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grandparent speeches? (Read 4758 times)
bookworm
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grandparent speeches?
Nov 08th, 2006, 9:07am
 
My parents surprised us at my older son's bar mitzvah by making speeches during the candlelighting (which ground to a halt for about 10 minutes). They put us in an awkward position because DH's mom felt slighted that she had not been invited to make a speech (we told her that were as surprised as she was).
Anyway, my mom insists that  it is very typical at bar mitzvahs for grandparents to make a speech during the party. Is this true? I don't recall seeing this before. DH definitely doesn't want my parents doing this again. He was pretty p.o.'d the first time.

Is this a typical part of a bar mitzvah party?

Thanks, Bookworm
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suekoff
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #1 - Nov 8th, 2006, 9:33am
 
I have not seen it during a candlelighting ceremony.  I have only seen grandparents make a speech once.  The BM girl was having her service at the Chabad center and during the service, they did a cup of life ceremony (they did a formal candlelighting ceremony at the reception too) and all those who were participants, said a little something.
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Friendship isn't a big thing.........it is a million little things
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StLMom
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #2 - Nov 8th, 2006, 10:15am
 
I've never seen it done quite like that.  My parents are more likely to either make a toast once wine is served (after the blessing) or, since they are hosting a Friday night pre-Shabbat Service dinner for out of towners and relatives, make it then.
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NJBatMitzvahMom
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #3 - Nov 8th, 2006, 10:28am
 
I've also never seen grandparents give speeches.  I think your parents should have discussed it with you first, instead of just doing it.  I can understand how your inlaws would be hurt by this.
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sashak
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #4 - Nov 8th, 2006, 10:56am
 
My parents are presenting my son with his talit during the service - it is a gift from them and my mother made a needlepoint collar and bag (applied to a talit that we went shopping for together with DS).  The Rabbi said that they should feel welcome to say a few brief words.

I have seen at a few different events grandparents participating at the party by doing the blessings for wine and bread.

Never seen a lengthy speech though.  

Thank you for this post...now I know to let my MIL know about the talit.
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Ann
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #5 - Nov 8th, 2006, 11:14am
 
I've never seen this either, although SIL is having FIL say a few words, (BIG mistake, LOL!!) when he presents her daughter with her tallit at her BM next month.
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isithereyet
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #6 - Nov 8th, 2006, 11:22am
 
Actually, it is very common among my friends to have the grandparents say something at the Friday night dinner after the prayers are said.  Perhaps this would be a nice compromise?
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ma4two
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #7 - Nov 8th, 2006, 11:27am
 
At DS BM, my father wanted to say a few words.  He made a little speech about how it is an honour to have a grandson like DS and all the good times they had (and have) as he grows up.  It wasn't during candlelighting though. I think it was after the hamozi.  Maybe your parents just took the opportunity while they were being called up to say something.  It might have been impromptu on their part as well.
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bookworm
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #8 - Nov 8th, 2006, 11:35am
 
[quote author=ma4two  Maybe your parents just took the opportunity while they were being called up to say something. It might have been impromptu on their part as well. [/quote]
Since they had several typed pages each, I got the feeling that it wasn't all that impromptu! Grin

By the way, it was my MIL presenting the tallit that started this. My mom got a bee in her bonnet that MIL got to make a speech (she said 1-2 sentences, max; along the lines of here is your tallis - I am very proud of you) and that they (my folks) deserved their chance to speak too. Of course, my parents had aliyahs, readings during the service, my dad held the torah, he did the motzi and the kiddish both at the service and at the party. Guess it wasn't enough?!?!

I don't want to deny them a chance to express their feelings, but honestly we don't really want to start speeches at the party.
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gemjamtea
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #9 - Nov 8th, 2006, 11:38am
 
We would be honored if the grandparents wanted to do this. It's not typical but it's very nice, and would make the event so much more personal and meaningful....couldn't you just ask that it be very short?
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MarylandMom
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #10 - Nov 8th, 2006, 11:59am
 
We recently attended a bat mitzvah that featured a number of speeches/performances at the party.  It seemed that it was a speechmaking family where people enjoyed making and hearing them. One was a humorous poem (really very well-done and very humorous--I understand the author was a Newberry Award-winning children's author), one was a moving speech about the family's history, given by a great aunt, and one was a parody song sung to the bat mitzvah by her parents and brothers.  My family has a custom of doing lots of speeches at some events (milestone birthdays and the like), so I didn't find this odd.

My parents made a short speech in conjunction with the tallis presentation.
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Everything went beautifully! 9/2/06
Gearing up for the next one 3/28/09
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lotsoffun
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #11 - Nov 8th, 2006, 1:05pm
 
I don't mean to be harsh but...I was at a bm last year where after the kids did their "presentations" the grandmother came up and read a 2 page "toast" to her grandson. It rambled.  She didn't look up.  Everyone at the tables was chatting.  The grandmother shushed them.  I understand that the grandmother felt that if the friends were being allowed to toast the boy then the grandmother should be allowed to also but...It was almost midnight (the party was a 7:30-12:30 party) and the grandmother's toast was a "downer" in a party that had had a great "vibe".
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redwinemom
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Both Mitzvahs are
over! 6/02 &
10/04

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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #12 - Nov 8th, 2006, 2:11pm
 
I have only been to one BM where the grandmother gave a toast...  All others did not have the grandparents say anything.

I once saw a very nice prayer that grandparents could read  at the service (perhaps each one could alternate between paragraphs :

Our grandson, a bar mitzvah.
Child of our child called to the Torah.
Bringing one face to face with the future.
Geography has distanced us.
We have not raised him, Nor given him instruction,
Bound his wounds, absorbed his sobs,
Rallied him to victory.

Yet from the distance
We have heard and imagined
His defeats and triumphs.

Now here he is
For us to see.
We listen to a chant, a prayer, a benediction.
We too once sang.

Now
Before family and friends,
We receive unmerited blessing.

A grandson in the presence of this community,
Alone, on his own two feet.
We are bound together as never before,
Our grandson and us!
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redwinemom
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bookworm
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Re: grandparent speeches?
Reply #13 - Nov 8th, 2006, 2:55pm
 
Well, some good suggestions, so thank you. I just know, though, that if we have 3 speeches at the party that it will drag. Maybe I can convince my mom to write down her thoughts and give them to my son. There really is no other time to speak. We won't have a Friday night dinner that is more than just immediate family. The temple probably wouldn't allow speeches by the grandparents and since its a double it wouldn't be fair to do it there anyway.
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