Genesis v. Exodus:
My Bat Mitzvah Trek

by Daphne Drohobyczer

About this time, last year, I decided I would have another go at attempting my Bat Mitzvah - something I had the desire to do since when I was twelve and living in Nashville. I convinced my parents to join a Reform Temple in Belle Meade, a very wealthy part of Nashville. I had many immature friends who made fun of my Bat Mitzvah tutor, and I was unable to withstand their snarky, insensitive, and cruel humor about him. I was also immature, and the reason I fell into the pit with their teasing. Obviously, I was not ready to be accepted as a mature woman at this time. I dropped out of my Bat Mitzvah training at the ripe age of twelve.
Well, after our move to St. Louis, I attended Bais Avraham, and decided that I wanted to be Bat Mitzvah again, even though they said that the Orthodox do not require a woman to be a Bat Mitzvah, because, they are already a Bat Mitzvah by the age of twelve. Still, my tutor, sent me some tropes to memorize. She was a very nice person, but I could not go through with it because it just was not necessary or even encouraged by Bais Abe. By the way, I went to an Orthodox Sunday school in Toledo, OH, ages 5-8, and I was consecrated at the Orthodox shul, even more reason not to be Bat Mitzvah by the orthodox.

Then, when I came to Kol Rinah, I expressed my wish to be Bat Mitzvah yet again. A qualified tutor agreed to help me. Unfortunately, I was a disappointment, and could not continue with him because of my own flakiness. I had no excuse to stop training with him, other than drama in my life. With the main Rabbi, I awoke to the idea yet again of being, or rather having, a Bat Mitzvah. He told me, "This time, we are going to do this," and he assured me that I would complete my Bat mitzvah. I wanted to do Genesis, but because in six months, it would be Exodus, he wanted me to do Exodus for my Bat Mitzvah.

So, COVID-19 hit, and I was not able to do Exodus. Hence, I am taking this "sign" to go back to my original plan of Genesis in a little less than a year. I have a works in progress of a painting of the pomegranate with lavender branches and an olive-green leaf. I also have some other abstract Jewish art. Yet, at the age of forty, I finally feel accepted in the synagogue as a grown woman and I am therefore ready for my Bat Mitzvah. Of course, I feel differently as a woman than a twelve-year-old. Unfortunately, I was a very immature twelve-year-old, when I could've just completed the bat mitzvah then. Now, I have a greater consciousness and will appreciate the Bat Mitzvah dearly. 

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