Joy and hope in the ancient
synagogue of Pisa

A bar mitzvah had not been celebrated in Pisa for some years now. The ancient Jewish community has returned to celebrate one in May, with the reading in the synagogue of the first call of the Parashah of Chukkàt by the 13-year-old Yoel Moravchick. “It was a great emotion, a moment of celebration for everyone”, stressed Maurizio Gabbrielli, president of the Pisan Jewish Community and Councilor of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. A doubly special occasion for him, given that the new bar mitzvah is his nephew. “It gave us much joy to see him there, in tevah, as he read the assigned portion of the Torah. These are not things that happen every day in small communities like ours. A further sign of hope in this restart phase”. The ceremony was officiated by Luciano Caro, reference rabbi of the Community, who oversaw the formation of Yoel together with Gadi Polacco. Several dozen people were present in the synagogue. Many arrived from other cities, as well as from Israel, for the joyful appointment.

In his derashà, Yoel dwelt on the biblical figure of Miriam and in particular on her “hidden contribution during the time Jews were in the desert”. A story with many current ideas. “I have come to the conclusion – said Yoel – that each person has a task and responsibilities within the community and that any community was born and thrives only thanks to the contribution of each individual”.

“You already have a sense of justice, sensitivity towards others as well, now that you are Bar Mitzvah, by actively and consciously joining a community, you will choose your Tiqqun Olam, what causes to embrace and what actions to take”, were the words of his parents. Thank you, the Italian grandmother Paola told him, “for giving our synagogue the opportunity to be alive and joyful for a day”. So instead Batia, the Israeli one said: “It is a great privilege to be your grandmother”.