Eli’s bar mitzvah sounded quite spectacular and was celebrated over a few days. On the Thursday morning minyan, he received his first call up to the Torah, following his Hebrew birthday on the Tuesday. He lained from the Torah and enjoyed breakfast in the Shule afterwards. This was followed by a party on Thursday evening, with his school friends, members of the Shule and his family – Eli admitted to writing his speech only an hour before the party! His love of music led to his speaking about one of his favourite songs by Oasis (Little by little) and how the words of the first verse connect to Judaism.

We, the people, fight for our existence

We don’t claim to be perfect but we’re free

We dream our dreams alone with no resistance

Fading like the stars we wish to be

Eli also led the regular Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night, while his Zaida (grandpa) delivered the D’var Torah. As Rabbi Dan is alleged to have asked, “What’s the point of having a dad who’s a rabbi if he doesn’t speak?”! Eli’s Zaida, the other Rabbi Lieberman, spoke about always being inclusive and making sure that nobody is left out and how this is now Eli’s responsibility. The Friday night service was followed by a big Shabbat dinner at home with all the family and people who’d come from overseas – family descended on Perth from England, South Africa and Israel and there were many trips to the airport involved in getting everyone safely to Menora.

Saturday morning saw hundreds of people in the Shule and was the scariest part for Eli, due to the sheer number present. His dad kept telling him to go “slower and louder”. He lained andled the tefilla.The Parsha wasMishpatimand told ofhow the people of Israel had to donate half a shekel as a census and towards funds to build the ‘mishkan’, the portable Temple in the desert.

Eli really connects to this Parsha, because it was also his great grandfather’s bar mitzvah parsha – they shared a birthday. Eli is pleased to now be counted in the minyan as it makes him feel useful and more responsible.

Eli’s mum organised all the catering for a huge spread afterwards and everybody enjoyed a feast, which was then followed by a lunch with a few family friends. Sunday was spent playing cricket at the Yokine nets and then watching Manchester United beat Leicester City 3-0. A brilliant end to the festivities.

Mazal tov Eli. I know you will continue to make your family and AVѧԺ proud.