My decision to have a Bat Mitzvah was based off of a coin toss. Yes, I know this seems very taboo, but hear me out. After being offered the opportunity, I felt very conflicted about if I should go through with having a Bat Mitzvah or not. I went back and forth so many times it was beginning to drive me insane. So, as a last resort I left it up to a two-sided coin; heads meant I would have a Bat Mitzvah while tails dictated that I would not. The coin was flipped and I closed my eyes while it flew in the air. Picking it up after it had fallen, I saw there was a tails-up in my hand. It was at that moment that I knew tails wasn’t the right decision for me and so I went against it. I know that it seems very strange to base such an important decision off of a coin toss, however I think the important aspect of this occurrence is that despite the outcome of tails, I knew in my heart I needed to be a Bat Mitzvah.
Once I decided to be at Bat Mitzvah I had to quickly prepare in the hotel where we were staying in Jerusalem. I was clueless, scared, and excited all at once. I knew this was a big step for me as a Jew. The day passed quickly and around four in the afternoon, the ceremony commenced. The ceremony itself was very quick. It took place in a room overlooking the beautiful city of Jerusalem where I stood with two of my birthright peers (who were also becoming Bat Mitzvah) in a room filled with my other birthright peers, the IDF soldiers who were with us, our tour guide Zvi, and our Delaware leaders Ruth Rosenberg and Nicole Wasilus. After kissing the Torah, we read transliterated Hebrew from it as we wore our tallitot. Next, one of the IDF soldiers, Lior, read a piece of the Torah, which had happened to be the same as the piece from his Bar Mitzvah. After Lior’s piece concluded, we each said a little speech about choosing to become a Bat Mitzvah. Then, when the official ceremony was over, we walked around the room as the community threw candy at us and they sang and rejoiced. In retrospect, although my decision to become a Bat Mitzvah was based off of a coin toss, I couldn’t be happier that I decided to do it. Flipping that coin forced me to make my decision that I now know was the right one. Becoming a Bat Mitzvah in the holiest city in the world, Jerusalem, was definitely a blessing and although it was not a traditional ceremony, I wouldn’t have traded it for any other.
Photo Credit: Caroline Casey Left to right: Jared Gross, Kyla Amick, Caroline Casey & Margo Grisanti