A Personal Reflection: My Kids’ B’nai Mitzvah

Recently, I’ve been looking at the calendar with different eyes. A month from now, Ariel and Catalina, my oldest son and my oldest daughter will become B’nai mitzvah, G-d willing. Day to day, the calendar moves slowly. But, the years have passed in the blink of an eye.

While my two older children are 15 months apart in age, they are preparing to celebrate their milestone together. Some of you may have already seen some pictures of Ari on Facebook, wrapping tefillin. The day on the Jewish calendar he became 13 years old, he took the responsibility of mitzvoth and therefore he is trying to fulfill all the mitzvoth an adult is commanded.

On the day of their B’nai Mitzvah, both will be called to the Torah. That act will be the public manifestation, in front of their family, friends and community that they are committed to a life of mitzvoth.

Thirty three years ago, I celebrated my bar mitzvah in Buenos Aires (of course at Congregation Bet El, with no “h” in Beth). I shared my Bar Mitzvah day with two boys. I have some vague memories of that day but one memory is particularly clear. One of the rabbis, Rabbi Baruj Plavnick , approached my mom Z”L and told her: “Today I felt there was a Bar Mitzvah.” My mother Z”L shared these words with me and I remember feeling very proud.

From that Bet El to this Beth EL a lot has happened in between. I still remember the words Rabbi Plavnick said and how they may have influenced me. They gave me self-esteem, they made me feel good, they made my parents feel proud.

Words can create and destroy worlds.

Words can leave marks and scars as well.

Words can comfort and can hurt.

As I sit in front of my computer, I have not started thinking what I will say to my kids on their B’nai Mitzvah day but I hope the words I use will leave a good taste and a nice memory.

This special time of Simcha for me and my family is especially meaningful because we are blessed to be able to celebrate with our Beth El family.

I have been part of many Beth El families Smachot and Gd willing there will be many more to come. Today I invite you to be part of our Simcha!

I would like to extend an invitation to the whole congregation and welcome you to join me and my family in celebration on Saturday June 15 at 9:15 AM. If you are able to attend and join us for Kiddush, please RSVP to Ricardo Munster at rmunster@bethelmc.org



Posted by Rabbi Fabián Werbin


Peter Cohen

Rabino Werbin,

Que Hashem bendiga a sus hijos y a su familia siempre.

Mazel Tov!


Mazel Tov! While we have not had many inter-changes, and you probably don’t know us, I have had admired your intelligence and “mensch-like” sensitivity. Our very best wishes to you and your family on this special occasion.

Mazal Tov to you and the whole family! It is a true pleasure to have you among us and be able to celebrate with you your family’s sinchas.
Abrazos mil

Rachelle Bernstecker and Bob Abramson

Mazel Tov!! The love and affection that Beth El has for you and your family will be on full display on this very joyous occasion. We couldn’t be happier for you and your entire family.

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