On Monday, August 29, 2023, Moving Traditions’ Rabbi Daniel Brenner, and the screenwriter of You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, Alison Peck, explored the spiritual and ethical dilemmas that families and adolescents face when they celebrate a b-mitzvah, the social pressures of being a host, and the larger question of how to make contemporary meaning of this ancient rite of passage.
Moving Traditions’ B-Mitzvah Family Education Program uses the opportunities created throughout the B-Mitzvah journey to help adolescents and their families discuss many of these important questions together. We invite you to use the following discussion from our B-Mitzvah Family Session on “Beyond Thank You: What Does It Meant to Be a Host? A Guest?” within your families to explore your values around who you invite and how you express those values through how you host.
If you have already celebrated your B Mitzvah, this can still be a nice way to revisit the memories of the event and reflect on the learnings and how you want to bring them into future events you host and/or participate in as guests.
Watch the Webinar Recording
Two Jewish Teachings about Hospitality
Questions to Discuss:
- Why do you think that this teaching suggests exactly four steps? Would walking two steps send the same message?
- When you are a host, what should you say to or do for a guest when they leave your celebration?
- When you are the guest, what should you say to, or do for, the host when you leave their celebration?
In Jewish life there is a deep tradition of hospitality – advice about how to be a host and how to be a guest that extends back to Abraham and Sarah being praised for their hospitality. One way to see this, on a spiritual level, is to see it as a cycle of giving and receiving. One where gratitude leads to extending what you have to others. Here is a teaching from Rabbi Marcia Prager, author of Path of Blessing, that helps us envision this process:
Questions to Discuss:
- What today are ways that people honor their guests and honor their hosts?
- What are some of the ways that we can offer blessings to guests when we are the hosts?
- What are some of the ways that guests can bless hosts?
This could be an opportunity to think together about the reasons people give gifts to their guests and what intention you have for that practice.
This webinar was offered as part of Raising Up Teens with Moving Traditions, a series of webinars for parents and educators of Jewish youth.
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