I wrote mine and Leo wrote his:
Honoured family members, friends, netpeople and especially, my son, Leo;
Leo, today is a day you will remember all your life and i have chosen these words very carefully to try and give you something of value to take from me into the future with you. Rabbi spoke today of self fulfilling prophecies, well, i have had experience of this in my own life. Some good, some bad... But mostly good...anticipation IS a form of "remembering the future".
It is a truth that when we expect something bad to happen it often does. But in reality not many of us can turn this around and make it work for good. Leo, i bestow upon you the gift of positive thinking. May it serve you well. Also, a tip, 'fear not fear itself'.
Know what you are scared of but do not let it colour your world. Isolate your fears. This makes positive thinking work all the better.
Last night in shul the Rabbi mentioned parallelism. In computer terminology we call this MULTI-TASKING... and this rite of passage for Leo was one for me too. Seeing my son Leo on the bimah today of course brought many memories flooding back to me. Do i remember the past as it truly was? I used to think that hindsight is a perfect science but recently i have realised that this is not so. For a fact i cannot remember anything unpleasant about my barmitzvah except not yet having a steady girlfriend. Leo, the situation might take some time to change. Then again, with your looks i may be wrong...
Leo, as a young man you must begin to ask yourself these questions.
Who am I Why am i here? Where am i going..
When i was growing up like you, i did not always ask the right questions and thus sometimes had no choice in what happened to me. Leo, you are lucky in this respect. I have encouraged your aptitudes. You have shown me that you could take something on and stick with it like you have done with your Judo career. There are few young men of 13 who could lay claim to having already represented Western Province in the National Judo Competition when they were just 11, and, taken a very credible 4th place against stiff opposition at that.
I heard from your Barmitvah teacher that you were a bit of a problem pupil at the start, but once you had committed yourself to the task and applied your mind to it there was little that could stop you. Those of you who were in shul this morning will have heard this for themselves. It appears that you are already using the power of positive thought.
Keep it up. Leo.
I am very proud of you...
It was not so long ago that my daughter had her batmitvah, two years ago in fact. The last two years have been the most stimulating ones of my life. This would not have been possible without my fathers support and belief in me. Dad, i would like to say thanks for everything. You have allowed me the time to write my book and to reinvent myself, as it were. This was indeed a boon i may not have deserved but i solemnly promise you that i will do my best to be worthy of the trust you have placed in me..
Carmel, you have supported Dad through his recent vertigo illness and been his friend. Ron, Viv, and myself thank you sincerely.
[To my ex-wife], although we have had our diffrences i salute you for bringing up our children in an atmosphere of love and affection.
To my wife <grin>
To quote the beachboys..."God only knows what i'd be without you..."
and since i am pledged to positive thought processess i will not even think about it...Thank you for everything you have done for all our children..
To my late Mom, i miss you and think of you.
To all my departed relatives we are thinking of you here at this simcha, and especially Grandma Anne and Granny Hinda Grandpa Pesach..we miss you...
Just a quick mention of some current fundamental issues today which revolve around whether Truth is an Objective Reality to Which humans must submit and conform--what i mean to say is, was man Created in the image of Truth--or is man the Objective Reality to Which Truth must submit and conform--or, is Truth created by man in his own image.
And a few throwaway lines of philosophy before i stand down.
Tranform your lives through a synergy of science and art
If Paranoia is your status quo then CALM DOWN TO A PANIC
Think Locally but act Globally
Friends, please eat drink and be merry and enjoy this
Temporal Event Sequence.
Thank you for coming and blessing our simcha.
Granddad, Mom, my step-mom, Dad, relatives and friends...According to Jewish tradition, on this day i become a man. The transition from boyhood to manhood was not an easy one. Studying my barmitvah portion for six months and listening to my sister telling me things like;
'be quiet', 'stop singing', 'I'm getting a headache' was traumatic..and I'm sure it was not much fun for her either.
But i managed to survive to this day to stand here before you and tell you what it feels like to be a barmitvah boy. I can tell you that every minute is an exiting one. I never know what is going to happen next. It was not easy studying for my barmitvah when my school work just kept piling on. The feeling of not having done your barmitvah homework while having another project due for the next day is an experience in itself. Even when I did do my barmitvah homework I worried that I would forget it by the next day. This HAS happened to me before.
Thankfully I remembered to bring this piece of paper
so I think I've got it covered..
I feel privileged to have been granted such a wonderful occasion and to have sung my barmitva portion in the Marais Rd shul, where my father, Grandfather and great-grandfather worshipped. It was a meaningful experience for me as my Great Grandfather Pesach, aleichem shalom, was a sopher. One of his Torot still resides in the aaron ha kodesh at the Marais Rd. shul. It is a great honour for me to have passed into manhood surrounded by such tradition.
I will cherish this occasion all my life.
I would now like to offer thanks to my family who each in their own way have made my life, and this simcha, possible.
Dearest Grandad, I am pleased to have the chance now to thank you for everything you have done for me.
Thanks again for your generosity.
Mom, you are always there when i need you. Thank you for organising my barmitzvah and taking time out of your life to make it a success.
To my step-mom thanks for being my kind and helpful.
Dad, thanks for always sticking up for me when the going gets tough and i could never have rendered my barmitzvah without the confidence you gave me.
and to my sister, who is two years and two days older than me, however much we may have irritated each other, you still did your part and always lent me an ear when i needed one.
And to the smallest one in the family, my little sister of five years old that you have seen running around with her curls always flying, you always give me something to smile about. Keep it up.
Also i would like to thank my barmitzvah teacher for giving me personal attention. It made all the difference to me.
At this stage i would like to remember all those who cannot be with us today. We will always keep them with us.
I could go on for longer, but i think I will let some one else have a chance now.