|Santa Monica beach at sunset|
Fifty years ago this Shabbat I became a Bar Mitzvah. My preparations included jogging along Santa Monica beach listening to a tape of my Torah portion. I was anxious about all the learning. The beach path was soothing, calm, serene.
The 50th anniversary has stirred up lots of memories. Mostly sweet ones. Two sour memories. One was dancing awkwardly and super self-consciously at the party after reading from the Torah. Another was during the service. This particular memory brings embarrassment and shame. Which is why it is so important to reflect on it even 50 years later. It is a difficult memory; still, I am grateful for it.
After reading from parshat Shemot and doing the Haftara and reading my dvar Torah (my chance to teach about the Torah reading), I thanked my teachers, my rabbi, and my friends. But, and this is the embarrassing part, I did not publicly thank my parents.