Friday, January 6, 2012

Of Beauty and Separation

My New Year 2012 has started with a positive, happy event . On the evening of January the first, I attended a 'Bar Mitzva' - a boy's 13th birthday celebration. Bar Mitzva means that the boy has reached the age of responsibility for his actions (from the jewish religious point of view).

The above event took place in a beautiful banquet-hall located in the city of Netanya. This israeli major city , on the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its fine beaches, limestone cliffs with gardens among them, long promenades facing the sea. Netanya , a center for tourism and for diamond trade, is rightly nicknamed "the diamond on the med".

tree and flower pot in front of the building

way to the Reception Hall

relaxation corner

It was cold and raining outside on that evening, but warm and colorful inside ,with beverages at the entrance bar and plenty of appetizers on tables lining the Reception Hall.



This was not an usual kind of occasion , the immediate family of the boy being religious (they became religious some 10-15 years ago), whereas many of the guests- secular.

In the Reception Hall we were together men and women, mingling, eating, chatting. However, in the dining/entertaining Hall, men and women got separated by a partition. It was a rather peculiar sight- that of men and women performing the activities of sitting , eating and dancing, separately. There was a male photographer for the men section and a female photographer for the women section.

The bar mitzva boy's two elder sisters drew a lot of attention. Even in Holywood it would be hard to find such beauties. One of them ,23, married and with 2- kids; the other one ,21, single. The beauty and grace of the two sisters, and that of a 12 year old blonde angelic- looking guest girl , "stole the show" from the bar mitzva boy and from everything else , and definitely brightened up the whole atmosphere.

the married sister with the two kids

the single sister with the two nephews

I would even dare say, the blonde little girl (accompanied by her grandmother), consciously or unconsciously, defied the religious atmosphere by taking off her coat and remaining in a non-modest dress (non- modest according to religious standards). None of the women present around her said anything about it or tried to cover her shoulders with a scarf.

G.mother and G.daughter dancing by the partition


  1. This is a wonderful post DUTA. I love the photos, what a beautiful place! What a great way to start a new year. Happy New Year to you, by the way.

    So when they separate the women and men I assume all the children go with the women? Hmmm, that certainly is nice for the men to relax and enjoy their food and drink while the poor women are running around trying to feed the children. But I guess that is the way it is all over the world.

    You are not kidding about the two sisters beauty! Wow! Gorgeous women! And they are fully clothed so it is not their half-naked bodies that make them beautiful, but just their faces!

    The little blond angel is adorable as well. What a great memory for her and her grandmother. Love this post DUTA!

  2. A bar mitzva is such a somber event it is nice that there was also some attractive distractions.

    Wishing you and your family a fabulous 2012!

  3. Wonderful Duta, you certainly open a new world to someone tucked away in the Ozark Mountains.

    I so enjoyed readin' about the bar mitzve. I've never had the pleasure of attendin' on and now have a glimpse though your beautiful eyes.

    God bless ya my friend and have a wonderful weekend!

    Happy New Year too!!! :o)

  4. I'd love to go to a party where men and women dance separately. Since my husband hates to dance and I love it, I might finally get to do it!

  5. What a lovely celebration for the boy's coming of age. Your photos are beautiful showing the meticulous detail that is paid to such a celebration. Isn't it wonderful that natural beauty such as these young women have is still around? I sometimes see young women on the streets here in the U.S., wearing what 'fashion' dictates is stylish and looking makes me sad. These girls in your photos are lovely. Thanks so much for sharing and for your wonderful response to my Magpie.

  6. Alicia,

    Thank you. Indeed, a lovely way to start a new year.Glad you've enjoyed reading the post.

    Children are also included in the separation (boys go with fathers, girls with mothers), but there's a certain flexibility about it depending on the age of the kids and on how religious the event is in general.


    Right you are.
    As a matter of fact, the more serious part of the event took place at the local synagogue on the Sabbath prior to the celebration at the banquet hall.


    I'm glad I "opened a new world" to you,and that you've enjoyed reading about the bar mitzva celebration.
    Blessings to you too!

    JoLynne Lyon,

    That would be the perfect occasion for you. Dancing is so much fun and such a good body exercise! One should not give up one's desire for dancing.

    C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    I totally agree with your words on 'natural beauty' as opposed to 'fashion-dictated' beauty.
    Thanks for your kind remarks on my photos and for your comment in general.

  7. Wow, the Year just started and you already went to the first Bar Mitzvah?

    I hope you had a good time there, at least it looks nice from what I can see.

    About the blonde Angel, I think, whether you are orthodox or reform... she'S still a child so her bare shoulders shouldn't be that much of a problem.
    She's still an innocent child & I am glad no one made a fuss out of it.

    Btw, I don't think I ever asked you but, if you do not mind me asking of course, which jewish denomination you belong to? :)

  8. I have heard about this celebration-thanks for showing these pictures! Nice blond hair on the last picture:)

  9. Duta, first of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR...!

    the post is nice with interesting detail about the function. Bar Mitwa is new to us. The sisters are really beautiful. There nothing wrong in the dress of the girl...

    all the best...

  10. Interesting seeing this celebration. I agree with you about the bare shoulders. There is nothing wrong with modesty. We have so few traditions these days. Many defy rules and values and such.
    Cheers from Cottage Country Canada!

  11. P.S. I'm glad you found my snowy photos interesting!!!

  12. Pink Panthress,

    To answer your question- there are three streams in judaism:
    orthodox (strict observance of rules), reform (progressive - abandoned many traditions), conservative (orthodox, allowing some modernisation).

    I'm not religious in the organized sense of religion. I do observe, however, certain rules and traditions such as : fasting on the Atonement Day, not eating bread on Passover, saying certain prayers..


    You mean the girl's natural blonde hair. Everything about her is beautiful: face, hair, body.


    Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for the kind words.
    No, there's nothing wrong with the girl's dress, but religious people (orthodox mainly) won't agree with you.

  13. DUTA:

    First off: A very blessed and joyous 2012.

    What a way to start the new year - with lovely food and festivities. DUTA, I must tell you that I thought a lot about you when I watched the film MUNICH by Steven Spielberg. The festivities that you have mentioned remind me of some dialogues from that film. Have you seen that film?

    As I always say, reading your posts give us a peek into a culture we aren't familiar with. And, the girls are very beautiful and charming.

    Joy always,

  14. Lovely post of the Bar Mitzva ceremony. Looks you had a wonderful start to the New Year.The name Netanya rings a bell.Isn,t Benjamin Netanyahu the current Prime Minister of Israel?
    The two sisters and the young blonde girl all look gorgeous.
    Have a great & Rocking New Year.Warm Regards

  15. Wishing you Duta more and more happy travelling around and keep taken so beautiful pictures!!! Happy New Year!!

  16. Susan Deborah,

    A Happy New Year to you too!

    I'm afraid I haven't watched the film 'Munich', but I trust Spielberg's handling of things related to jewish topics.

    R. Ramakrishnan,

    Thanks for your kind words.
    Yes, you've got a good ear. The family name of our P.M. Netanyau - includes the word Netanya.

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    I greatly appreciate your Good Wishes for me.Thank you.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  17. This brought back some wonderful memories about my son's Bar Mitzvah.
    He is now 23 and just graduated college this past summer.
    My son's name is David.

    Wonderful post, Duta.
    I really enjoyed it very much.
    And some great pictures!

    Thank you!

  18. This was a beautiful place, like the tree pic...Unusual to have women and men so seperated

  19. A wonderful post! The surroundings were beautiful. I love learning about different traditions and areas. You were right about the beautiful women. They were stunning! And the younger blonde girl is cute, beautiful hair, making memories with her grandma! That's what it's about, the memories! Thanks for sharing Duta! Love your posts!
    until next time... nel

  20. Pink Panthress,

    You're welcome!


    Your son David had a Bar Mitzva celebration? That's wonderful. I wish him the very Best.


    The place was beautiful, the separation of men and women - less. On the whole, however, the evening was quite successful.


    Thanks for your kind words about my post and its content. Glad you liked it.

  21. Looks like so much fun Duta! My oldest son went to a friends Bar Mitzvah when he was in junior high school. It was the most amazing party he'd ever been too. He came home saying he wanted a Bar Mitzvah too!lol! It was definitely a huge production here in America. Very special for him.

    I love how you share such wonderful and interesting history with each and every post. I was amazed that they separated the party. Were the guests too, or is that somewhat normal?

  22. Well that was a real swanky place. Looks like everyone had a great time. All the girls were pretty.
    That is such a joyful event.
    Except for the boy who had a lot of learning to do.
    Happy New year Duta, a great event to start a new year.


  23. What a fascinating post. I think the setting was just beautifu! Thank you for sharing this special event with us. And yes, beautiful young ladies indeed! Happy New Year!

  24. Lisa Petrarca,

    So, your son wanted a Bar Mitzva too?! Nice of him.
    During an orthodox event such as a wedding or a bar-mitzva, the men and women of both guests and family are separated.

    La Petite Gallery,

    It seems you know a thing or two about bar-mitzvas. Indeed, the boy has a lot of learning to do.


    Thank you. The setting and the ladies were indeed beautiful.
    Happy New Year to you too!

  25. Excellent story. Gives us a real image of what happens around us. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Love real stories too!

  26. I love the way you let us enter the world of Duta and see and hear such wonderful events. I would think those two sisters would turn heads no matter where they were in the world. I would not fault the blonde for bare shoulders and arms because she is still a child and it was up to her Grandmother to teach her the rules. I tend to gravitate to male conversation so I would have been much out of place there. Peace and thanks again for letting us into your world. Peace

  27. Tanya Reimer,

    Thank you. It is indeed a real story/experience.

    Lady Di Tn,

    Exactly. It was up to the girl's Grandma to prevent the bare shoulders and arms.
    Thanks for all your kind words.

  28. Thankyou for sharing with me another slice of your life, Duta. Originally I was a bit put out about that partition separating the males from the females, but I think that the females probably had a better time without having the men around!

  29. Vera,

    I think you might be right about the women having a better time without men around them. There was a sense of feedom and lack of sexual tension in the air.

  30. Very nice photos and party my dear friend!!!
    Lovely people!
    Best regatds

  31. magda,

    Thank you.
    If you read my reply, please be informed that I'm unable to post comments on your blog and on three other blogs. I've tried all I could, but it didn't work. Don't know what to do.