Good morning. I’m delighted to welcome you here. I’m thankful to many people who made this celebration possible. First, I would like to thank Nina for hosting this event in her house. She is gracious to us, but I think this might be because she adores her granddaughter. Thank you to Sharon, who has worked hard with all the details you are and will enjoy. Thank you to Mateo for his support to her sister. I think that, secretly, he is very proud of her sister. Thank you to Paco for his continuous support and help with the logistics. We know he loves her niece. And thanks to Will who is officiating this rite and who is a part of Mirei’s spiritual journey.
The purpose today is to celebrate Mirei’s rite of passage from girl to little woman following in the Jewish tradition. She has done a great job in preparing for this and has made us very proud. At this step in her life, Mirei sought to claim her heritage and to look for a spiritual path. This transition from child to responsible person will bring light to her life; and, by extension, to all of us sharing with her.
When Mirei came to us, she brought an endless smile. She would wake up happy and go to bed happy. I don’t know what happen after that! Recently, she is showing her mom and me some new not-as-happy faces. We love you dearly no matter what.
Mirei, you are now a young lady and not a child anymore. You are taking the responsibilities of a grown up. You are accepting the consequences of your actions. Our job as parents in that respect is over. You own your sins because you have decided to take that responsibility. It’s a big task. It’s a task I know you are prepared to undertake. I know you might need help from time to time, and I know sometimes you won’t admit it. But, I want to tell you that your mom and I are here for you, and that we are ready to listen to you and to provide you with sage advice. Remember what I have been telling you since you were a little girl: “your father is always right”. That doesn’t mean we will or want to live your life for you. We don’t. It only means that it’s always good to listen to advice. The decisions are, from now on, yours. So are the consequences. So listen to us, if only to have a laugh together.
For this new journey I want to give you some advice I offered your brother when he was a Bar Mitzvah.
Follow your heart. Blindly. If you know what your heart tells you, go for it. No questions asked. It works every time. The hard part is listening.
If you like the teachings of a master; follow those teachings and principles, not the master. We people are flawed. We are bound to let you down. Don’t follow the person, follow the principles.
Be a true friend and sister. Be good to the ones you love, friends and your family. Yes, including your brother. He knows you love him.
Seek knowledge. Never stop learning. The truth will make you free. Remember, though, that knowledge also brings responsibility. You have to change your behavior accordingly. Once you know the truth, there are no excuses but just to walk forward.
Keep singing. It fills your heart and soul when you do it. It has the added benefit of filling the heart and soul of all of us who listen to you.
If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. You are going to do great. Your mom and I know it.
I love you.