Natanel explained that his Bar Mitzvah fell during the time of Tisha B’av, a three-week period when celebrations are not allowed, and so it was moved from 6 August to 13 August 2022.

It was a special time made even more special by having Natanel’s grandparents fly to Perth from Israel to be with him at Dianella Shule.

The Parsha subject was the last book of the Torah, sometimes known as ‘the second Torah’, which repeats everything that was previously said. Natanel explained to me that it’s “All about laws and rules – the ten commandments and the first paragraph of the sh’ma”. He isn’t keen on public speaking, but read from the Torah and did his Haftarah as well. Natanel said his Haftarah is taken from the prophets when the Romans wouldn’t let Jewish people pray.

He commented that it is very nice to no longer be stressed about imagining himself standing in front of the entire shule. He worked on this by trying to feel no emotion and willing himself to calm down. His teacher helped by reinforcing the ‘calm down’ message!

Natanel’s party sounded like a lot of fun, with the whole year group and lots of adults enjoying food and dancing together. The many people present ate a lot, danced a lot and enjoyed listening to speeches. Natanel’s mum made chocolates in Tefillin moulds and chocolate cake pops. His siblings sang a song from Moana but changed the words so it talked about him being a bit crazy and also a bad singer, which made him laugh.

Natanel explained now that he is Bar Mitzvah, he can be counted in the minyan. He will be in shule more and will wear tefillin every day except Shabbat. I learned a lot from talking to him about his Bar Mitzvah experience.