Haftorah Harry

October 5, 2018 by Community Editor
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Whilst it is not uncommon for 14-year-olds to celebrate their first the anniversary of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah by returning to shule to re-read their Haftorah, for Harry Baral of North Shore Temple Emanuel (NSTE), his anniversary will be celebrated with his 14th Haftorah.

Harry Baral

“When I was studying for my Bar Mitzvah ceremony, my family and teachers always reminded me that I wasn’t just learning for the big day, but I was also learning skills for life.  Just like with my school work, I knew the only way to really instil the skills that I was learning, was to keep practising.”

With this in mind, Harry set himself the goal of learning one Haftorah per month during the year following his Bar Mitzvah celebration.

Harry regularly put his hand up to chant the Haftarah at NSTE’s teen-led “Teen Torah Tag Team” Shabbat services, as well as NSTE services in between these.  With so many B’nei Mitzvah at NSTE this year, some months were unavailable, so he was pleased to be warmly welcomed at Emanuel Synagogue and North Shore Synagogue to read Haftarah.

Travel didn’t prove a barrier to young Harry, as he arranged to chant the Haftorah at Kehillat Har-El in Jerusalem whilst on a family trip.  “The future of Australian Jewry is in good hands”, declared Har-El’s visibly impressed Cantor Evan Cohen.  Harry hopes to arrange a similar opportunity during an upcoming trip to New Zealand.

Haftorot are not all that have been keeping Harry busy in the year since his Bar Mitzvah ceremony.  As well as leining Torah multiple times (including at the Kotel) throughout the year, he also learnt a new trope (chanting style) so he could read a chapter of Eicha at NSTE’s Tisha B’Av service, and he assisted in leading the NSTE family service for Rosh Hashanah.

“At NSTE, we emphasise that Bar and Bat Mitzvah studies prepare students not just for ‘the big day,’ but for a lifetime of meaningful involvement in the ‘simchas’ of family and friends and in the religious life of the community.  Harry has taken this lesson to heart. He is an inspiration to us all, as he goes from strength to strength,” said Rabbi Nicole Roberts, Senior Rabbi at North Shore Temple Emanuel.

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