Holy Garments: A Shabbat message from Tracie Bernstein

I began writing this piece four years ago, and due to the thoughtful generosity of my husband and children, put a closing parenthesis on it this week, as we approach Elul, the month of preparation toward the high holidays. At the time of its first iteration, we were one year from our oldest daughter's bat mitzvah, and somehow today find ourselves already looking back fondly on the bar mitzvah of our second child. Our youngest, Liana, is now 9.  


I wrote:   While watching the shul league softball game on Sunday, a bunch of the moms were talking about preparing for their kids' bnai mitzvah, while juggling their younger children and intermittently cheering for our team. Having come from a variety of Jewish backgrounds and perspectives, we fell on the topic of Torah reading and religious garments. Most of our daughters were excited about getting a tallit, a prayer shawl, but not all of the mothers felt comfortable with the idea. Religion, after all, is a personal and visceral thing. We were not raised with women's aliyot (Torah honors) or tallitot....read the rest


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