but I'll try to make you feel like you didn't miss an incredibly proud moment (I am sure there will be many more) in our daughter's life.
Brief background: From the day we brought our daughter home (at 10 days old) we put her to bed singing the Sh'ma. It's the prayer that translates into "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" and then the V'ahavta that talks about loving God and performing mitzvot. These are the core prayers of Jewish Tradition.
We send her to a "public" daycare where her 3 best buddies are all of different races and backgrounds giving her a daily look at the world in mini size. We attend Shabbat services almost every Saturday morning and celebrate Shabbat at home (albeit irregularly over the last 2 years until our son arrived in December!)
Hadarya LOVES going to services and being at the synagogue. This past Friday morning we asked her "What is tonight?" and her answer was "it's Shabbat!" When we picked her up at daycare her first words were "Go to synagogue tonight, Ima? Wanna where dress, tights, and underwear, k?" How can you say no to that?
This morning we also went to services as usual and arrived a little later than normal. I was asked to lead the torah service and took H with me to the bimah. She wanted down out of my arms fairly quickly to only reach up to try to see at the douchan. The Rabbi quickly knew that she wanted to stand next to me on her own and brought her a chair. She wanted her own book to lead the service with me and insisted on the big chumash that contains the torah and haftorah portions.
After the ark was opened, the torahs were taken out, and I told her that it was almost time to say the Sh'ma. She started to sing it right away and I told her to wait. The torah scroll holders turned around and the ark was closed. The leader then recites the Sh'ma and the congregation repeats it. I said to H that it was time for the Sh'ma and with all the poise and charm and sweetness she possess, she chanted the Sh'ma (Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad) into the microphone for the entire congregation to hear!!! It was amazing! Then the congregation repeated it. I was so amazed and in awe of my little love and her abilities.
This evening she sang it again and again, but this time she added the 2nd line for the torah service: Echad Elohenu Gadol Adoinanu, Kadosh Shmo. Obviously being in the environment on a consistent basis makes a huge difference. We are doing something right!
Maybe the Rabbi will give her a spot next week too!