At Ben Rosenfield's Bar Mitzvah (25 June 2005), Steve thought he was presenting Brotherhood gift, in which case he would have given this speech.
Mazel Tov, Ben. Mazel Tov on becoming a Bar Mitzvah.
Bar Mitzvah symbolizes becoming a full-fledged member of the Jewish community. We Jews have a lot of symbols, but one symbol stands above all others, the Magen David, which we usually translate as the Star of David. A better translation is the Shield of David. We have a tradition of shielding, protecting, caring for all in need, both Jews and the greater community. This gift, from the Brotherhood, is a Magen David necklace, a shield of your own.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, likened youth to the Israelites wandering in the desert and maturity to dwelling in the promised land. Generations of Jewish educators in your family as well as teachers here at Beth Elohim have brought you to the edge of the desert. You are armed with knowledge and a shield. Will you shield the weak? Will you engage a lifetime of Jewish learning and living? Will you enter the promised land? I am confident that you will grow up to be a mench, a caring and good person.
Mazel Tov Ben. Mazel Tov to you and the whole Rosenfield-Aronson mishpocha.