Printed from Chabad.com.au

Julia Hoffbauer's Speech

Julia Hoffbauer's Speech

Julia Hoffbauer's Speech

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Today your journey begins.

With misty eyes and a tremendous sense of pride, we watch our daughters leave behind their childhood and embark on the spiritual journey to becoming a woman, a Bat Mitzvah.

The Kabbalah teaches that at the age of 12 a Jewish girl starts to hear the voice of her Jewish soul. This Jewish soul is the essence of what makes us an adult in spiritual terms. It’s the inner whispers and feelings that seek meaning, connection and inspiration to a higher, more spiritual power. The Bat Mitzvah is an important link in a chain of religious and spiritual experiences that will shape your Jewish identity

The lessons you've learned over the last year with the Chabad bat mitzvah program will be carried with you for the rest of your lives. Understanding, appreciating and loving the importance of chessed (kindness), of baking challah, lighting Shabbat candles and the ritual of the Mikvah  - all part of your Jewish heritage, and the laws and traditions that make you a Jewish Neshema.

And, while the Jewish traditions of your family may differ to those next to you, you’ve learned that we are all part of a beautiful people, with a culture so rich in history and tradition. For many of you, your grandparents and ancestors had to fight for the right to be Jewish. Hiding their Shabbat candles, challah and siddurim in attics and basements, holding secret prayer meetings in unmarked tunnels and remaining spiritually Jewish while forces around them wanted them to convert. But here we are today, singing the same songs and following the same 613 mitzvot our forefathers followed, but unlike them we are free – free to be loud and proudly Jewish. 

Amongst the friendship and the laughter that has developed each week there are the more subtle lessons that we, as mothers, hope that you carry with you for the rest of your lives. These ideals are for the most part, entrenched in the lessons you’ve received this year – the lessons of the Bat Mitzvah.

  •  Be kind. Be polite. Be respectful. Be inclusive. 
  • Have the integrity to stand up for those who's voice is not so loud, and generously help those who need assistance.  
  • Strive to be the best you can be, knowing your path and journey is different from your peers. 
  • Work hard. Work efficiently. Work effectively. You'll have more time to play hard
  • Be proud of who you are. We are incredibly proud of you!
  • Wear sunscreen - you'll thank us when you are older. 

I believe it was the great philosopher, Winnie the Poo who once said ‘You are braver than you believe; you are stronger than you seem and you are smarter than you think’. Stay true to the teachings and beliefs of your family. Those traditions are thousands of years old and have made us, as a people, and as individuals, the people we are today, and you a Bat Mitzvah. 

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