Aaron's barMitzvah Speech
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My Torah portion is about Adam and Eve growing up. Like children, they start out with no knowledge of right and wrong. As Adam and Eve grow up, they begin to realize that the world does NOT revolve around them, and that their actions have consequences.

When Adam and Eve grow more mature they begin to develop a sense of curiosity about the world outsides themselves. That is why they eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam and Eve have begun to think about the world differently. They have begun to "test the rules". They have begun to think of the relationship between themselves and the world more like adults.
When God exiles Adam and Eve from Eden, it is not a punishment, even though it may seem that way. God lets them know that, once they have tested the rules far enough, it is time for them to start providing for themselves. By eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge they have shown that THEY think they are mature enough to live in the real world. So God gives them the means to do that.

As I have reach the age of thirteen I feel I must now begin to think about how I will live in this world as an adult. I am beginning to think of how I will fit in to the adult world and what role I will play in it. In time I will start providing for myself, separately from my parents. Even now, as I feel myself moving towards independence I remain grateful for the protection they offered me when I was a child. Sometimes I wish they were a little less protective of me now. I know that their impulse to protect me comes from their love, but from time to time it is annoying. I love you anyway, Mom and Dad.

My Torah portion has made me start thinking about this. It has helped me realize that I am much older than I used to be and much closer to adulthood. I will learn skills I hadn’t even been aware that I would need. I will continue to discover all kinds of things about myself and the world. My Bar Mitzvah Torah portion has made me realize that soon I will start making decisions on a much greater scale, decisions that will affect my whole life. I hope that the lessons that I learned from my parents, my teachers, my friends and here at Temple wil help me make these decisions wisely.

I would like to thank every one who helped me reach this wonderful day. My parents have supported me all the way and have been there all the time for me. I would like to thank Hanna Bass and Mrs. Katz for teaching me all the prayers and helping me learn my Torah portion. Rabbi Forstein for helped me with this speech and with my Torah portion as well. I would also like to thank my sister Esther for dealing with a little less attention than she would like over the last couple months. To all of you in the congregation today, thank you for being here with me and my family. It has been an extraordinary experience.


Aaron Cantor
October 9, 1999