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Catherine Lynn Michelon (Cathy) was born on October 21, 1959.  She has a son Joshua, who, when asked to describe himself, has the following to say:

  my name is josh michelson i am the son of cathy michelson daughter of pam and siggy michelson  my history goes like this  i was born  i've been to primery school and am curentlly in grade 7 which is  the first year of middle school i am a very acomplished math student as well as many other subjects  and nothing else worth mentioning has happend yet im only 12 years old, now lezlie stop complaning  that no-one has e-mailed you any family history !!!!

 editor's note:  Congratulations Josh for being the first family member to send anything to the web. Looking forward to getting much, much more from you which will be published on the web immediately xoxo




June 14, 2008

I  didnít   think   this   day   would   ever   come   but   it   has,  with   my   bar   mitzvah I   am   now   entering   manhood,  with   all   these   new   responsibilities   I really   hope   I   donít   mess   up.  Mom   stop   thinking   that,  I   havenít   even   messed   up yet .

I   am   sure   that   I   will   always   remember   my   bar   mitzvah,  and   tell   my   children   about   it.  Not   yet   mom,  be   patient.  Because   it   is   the   most   significant   day   in   a   young   Jewish   boyís   life,  and   certainly   has   been   for   me.  So   far   itís   been   amazing   and   it   is   a   major   stepping   stone   for   the rest   of   my   life.   I   canít   believe   after   all   these   months   of   preparation   and   excitement,  this   day   has   finally   arrived. A lthough   I   am   relieved   that my   torah   reading   is   done,  I   will   miss   listening   to   Hershel   on   the   tape   and   singing   along   with   them.  I   am   sure   my   mom   will   miss   it   too.  I   think   she   thinks   she   knows   it   of   by   heart,  as   she   often   tried   to   sing   along .  Good   try   mom !! 

On   a   more   serious   note ,  this   day   means   a   lot   to   me.   I   have   put   a   lot   of   thought   into   what   my   bar   mitzvah   means,  what   becoming   a   man,  especially   a   Jewish   man   means.   I   am   still   not   a   hundred   percent   sure.  But   I   think   it   means   taking   on   the   responsibility   that   each   generation   of Jews   has   taken   on .   So   what   does   this   mean ?

I   am   not   sure   what   kind   of   person   I   want   to   be.  If   I   think   of   things   that   I   have   been   taught   I   would   like   to   think   that   I   have   some of   the   values   that   my   mom   had   tried   to   teach   me .  She   has   always   shown   me   that   it   is   important   to   be   fair   and   honest   and   never   to   hurt peopleís   feelings.  I   hope   that   I   can   be   that   kind   of   man.  What   ever   type   of   man   I   grow   up   to   be,  I   always   hope   that   I   keep   my   sense   of   humour.   I   hope   I   can   be   the   kind   of   man   you   will   always   be   proud of   mom.  

I   found   this   poem   online   and   Iíd   like   to   read   it   because   it   expresses   some   of   my   feelings. 

Thereís   a   path   Iíve   got   to   follow

A  dream   thatís   mine   to   explore

A   world   thatís   waiting   for   me

Thereís   a   god   that   I   should   adore

Thereís   faith   handed   down   by   my   fathers

That   will   guide   me   all   of   my   days

If   I   have   the   strength   and   the   courage  

To   follow   its   teaching   always

And   when   people   laugh   and   make   me   feel   small

Iíll   try   to   remember   it ,  and   then   Iíll   walk   tall

And   I   know   that   I   have   to   help   me   through

The   love   and   guidance   of   each   one   of   you

And   so   Iím   happy ,  so   happy   to   say

Youíre   welcome   to   share   my   bar   mitzvah   day .

To   end   of   Iíd   like   to   thank   Hershel   for   tolerating   me   every   week   and helping   me   to   learn   my   piece.  Hershel ,  you   are   amazing ,  your   kindness ,  your   patience ,  and   you   only   have   good   things   to   say,  my   mom   for   helping   organise   everything.  I   love   you   mom   and   everyone   at   highlands   house   for   making   this   day   possible.  Thank you to   Richard   for  coming   all   the   way   from   Joburg.  And   thank   you   Leon   for   his   generosity   in   letting   me   use   his   house   for   my party   tonight.  And   thanks   for   being   such   a   good   friend  Allan   and   being   the   mc   today ,  and   all   my   family   and   friends   for   being   here   with me   today.

Oh  and   mom   today   I   am   not   a   fountain   pen.



Joshua  David   Michelson

Bar  Mitzvah  14  June  2008

Speech   by   his   mom,  Cathy   Michelson

   Joshua,  I   am   so   proud   of   you.  You   did   such   a   good   job   today.  You   are   a   delight. ( Private   joke ) I   feel   honored   and   blessed   to   have you   as   my   son. And   no   more   so   today,  on   your   Bar   Mitzvah .

  All   ancient   cultures   use   some   form   of   ritual   and   rite   of   passage   to   assess   the   worthiness   of   an   adolescent   boy   for   membership   of   the   adult   community.  From   your   performance   today,  you   did   yourself   and   all   of   us   proud.  You   took   on   the   task   of   your   Bar   Mitzvah   with   such   dedication   and   maturity .

Now,  a   Bar   Mitzvah   is   a   very   special   day   in   the   life   of   a   Jewish   boy,  marking   the   transition   from boyhood   to   manhood ...  On   this   day you   are   ethically   and   morally   responsible   for   your   behavior.  The   literal   meaning   or   Bar   is   son   and   Mitzvah   is   commandment.  Thus   you   are   now   the   son   of   hashems   commandments . .  We   know   that   the   bible   has  603  commandments   beside   the   familiar   ten   that   we   know.  This   must   seem   like   a   heavy   obligation   for   you.

Although   it   sounds   daunting ,  all   these   responsibilities   and   obligations   as   a   Jewish   man .  I   have   come   to   realize a  lot   about you   in   the   last   while .

Right   from   the   start   of   your   life   I   have   watched   you   grow   with   curiosity ,  amazement   and   awe .

The   other   night   we   had   a   discussion   about   what   qualities   you   would like   to   have   as   an   adult.  What   struck   me   was   your   openness   and   honesty.  You   simply   said   you   did   not   know   what   kind   of   person   you   would   like   to   be.  What   you   do   not   realize   is   how   much   you   already   are.

Joshua,  you   are   so   many   fantastic   things.  You   are   clever   and   quirky,  and   have   an   ability   to   see   things   with   such   honest   clarity.  There   is   nothing   I   can  get   past   you   or   away   with   You   have   a   wonderful   spirit   and   a   big   heart.  You   are   so   kind   and   caring   and   have   a   fierce   sense   of   fairness . So,  although   you   donít   know   what   kind   of   person   you   want   to   be   yet .  You   already   have   all   these   fine   qualities   that   would   make   you   a   great   man.

One  aspect   of   our   parsha   speaks   of   Miriam   speaking   slanderously   of   Moses.  Basically,  she   made   a   racist   remark   about   one   of   his   wives.  This   infuriated   hashem   and   her   punishment   was   leprosy   and   being   exiled   from   their   camp   for   a   week.  There   are   many   lessons   to   be   gained   form   this   story.   One   of   the   main   themes   is   not   speaking   evil   of   others.  That   we   are   all   the   same   in   gods   eyes.  No   one   person   or   race   is   better   than   any   other.  I   thought   this   particularly   apt   given   we   live   in   such   complicated   times,  where   there   is   so   much   hatred   and   prejudice.

One  of   my   hopes   for   you   Josh   is   to   keep   your   heart   open   and loving,  free   from   hatred   and   prejudice.   Maintaining   your   sense   of   fairness.

My  wish   for   you   as   you   enter   adulthood   is   to   be   a   strong,  loving   a   caring   man .  You   are   wise   beyond   your   years.  I   wish   you   wisdom in   all   that   you   do   and   all   that   you   are.  May   you   always   be   honest   and   keep   you   sense   of   deep   integrity.  May   you   always   do   your   best   and   make   the   most   of   the   gifts   you   have.  Most   of   all ,  I   wish   you   a   life   of   much   humor,  happiness   and   laughter,  with   that wicked   sense   of   humor   of   yours .

I  love   you   so   much   and   could   not   be   more   proud   of   you.






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