Shabbat in Ramot Shalom, Be’er-Sheva
The Dagan family started thinking about their twins’ b’nei mitzvah almost two years ago, when Ophir Abel, son of Ramot Shalom president, Sharon, celebrated his. That was the first bar mitzvah in the congregation, led by Rabbi Myra Hovav, long before she became the Rabbi in Ramot Shalom. The family helped establish the B’nei Mitzvah study group, and was very much committed to the group as well as to individual preparations and training.
The space at the Ramot Shalom premises (our “merchav“) was not big enough to accommodate all congregants and family guests, many of whom took long distance flights from the US, Canada and the UK. The family worked for days to turn the grandparents’ back yard in Omer (a suburb of Be’er Sheva) into a pleasant outdoor sanctuary. Siddurim were brought from Be’er Sheva, and our beautiful Torah scroll, which flew all the way from Temple Sinai to Ramot Shalom, made another trip to Omer and was placed in an improvised ark. Both Friday evening and Shabbat morning services took place there, thus enabling observant relatives who would not drive on Shabbat to fully participate. The decorated yard was a perfect background to the musical services lead by Rabbi Hovav.
The twins’ parents, Davida and Doron, both grew up in Magen Avraham, a Conservative congregation in Omer, and we enjoyed the presence of many of their congregants. We were honored to have with us Rabbi Michael Graetz, founding rabbi of Magen Avraham, who officiated at each of the parents’ bar/bat mitzvah and at their wedding.
The twins were privileged to read some of the highlights of Jewish tradition from the Torah portion of Va’etchanan — Tammuz read the Ten Commandments, while Yehonatan read “Shma Yisrael”. Both did a wonderful job reading their portions and the Haftarah, and sharing their modern interpretations of them in their speeches.
We now look forward to continue using the precious gift of this scroll on the forthcoming bar mitzvah services of Nitai Rivkin and Adam Breitman, who were also part of the b’nei mitzvah study group.
Warm greetings from Be’er Sheva,
|Rabbi Myra Hovav|
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