Avi Schwartz
Avi Schwartz

We Welcome You to Our Band of Brothers

Dr. Levi. Mrs. Levi. The Levi Family. Honored Quests.

There are certain moments in a parent’s life when the parent cries joyous tears which cannot be held back because the feelings within are so overpowering. Whereby father and mother are so overwhelmed that there is no other way to express oneself but only through tears.

Tears that are the product of years of non-stop commitment; that result from prayers realized; that emerge from plowing, seeding and harvesting a dream, a hope, and an aspiration; and that flow from a great sense of gratitude towards the Creator, Hashem. Tears that are as holy and meaningful as a korban – a sacrifice brought upon the Altar in the Holy Temple – the Beit HaMekdesh.

When and what are these moments when holy tears roll like a stream that emanate from the Divine warm Embrace of the Creator as Hashem envelopes parents?

When do parents cry from joy?
The day their baby is born.

And when do parents cry with bittersweet love?
The moment they witness their child unite with his or her soul mate under the canopy of Moses’s Law.

And when do parents cry from heartfelt laughter?
The hour they hear their children welcoming their own child into the world.

But when and which day do parents cry with pride, with speechless tears –
as they hold back their quivering lips and silently say to themselves, “This is my boy”.

Today is that day. When two parents will gaze upon their boy and with speechless tears gently, firmly and proudly let go of their child’s hand and whisper into their son’s ear and say:

Today is a great day.
Today is a Life changing day.
Today is a cosmic day.
Today is a transformative day.
Today you take take your place among your People, to sit among the Elders of your Nation.

Today you join a Band of Brothers created long ago in the sweltering heat of the furnace of the bondage in the land of Egypt, whose Souls intertwined as One at the foot of Mount Sinai and who became responsible for each other on the Plains of Moab.

Today you join a band of brothers who proudly proclaim twice a day their allegiance to their King, their Father in Heaven, stating, “Hear O Israel, Hashem is Our G-d, Hashem is One”.

From this day forth you are entrusted to bring the Divine Presence to the Earth by completing a group of nine men. Men who can be even nine times your age.
Men who might be great-grandparents, outstanding scholars, mighty warriors, and leaders of thousands.

Today you can be the Holy Tenth for a minyan.

Today you can ascribe greatness unto Hashem as one of three at a meal.

This day, this Bar Mitzvah day, you join a band of brothers to take your place among the hopes and dreams of your forefathers and foremothers. For thirteen years your sins were upon your father’s shoulders. From now you will be responsible to carry your own weight.

Today Hashem will gift you great treasures:
Responsibility. Insight. Obligation. Consequences. Reward and Punishment. These gifts are so precious that they are priceless.

Azarya Nissim, son of David Aziz, HaLevi, today you become the Bar Mitzvah – the Son of the Mitzvah. Your journey which began thirteen years ago
on the second day of Chanukah takes a new path as now you will create a life of purpose. A life with meaning. A life with ideals. A life worth living.

When the world asks you what is your occupation? Proudly and humbly tell them, “I am a Jew”. And what is a Jew? A Poet of the Soul.

Whose purpose is to create a living poem through his Torah learning, his performing countless Mitzvos, doing endless good deeds, refining himself through chassidus and bringing great pride to His Creator, Hashem, his beloved Parents, his Rebbe, and his People.

Today – Tonight you take up the mantle that your parents have created. A mantle that is full of kindness, warmth, honesty, hospitality, joy, compassion, caring, sharing, humility, Torah knowledge, Ahavas Yisrael, Love of the Chassidus and the Rebbe’s teachings. In a nutshell, your parents are a living example of a Kiddush Hashem – Sanctifying of Hashem’s Name. To them each Jew and each human being is a jewel, a song, a work of art. Your Parents are truly, Poets of the Soul!

On this Chanukah night you have joined the few against the many. The pure against the impure. The righteous against the wicked.

On this night Chanukah night you don the tallis of 613 opportunities – the mitzvahs – to recognize Hashem, and to truly experience joy that has no limits.

When you are sad the Torah will cheer you up. When you are angry the Torah will calm you down. When you are lost the Torah will put you on the right track. When you are lonely the Torah will fill up your world with joy. And when you are seeking the Truth of Life the Torah will reveal Life’s purpose.

May Hashem, bless you and keep. May Hashem shine His face upon you. May Hashem give you peace!

Happy Chanukah on your Bar Mitzvah.

We Welcome You, Azarya Nissim, son of David Aziz, HaLevi, To Our Band of Brothers!

About the Author
Rabbi Avi Schwartz, is the son of the Palmach Legend, Motke Eish HaGarzen, Motke the Axeman. His Father was the commander that led the 21 Palmach Warriors who conquered Har Tzion ( Mount Zion), King David's Tomb in 1948, rescuing 1,700 Jewish men, women and children from the onslaught in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. Rabbi Schwartz is both a Black Hat Rabbi and Zionist activist. A filmmaker and writer, with works in Netflix, he is also the creator of the first apps against BDS: Fight BDS and BDS Myth Busters (BDS Myth Busters is sponsored by the Hollywood icon and anti-BDS activist Roseanne Barr. Rabbi Schwartz is the VP of Digital Marketing and Director of Energycite, a breakthrough technology in energy conservation. He also is the founder of Torah Teen Palmach Center, training teens to be future leaders in the tradition of the Palmach.
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