A beautiful family had their son’s bar mitzvah in shul today.
The young man did a wonderful job when he got called to the Torah.
The synagogue was full of family and guests from near and far.
They threw plenty of chewy candy at the bar mitzvah boy and sang a hearty Mazel Tov!
The davening was over and the young man got up to give his anticipated speech.
The synagogue was noisy from all the excitement and it was hard to hear.
But all of a sudden it didn’t matter, because the speech came to an abrupt stop.
I wondered to myself how come this bar mitzvah boy didn’t end his speech with the traditional thank you to: my loving mother and father, my dear grandparents, my annoying brothers and sisters, and all my terrific uncle and aunts who came from Israel, Europe, and Canada to be with me here on this special day?
There was none of that, and I was puzzled — how can he not thank everyone who made this day possible?
Then I see his father, who was sitting on the dais behind him, dash out from behind him and rush a little frenzied towards the rows of benches looking for something.
And then the Bar Mitzvah boy himself leaps off the podium and does a swift run towards the bimah in the center of the shul and starts ruffling through some papers there.
Ah, then I got it, he was missing the last page of his speech.
OMG, that’s why he stopped abruptly and that’s why he hadn’t done the traditional thanks you’s at the end.
I was amazed when he found it that he was still smiling and in great spirits, and he got right back up at the podium and completed his speech — that’s resilience, especially for someone that age.
Anyway, as I told this story afterwards to others who hadn’t gotten what had happened, I said my signature words of wisdom:
“That’s why you always have to have a Plan B.”
In this case, maybe an extra copy of the speech in his pocket or with the father would’ve been a safety measure.
“But mistakes happen and who can think of everything?”
The life lesson is that you can never rely rely on anything (except G-d), and it’s important to always think of the “what’s if’s” and be prepared with “well what would I do then?”
Even a well-planned and orchestrated bar mitzvah can miss a page in his speech and potentially spoil the day.
Trust in Hashem, but be prepared and be resilient, because that’s what becoming an empowered Jewish man and woman is truly all about.