This past weekend, my wife and I celebrated the bar mitzvah of the son of good friends. For those of you that don't know, when a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13 he enters in adulthood and is obligated to observe the laws and commandments passed down from generation to generation.
I try not to get too emotional or philosophical on this blog, but something struck me about this weekend's celebration that I need to write about. The Rabbi's wife mentioned to my wife that what makes a successful celebration is not how much money someone spends on the affair, but the people are what make the celebration memorable. We have been to many Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and weddings where the guests were "not that into it." Rather than dancing many guests will sit at their table and schmooze. At this past weekend's celebration, everyone was into it. People sat and schmoozed when dinner was served, but for the most part everyone was singing, dancing, and doing everything they could to help make the celebration memorable for the Bar Mitzvah boy and his family.
Here is where I get philosophical, as I get ready to celebrate my 37th year on this planet, I am realizing more and more the importance of celebrating happy occasions with friends and family. We have friends and relatives who have recently lost a loved one, been out of work and have a family to support, and some are dealing with health problems. Regardless of the challenges you are facing in life, take the time celebrate the happy occasions that come your way. You don't have to celebrate with elaborate parties, a beer with friends, a phone call, an update to your Facebook status, or a Tweet on Twitter is good enough.
At Jewish celebrations, and sometimes during the 7 day mourning period know as Shiva, it is customary to say "may we continue celebrating happy occasions together in the future." When we I got home from the Bar Mitzvah, I included this saying in my Facebook status. A colleague from work commented that this is what life is all about, being able celebrate good times with family and friends.
Indeed it is.