At Ben Rosenfield's Bar Mitzvah (25 June 2005), Steve presented the Congregational gift.
Mazel Tov, Ben. Mazel Tov on becoming a Bar Mitzvah.
You did a great job today. What's your secret? There are different kinds of secrets. Closed secrets capture hidden messages. But open secrets reveal keys to understanding.
The Rosenfield home has two major influences. Your family has generations of Jewish educators --- also generations that recite from the gospels of John & Paul ... and George & Ringo, the Fab Four. Judiasm --- and the Beatles.
The Beatles had open secrets. They repeatedly sang about ... love. What about us Jews? What are our secrets? When Hillel was asked to summarize the secrets of the Jews while standing on one foot, he replied, "Love your neighbor." Again love. A coincidence? I don't think so.
Listen: Do you want to know a secret? ... I'm in love with Jew. I love being part of Am Yisroel, the people of Israel. Rabbi Hillel, Rabbi Akiba, the Rambam, and Rebbe Nachman mi-Bratzlav --- a kind of Jewish Fab Four --- their lessons inspire me. They advise us on living caring and loving lives.
If I represented Sisterhood, I would give you their book, Secrets of the Sisterhood. Does Brotherhood have a book of secrets? Yes we do. I happen to have a copy right here, the Tanach, our bible. We Jews have written down many essential messages, our open secrets, our keys to living caring and loving lives.
Today we recognize you as Am Yisroel. Will you embrace the secrets? Will you identify with the people of our ancestors? Will you enter the promised land? Will you love being a Jew? I hope someday you'll join us ... . That decision is now in your hands. [Hand over Tanach.] The Secrets of the Jews, the Tanach, our bible, is now in your hands. This Tanach is a gift from the congregation.
A final pshat --- an open secret --- from Rabbis Lennon and McCartney, All you need is love ... .
Mazel Tov Ben. Mazel Tov to you and the whole Rosenfield-Aronson mishpocha.