Another recent event that we had the privilege of attending was the Bar Mitzvah of another young man whose family are Messianic Jews. I'll call him "G". He also has Down syndrome. But he learned his Torah portion in English and Hebrew. He worked really hard to meet the requirements for becoming a "son of the Commandments".
I've never attended a ceremony like this and I think G's ceremony was blended with their usual Shabbat service on Friday night. I was surprised to find a familiar order to the service: singing worship songs, I even knew a couple of the songs, prayer, respecting the Word (more on this in a moment) and then a message. Interspersed throughout were G's Torah portions and some special candle lighting ceremonies.
I think two things stick out in my mind as the most special, the dance of the Hava Nagila, per G's special request for his birthday; you should have seen the smile on his face! He loves dancing! The other thing that stands out for me would have to be the Torah Procession. At our church we have scripture reading each Sunday and we all stand in honor of God's Word. This was a little different. Several men proceeded around the room in single file, almost like a little parade, and the man in front (G's father) carried the Torah. Did I mention it is HUGE!?! Anyway, as he walked by the people the tradition is to touch the Torah and put your fingers to your lips to show how much you love the Word. It was very moving for me. I’ve never seen anything like it. Showing how much you love the Word by “kissing” it. I loved that part!
It was such a special honor to attend G's becoming a Bar Mitzvah. I thank you and your family from the bottom of my heart! Congratulations G!!!!