On this special day of Josh’s confirmation at Main Line Reform Temple, the theme of the service was memories and remembering. Many of the speeches by the 33 confirmants eloquently expanded on this theme. The following passage from the prayer book left a strong message.
We remember the ones we have loved who are no more.
We love them, we think of them, we remember them.
There are tears in our remembering and there are smiles.
We remember the good as though it were yesterday,
and the bad has been softened by the passing seasons.
Good and bad alike, laughter and tears alike, are ours.
Remembering is a gift,
a gift of love passing back and forth
among these that were and those that are,
those we walk with now,
and yesterday’s fellow-pilgrims
for whose journey we are glad.
The impressive speeches by the confirmants tackled some of our society’s most divisive social issues. These young people have no trouble diving head first into a discussion on capital punishment, abortion, or sexual issues. In their own words, and relating to their own life experiences, these young adults explained how they arrived at the positions they hold with regard to each of these issues. During these speeches I realized that our (parents’) most basic and fundamental purpose of religious education had been fulfilled; our children demonstrated their use of a rich and deeply developed value system upon which they will be able to draw for the rest of their lives.
Following the service we watched a slide show of compiled photographs of the kids, many who have grown up together at Main Line since pre-school. It brought back many memories. Terry Buckman reminded me that our first introduction came fourteen years ago on the day that Josh bit Jason in pre-school when they were both 2 years old. I hugged both Josh and Jason with deep feelings of pride and thankfulness for all of our blessings.
Mazel Tov to all of these families! Le’Chaim!