmud~