The Birth of Conscience

The Birth of Conscience

Bar/Bat Mitzvah by Harold M. Schulweis

You carry our name in yours
so you are called to the Torah
the son or daughter of your father and mother.
Our names interwoven

You stand, chant, speak alone
As close to you as we are,
you are not us,
not an echo of our sound.
You are your own voice.
You are not us and we are not you.

We who have held you so tight
now let go.
a sign of our pride and trust in you.

Now you are responsible
no one,
can be blamed for your decisions,
Your choices bear their own consequences.

Some sages declared
At the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah
the conscience is born.
Is this not the celebration,
the still, small voice in you
stronger now than ever before?
Rejoice in your autonomy,
your accountability
your becoming.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 9:15am