200 members of the Ethiopian community in Tel Aviv-Yaffo participated Monday in a special festive event organized by the Aviv HaTorah association together with the local absorbtion center in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of 35 children from the community who immigrated to Israel in recent years.
The event began with a festive ceremony at the Einav center in the Tel Aviv municipality and continued with a trip to Jerusalem and dancing and reading of the Torah at the Western Wall.
At the end of the moving day, the Bar Mitzvah boys and Bat Mitzvah girls came together with their families to a festive meal at the Montifiore restuarant near the Western Wall. The event was conducted by Rabbi Yehuda Sahale the rabbi of the community and the director of the absorbtion center Asmara Akala.
Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau welcomed the Bar Mitzva and Bat Mitzva children and said that as opposed to other cultures which celebrate when they end their responsibilities, Jews celebrate when they begin their responsibilities.
Rabbi Sahala said that "on the eve of the giving of the Torah we merited gathering all of our community to celebrate our personal receiving of the Torah. This is very moving and I want to thank all those without whom it would not have been possible.
Moshik Shimon, head of the Aviv Hatorah association said that this is the culmination of an intensive preparation with the Bar Mitzvah children over a number of months. The children learnt to read the Torah as well as learning Jewish and communal traditions in joint workshops with their parents in order to overcome the generation gap difficulties.