I sat in shul today crying my eyes out. Max Makovsky celebrated his bar mitzvah with family, friends and community. He spoke so beautifully about when his bris was on September 11, 2001 shortly after the 2nd tower went down and how his parents were told by the Rabbi that in that time of uncertainty, the bris must be performed. That the bris marks another link in our precious chain passed down for generations beginning with our Forefather Avraham. Max is a Kohen (a Priest), his father Noah is a Kohen, Noah’s father Evan is a Kohen, Evans father of blessed memory was a Kohen.
I turned to Zvi and said, hey, you are related to Max! He is a Kohen and YOU are a Kohen! Kohanim go back to the very frirst Kohen, Aaron the brother of Moshe Rabbeinu!. Zvi is a Kohen, Seth Parkoff is a Kohen, my father-in-law-and-love Stephen Parkoff is a Kohen, his father of blessed memory Meir was a Kohen, And there are tons of Parkoff Kohanim in Israel such as my father-in-law-and-love’s brothers Gerald Parkoff (father of my cousin Bayla Lewis) and Rabbi Eliezar Parkoff, whose sons are Kohanim too, one of whom is married to Bashy Parkoff. My mother-in-law-and-love is a Bat Kohen – her father Chaim “Harry” of blessed memory was a Kohen.Zvi is named after my father Zvi Moshe “Harvey” who was a Yisroel and Seths grandpa Chaim “Harry” who was a Kohen. Seth is Shmuel Gedalia, son of Yitzhok Dov (my father-in-law-and-love may he live and be well) who is a Kohen.
So Zvi is Zvi Moshe Chaim HaKohan ben (son of) Shmuel Gedalia HaKohen.
Shevi asked me why I was crying…I said, Shevi, do you realize that we KNOW where we come from! It’s a miracle!!! There are so many people today who are Jewish who do not even know it! I meet so many wonderful ladies through my “job” (I cant even call it a job….it is a privlege!) who tell me that that they are trying to raise their children with a love of Judaism but they dont know what to tell them. So I get to learn with them. I get to learn with them for their future, for their children adn grandchildren….
In this weeks parsha when a person would bring the first fruits to the Holy Temple they first had to recount the HISTORY of the Jewish people. From Avraham, to Egypt to the desert to entering the Land of Israel to the building of the Holy Temple (and please God one day soon it will be rebuilt). WHY did they have to recount all of these events?? To be able to say DESPITE ALL THAT WE HAVE GONE THRU, I AM HERE! And on and on we have endured pograms, the holocaust, war after war, attack after attack even today and yet WE ARE HERE!!!
THAT is why I was crying today. WE ARE HERE!
Zvi sat tonight with his friend Avi Cohen, son of my dear friends Rivka andMeir Cohen and Zvi read the first few lines of his bar mitzvah parsha which G-d willing he will read like Max read today when he is 13 and then Avi read his portion and his Haftorah too. What a gift it was to be sitting in my home on a Saturday evening with these boys who know who they are.
Thank you God that I am here, my children are here and we will b’ezrat Hashem (with the help of God) continue the link in the chain.
And thank you God for giving me the gift of my work at The Jewish Experience where I get help women unwrap their gift.