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11http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2010/05/Rabbi-Lyon%27s-Blog---10_5_21
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 10_5_21
05/21/2010 02:57 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon

by David Lyon

5-7-2010

The Confirmation Class of 2010 will take its place on the bemah in the sanctuary this evening. They will lead us in worship, read the Ten Commandments from Torah, share personal words about Confirmation, and receive a blessing from their rabbis. Dressed in white robes and surrounded by their peers, the Confirmands will celebrate their achievements in Jewish studies and understanding.

Since their bar and bat mitzvah year, they have continued to participate in Jewish life at Beth Israel. This year they studied about God and ways to imagine God for themselves. They also studied the roots of Reform Judaism, and how it is understood today. Their studies were intensive and deep. No question went unanswered and every issue of interest to them was addressed.

The Confirmands represent an above-average group of students. On the one hand, they are an accomplished and bright group of young men and women. They succeed in school, sports, and a variety of interests. They are, in some cases, experts in their fields of interest, and have received awards and commendations. On the other hand, they are as typical and interesting as any teenager in the 10th grade could be. They were respectful in class, but waiting for the hour to end; they were engaged in learning and programming, but anxious to turn on their cell-phones again. They complied with our schedule for retreats, ropes course, and discussions, but they had a full day of goals after class to accomplish.

Rabbi Scott and I, their Confirmation teachers, are very grateful to them for their interest, time, and energy. No doubt they’ll finish the Confirmation service with a great sense of accomplishment and an equal amount of relief that they can focus now on final exams and summer plans. They are wonderful, normal and healthy teenagers and we are proud of their work and achievements and the goals they have set for themselves.

When we bless and thank the students, we must bless and thank their parents, too. Jewish life and its importance for some is an inherent, if not instinctive, need. For many others it must be raised to a level of a Jewish value that is cherished and observed. Our Confirmation students were encouraged and in some cases pushed to attend classes. They understood for themselves what lessons with their rabbis and friends might mean for them as they grow up to lead their own lives and make their own choices. Without the wherewithal and knowledge to make choices that include Judaism, the future of Judaism would hang in the balance. So, we bless and thank the parents whose wisdom and strength led them to show their children the right and good path to take. Surely it was the right thing to do; God willing it will also lead to good choices and a good life inspired by even one lesson they learned in class and one example modeled by their parents.

Tonight, we invite you to join us for the Confirmation Service, at 6:30pm, in the sanctuary. We will honor our students who will lead us in the future. We will honor Beth Israel’s longstanding commitment to the covenant we make with God, by teaching our children Torah, and showing them the way to Jewish service, now and in all the years to come.

From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

_________________________________________________

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