Reflections of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Day After

Reflections of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Day After

Bat/Bat Mitzvah by Harold M. Schulweis

It is over now, and I have done well.
chanted well, my voice was firm,
my speech lucid.

It is over now.
The gifts opened, the band, the music
that congratulate

It is the next day.
Is this a new stage
on a journey of self-discovery,
or will this beginning speedily halt?

Will I choose to live what I spoke?
Will these rapturous sentiments, promises, prayers
waft aimlessly, remain trapped in the ceiling?
I remember what I said
I have a responsibility to care for the poor,
the stranger, the homeless, the hungry.

Are those pious rhetoric

Will I be caught
in the same duplicity I have detected in others?

Or will I live out my resolution,
collect and distribute food to the hungry
visit homes for the disabled, places for the elderly?
Bring them the vitality of my youth
share with them the freshness of my resolve.
Will I halt the process,
close the texts, exile ideals to a distant memory
place premature closure on my growth

Or will I seek mastery, competence that may help
guide others to lift their burdens.
continue to struggle, grow,
create, learn.
It is the day after.
Now I face no congregation,
Now I face my God and myself
truth, conviction, authenticity.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 9:15am