Apr24 Menachem’s Upsherin 2015

 I am really loving this celebration of Jewish boy moving into childhood. The culture and tradition behind this celebration is so beautiful, and the party itself is very tasteful and classic. All around a really fun and unique celebration that we are lucky enough to take a peak into.
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Here’s Yael, “I’m excited to show you pictures of our dear Menachem’s Upshernish (Upsherin) — his third birthday and first haircut! Planning a big event five days before Passover was too big a feat for me, since Passover entails a lot of work and preparation in our household. Thus, I opted for something small in our back yard. On his third birthday a Jewish boy begins wearing both a kippah and tzitzit (fringes). Thus, I chose a black and white theme or the party (as tzitzit are black and white). Since the party took place in our backyard, I planned on having no chametz (leavened food), so as to prevent crumbs from trickling into the house, which at this point was mostly ready for Passover. So the menu consisted of: flourless chocolate cake, served as is, as well as in a trifle with whipped cream; parve mini cheesecakes (no crust) with melted chocolate drizzled over them; merengues (regular and mini); marshmallows dipped in chocolate; popcorn (kitniot and not technically chametz); aleph bet shaped chocolates (we made those with melted chocolate and these molds); merengue with chocolate “lollypops;” and strawberries dipped in chocolate.
In the pictures you see the Aleph Bet chart, a bottle of honey, a bag of coins and a charity box. Let me explain… Three years old is when the “formal” education of a child begins. We want to communicate to the the child, who will now begin “formally” learning Torah, that learning Torah is sweet. We do this by pouring honey over the letters (on top of the frame) and the boy can lick the honey as he recites letter by letter. (Some also have the custom to throw candies at the young boy, to emphasize this idea of Torah being sweet.) In our family we also have the custom that the boy should says some or all of the 12 verses of Torah; and of course he gives tzedakah (charity), as do all those who approach to snip his hair.So what’s with the hair? We cut the boy’s hair for the first time on his third birthday, educating him on the mitzvah of leaving the peyot (side locks). He also begins wearing his kippah and tzitzit as I mentioned here. In a nutshell, it’s a day of transition between the baby stage and entering childhood. Now, since we’re getting spiritual, I’ll also add that the G-dly soul of a Jew enters the body in stages: at birth, then at three years old, and finally at the age of Bar and/or Bat Mitzvah. It is this that makes our son’s third birthday extraordinary — a very special day for a Jewish family!”
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