Rachel's Batmitzvah

Cassie, Jennifer and Lisa's Speech

All: Hello and welcome to our speech for Rachel’s Bat Mitzvah.
Cas: To start with we’d like to say a huge thank you to the Isaacs family for letting us do a speech, not just for tonight but tomorrow evening as well!
Lis: So, let’s start by telling you all about Rachel herself. Rachel is one of those people who just can’t stop smiling.
Jen: She will always be happy and isn’t usually upset or angry,. Although there is one time we can recall of Rachel being really depressed.
Cas: It was at a certain restraunt-
Lis and Jen: (Cough) Gustos...
Cas: We used to visit Gusto’s a lot but it changed recently and Rachel wasn’t happy.
Lis: She decided to complain on the website and had to give her name to sign the e-mail with. She didn’t want to give out personal information so she called herself depressed child.
Jen: Before she sent it, she didn’t realise that her e-mail would be shown anyway so there wasn’t much point.
Cas: Moving on to what Rachel likes. Where should we start?
Lis: I know! I’m sure most of us know how much Rachel loves to sleep in...
Jen: Many of us would call sleeping in at just 9:30a.m. For Rachel this is an understatement!
Cas: Rachel would call sleeping in at about 1:00 p.m. and waking up early is 9:00a.m.!
Lis: But Rachel, we don’t think you’ll be sleeping in this weekend.
Jen: So, guys let’s now talk about Rachel’s talents...
Cas: Where do we start? Rachel has so many! But I think one of her best is art.
Lis: Apparently, Rachel’s love of art started when she was little. She used to draw on the walls and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jen: We also know Rachel loved doing her Hollywood themed dream bedroom, which was a dolls house bedroom we had to design and make from scratch in year 6.
Cas: We all know it was amazing but she wont admit it. You’d think that a young budding artist like Rachel would have always of had the ambition of being an artist.
Lis: But no, when Rachel was little she declared that she wanted to be a cleaner when she grows up.
Jen: We think she’s given up the ambition now, but Rachel. Although you’re very good at tidying your bedroom, I don’t think you really want to be a cleaner anymore.
Cas: Art isn’t the only thing Rachel likes. Rachel loves almost every type of animal. In fact, I can think of two of her favourite.
Lis: Every member of the Isaac family has a love of a particular animal. Sarah and Steven like cows and I’ve heard Sarah likes pandas after Kung Fu Panda the new movie has been out!
Jen: Jonathan’s favourite types of animals are frogs and David likes dogs and Penguins.
Cas: And Rachel, well one of her favourite types of animals are sheep.
Rachel also has a love of an animal made from rubber. You guessed it...Rubber Ducks.
Lis: Rachel has a few rubber ducks and rubber duck souvenirs. Rachel even got us all our own personalised rubber duck key rings. She also found a song on the internet about Rubber Ducks and printed it off!
Jen: Rachel even has her own rubber duck shower cap and soap! But
Rachel, we wouldn’t change you for the world.
Cas: With your bubbly character and creative ideas you make an amazing daughter, sister and friend.
Lis: We hope we stay friends with you for ever and we know that your going to do fantastic with your D’var Torah.
Jen: Good luck Rachel, though you wont need it.
All: We would like to invite everyone to go into Shul to hear Rachel’s D’var Torah. We hope you enjoy your evening as much as we will.

Rachel's Dvar Torah

The parsha for my batmitzvah is Pinchas and is taken from the name of the man who acted at the right moment to bring the Jewish people back to their senses.

Pinchas was so shocked by the way that the Israelites had forgotten Hashem and were worshiping the idols of Baal-Peor and behaving badly with the Midianite people that he took a spear to an Israelite man and a Midianite woman. This brutal act saved the Jewish people from Hashem’s anger. Whilst this part of the story of Pinchas actually took place in last weeks Sedra, Balak, the sedra of Pinchas deals with the transformation of the Jewish people from an immoral nation to holy nation that returns to the ways of Hashem

Pinchas is rewarded for his action by Hashem who gave him “ a covenant of peace and eternal priesthood for him and all his descendants”

The sedra then recounts a census. This is not like a previous census which counted the people that came out of Egypt. These people had passed away in the wilderness, as punishment for acts against Hashem. This is the census of those that will be rewarded by entering the land of Israel. The Torah lists each of the tribes, the different families within each tribe and the number of men. It is based upon these numbers that the land will be distributed to the tribes, apart from Levi, and their families

Now we have the first real mention of any women in the sedra. The daughters of Zelofchad. They were the 6th generation from Joseph, and they approached Moses and the leaders of the tribes. Their father had no sons only daughters. This meant that they would not inherit any land. How could this be right? These women loved the land of Israel as much, if not even more, than the men. Moses did not know what to do so he asked Hashem. Hashem decreed that not only would the daughters receive their father’s share of the land they would also receive part of their grandfather’s share as well and the laws of inheritance were clarified to include the rights of the daughters and women.

Whilst Moses was asking Hashem about the laws of inheritance he also asked Hashem about his successor as leader of the Jewish People. Hashem tells Moses that Joshua will be his successor and will lead the Jewish people into the land of Israel. This is a sign of what a great leader Moses was - as he looked over the land of Israel he did not ask for Hashem to change his mind and let him go into the land. He was only concerned with the Jewish people that they have the right leader to take over from him.

What are the lessons from this sedra for me on my batmitzvah?

Like the daughters of Zelofchad, I have started speaking out for what I believe to be right - ask my family! This is not just at home but also at school as I face the questions of a secular society. I can only do this if I have confidence in my beliefs. I know my knowledge comes from a firm foundation. I have been a regular attender at shul, the children’s services and more recently the pre-batmitzvah girls group originally set up by Mrs Kupperman. I would like to thank Mrs Kupperman for her kind words and encouragement over the years and her help in the preparation for my Dvar Torah and Batmitzvah. I have attended Talmud Torah for the last couple of years and would also like to thank the teachers there, especially Mrs Cohen, for all their help and guidance.

Like both Pinchas and the daughters of Zelofchad I am passionate about being Jewish. I have been brought up in a traditional Jewish home so that Judaism is not just a religion that I mark on a census or questionnaire, it is my whole way of life.

In preparing my Bat Chayil project for Talmud Torah I came to understand that whilst the outside world is important, the base for life, the growth of attitudes and character, have their deepest roots in the home life we experience. Judaism does not leave home attitudes to chance. Numerous rituals and ceremonies are prescribed to tie religious and social values with home activities. From an early age I have helped my parents with preparing for Shabbat and Yom Tov, learnt the laws of kashrut and the mitzvot and traditions that come with being a Jewish woman. As I have become older and starting preparing for my batmitzvah I have taken on a more active role in the organisation within the home.

For this I have to thank my grandparents, parents and even my brothers. They have always been there not only as role models to teach and guide me on how to conduct myself but also to create that “ruach” within the home that has helped all of us flourish as firstly Jewish children, and now as Jewish adults

My Hebrew name is Rochel Chaya and I am named after my Grandpa Leonard’s late sister, who was killed in the war in Germany whilst still a young girl. She did not have the chance to marry, bring up a family and pass the love of judaism down from generation to generation. Like many at this time, the census stopped with her. I hope that she will live on in me as I follow the example of my family and teachers and incorporate being Jewish into every part of me and my home. I cannot imagine living my life any other way. The memories that I have from my time growing up mean that I want the same for my family. Whilst Moses was concerned only for the Jewish people when he asked Hashem to name his successor for them, I now appreciate that what my parents do they do for us and our future. Like Pinchas, my reward will not be physical objects, land or money but to create a Jewish home which is the perfect place to ensure that Judaism thrives, not only just for us here and now, but for now and for ever.

Shabbat Shalom

Jonathan and David's Speech

Introduction of Cass, Lisa and Jennifer
Good evening Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to Rachel’s Bat Mitzvah,
Tonight we are your chairmen, and as you know Rachel’s our little sister.
Many late nights were spent writing our speech at home,
To make it different, so tonight we’ll be talking in one long poem.
The rhyming may not always be accurate, that is a fact,
We do hope you appreciate it, cos standing up here is no easy act.
Three young ladies are about to speak,
So listen carefully, because they really are sweet.
Please welcome Cass, Lisa & Jennifer.
After, please go into shul for Rachel’s Dvar Torah.

Introduction of Host and Hostess
We now come to our father, who I think you’ll agree,
Is a master at many things, in particular dentistry.
He spends many hours sitting in his chair,
But we are his life, even when he is there.
Head of Shul security, he’s doing great so far,
But on the odd occasion at night leaves our home door ajar.
He said for summer he’d build us barbecue,
And what do you know he was right on cue.
When mowing the lawn he’s as swift as can be,
He has numerous other children - his 50 leylandii
Every couple of months he gives them a shave,
He uses a massive ladder, isn’t he brave!
And now it’s time to speak of our mother,
This won't be long for me and my brother.
When we talk about mum, we must be as sweet as a peach,
The only reason being is that she’s vetting our speech!
We would love to tell you it all, but for her we’re restricted,
However we can tell that she sings to her orchid.
She has a loud voice that wakes us up in the morning,
This makes watching the football anything but boring.
She makes us do horrid tasks like folding our washing,
She’s not often successful but she keeps on battling.
We may laugh and joke about our parents by the things we have told,
But the truth is that they both have hearts of pure gold.
We would now like to welcome the host whose not all that bad,
So please put your hands together as we welcome our dad.

Our Little Sister and Introduction of Millie
We hope you enjoyed your desert, coffee and tea,
And now we will speak about the youngest of us three.
We had to get our own back for what she’s going to say,
So we sat down and thought for many a day.
But when we had given it a long time of thought,
We realized the bad things were nothing but nought.
So there we were with no dirt to dig, no story to tell,
Making writing this speech nothing but hell.
After attempting to write it not once but twice,
We had a brain wave; say something nice.
Rachel’s qualities there are lots,
And in the majority, they tick the right box.
Sweet, sensitive and not shy at all,
She’s also been helping out since she learnt how to crawl.
She tries and works hard at all she does do,
Rachel, over reacting is not a word to describe you (PAUSE) much.
But still we went on picking our brains for revenge,
And then we came up with a couple of gems.
At home she makes sure  that there’s always a sound,
That small little mouth of hers is rather quite loud.
We have our differences that can be sure,
However, they are quickly resolved after she’s slammed her door.
You're tough on the outside fluffy within,
Some could say you are our sheep in wolves clothing.
Although she’s our little sister we know it won’t last,
After all, she is growing quite fast.
Our dear little sister we love you to bits,
So just for today, can we give you a kiss? . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
When Rachel’s friends come round we like to leave the house,
Cos when they get together there not as quiet as a mouse.
When we get back the kitchen’s often in a sorry state,
With flour flung everywhere and half a dozen dirty plates.
And when we ask Who When and Why?
Nothing, Nothing comes the reply.
But if you believe that you're seriously daft,
To tell us more about Rachel we’ve asked Millie Haft.


Steven's Speech

On behalf of the Isaacs family, Shabbat Shalom and a big welcome to you all.

Tonight is not only a celebration of Shabbos but also a celebration of Rachel becoming a Jewish adult and all that it entails.

I would like to thank everyone for joining us and helping celebrate this simcha - we couldn’t do it without you. In particular it gives the whole family such pleasure to see Ruth and Leonard here looking so well - they don’t seem to have aged over any of our simchas, but then I suspect its easier being a grandparent. Mazel Tov to both of you.

Rachel, my not so little girl, where have all the years gone? From the moment you came into this world you had me captivated and by the age of 1 you had both your brothers and me wrapped around your little finger. Your mother says not much has changed over the last 11 years!

Whilst you can “give as good as you get” you do have a calming influence on the boys sometimes. I know where you get your love of sleeping from (Jonathan and your mother, certainly not David “up with the dawn” isaacs) and I have absolutely no idea where your love of clothes and all things girly is inherited from!

Rachel you think everyone and everything is so sweet and so adorable. I’m sure that everyone here tonight will agree that you are the sweet and adorable one. Your Dvar Torah was prepared with the same care and attention you give to everything, no matter what you do. Your mother and I are truly proud of you

Jonathan and David. You were the first and second parts of our Bar/Batmitzvah trilogy in October 2002 and January 2006. Since then both your mother and I have watched you grow (and grow and grow!) into fine young men. As I look at you here, acting like “menshes,” behaving impeccably as chairmen, I see the look of relief on your faces that I will only be making one more speech in the future and it won’t be at either of your weddings. We could not have asked for two better sons. Oh yes, I will finally concede that you are both at least as tall as me now!

To all three of you we would say that whilst we know that you have enjoyed your respective Bar/Batmitzvahs and all that they mean, this is nothing compared to the pleasure and pride a grandparent and parent feel on seeing their children reach this special age and making their own way as independent Jewish adults. Our sincerest wish is that all of you experience this pleasure and pride in the years to come.

Finally, Sarah who I have known for some 27 years - is that classed as a miracle - has not surprised me in the least tonight. As you know she is football crazy, so it is no surprise that she has managed Rachel’s batmitzvah superbly - passing from shop to shop, scoring lots of points on the nectar card and during this last week giving yellow cards for various misdemeanors. However, I was the only one given a red card - did this have anything to do with the state of my speech at 11:30pm on Wednesday?

Those of you that were here two and a half years ago at David’s Barmitzvah will remember that I fluffed a
MAJOR line in my speech. Thankfully I’ve got a second chance to redeem myself. So . . .. . . . Sarah, even though we have been married for the last 22 years, you mean as much to me now, if not more than you did then.

Shabbat Shalom

Milie's Speech

Good Shabbos Everybody!

I am so excited to be proposing the toast to RAchel tonight. She is a fabulous friend and what my mum and dad call a GREAT INFLUENCE!

Everything Rachel does, she does really well!!!
She is a fabulous artist. When she makes cards for birthdays and other occasions they always look amazing and are far too good to be thrown away. In fact, I have quite a collection of these.

Rachel is always a very conscientious pupil at school. She is ambitious and works very hard.

Rachel and I go to dancing class together. We have great fun at these lessons, and although we’re no Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, whoever they may be, we really have a wonderful time there.

Rachel is also my shul buddy. During the last year we have both been preparing for our respective Batmitzvahs, and having a great time in the process. We helped run the toddler’s children service, decorated the succah, planted trees in the gardens here on Tu’Bishvat and baked and served cheesecake on Shavuot. Wow, sounds impressive doesn’t it Rachel when you list it all.

Rachel, your D’var Torah tonight was amazing. I was so proud of you speaking in Shul this evening, and was really interested to learn more about the sedra of Pinchas.

Even though Rachel and I are not at the same school, we have a wonderful friendship that I really treasure. I know that we will continue to be friends for a long long time.

Our families have spent many Shabbat and Yom Tov meals together. Sarah makes the best chocolate challah pudding I have ever had and Steven never lets anyone lift a finger to help. They really are the most perfect hosts. Jonathan pouring the wine and David telling the latest Manchester United anecdotes. Rachel always sits at the head of the table as she is her Daddy’s little Princess!

Talking about Princess Rachel, I would like to dedicate this little poem to her. . . . . .

This is a story about my mate
She won’t admit that she’s so great
But what I’ll say will make you see
What Rachel’s friendship means to me

On a recent trip to the Lubavitch centre
We got there early, we could not enter
Rachel looked around the yard
To find a game that wasn’t hard
The Bat Chayil girls had to race
On tricycles at Rachel’s pace
To be with Rachel is always cool
It filled the time just before Shul

Last year we were on holiday together
In Portugal, we had great weather
The Isaacs’ villa was so cool
As was the tortoise in the pool.
Steven gave us factor 50
With sun cream, he is in no way thrifty
With all that stuff, we came home pale
We’ll try and do better in Israel

We went so see the X Factor live
With lots of girls we did jive
We ate our packed lunch on the way
Our favourite act had to be Ray.
He sang our favourite song for us
It even made the grownups buzz
We bought our T-shirt souvenirs
Its Britain got talent next year with Piers.

We really have had some super times
But now I’m struggling to write some rhymes
So all it leaves for me to do,
Is leave the next bit up to you
So all of you please stand and yell
And toast our Batmitzvah girl, Rachel!

I told you I was having trouble with the rhyme, didn’t I!

Ladies and Gentleman, please be upstanding and charge your glasses, the toast is your wonderful Batmitzvah girl RACHEL.

Thank you everybody, now let me call upon the girl herself. OUR BATMITZVAH RACHEL.

Rachel's Speech

Rabbi Kupperman, Reverend Harris, Reverend Gilbert, Family and Friends.

Today is one of my most memorable and important days of my life, i am becoming a jewish woman, and i am thrilled to be sharing it with you all today. No matter how far you’ve come, thank you very much for being here and for sharing the celebrations with us. I hope your are enjoying yourself as much as I am.

I really am a very lucky girl. As I lit candles for the first time as a Jewish woman tonight, I used the candlesticks presented to me by WIZO from the Bar/Batmitvah campaign. Whilst I rejoice here with all my family and friends, I am reminded of those less fortunate than myself. I recognise that I am very fortunate and privileged. 700,000 children in lsrael live below the poverty line and
any celebration at the time of their Bar/Batmitzvah would be a dream come true. I am proud to not only remember them at this time, but to have helped someone enjoy their day as much as me.

There are many people i have to thank for playing such an active role in my life and helping me be the person i am today.

Thank You Millie, Jennifer, Cassie,and Lisa for giving such wonderful speeches to me and giving me years of memorable friendship. You mean so much to me and i hope that we can continue our friendship for futures to come.

My Teachers, Who have helped me along the way. Again, thank you Mrs Kupperman for helping me with preparing for today, and Mrs Cohen for being so patient with me whilst I was very sleepy on a Sunday morning at Talmud Torah.

Jonathan and David. You may be older than me and you may have had your big day before mine, but as you can see I have the final word - as usual! You have shown me the rights and just
so very occasionally the wrongs of life. No matter how much you tease me, wrap me up in a sheet so that I can’t move, blame me for everything, and soooo over-react when I everso politely disagree with you - I know that I can flutter my eyelashes better than you and that I have my uses - why else would you ask me to get things for you from Dad when he’s already said No to you! I also know that you love me as much I love you.

Grandma and Grandpa. You are always there supporting me. You spoil me rotten, you don’t make me eat fruit and veg, you have never told me off and nothing is too much trouble for you. I will always treasure the time that I spend with you

Mum and Dad, i can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me! Making me the person who i am today, Preparing me for life, and organizing this wonderful Simcha, which you have done magnificently! Mum, i couldn’t ask for a better mother, who is as caring and as loving as you. Dad, i couldn’t ask for a kinder and more giving father than you, and i am sure you will be great in shul tomorrow. Just don’t forget to duck when you finish!

And a final thank you to Martine. Martine, once again, you have prepared a scrumptious meal, and we would just like to say a huge thank you for doing everything you have, for me, and my brothers over the past few years .

Once again thank you all for coming and making my simcha so special, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed yourself as much as I have. Shabbat Shalom and please join Rafi Apfel who will lead the benching.