I mentioned yesterday that I read Haftorah and chanted two of the aliyot from the Torah. The truth is, I was able to do this, in large part, due to a friend’s 14 year old. As Jewish sources point out, “And they shall be lead by the youth”.
Last year I spent a good portion of the time, approximately one hour a week, tutoring a friend’s daughter for Bat Mitzvah. While I worked with her, I also learned. In fact, she wanted to be able to read the entire sedrah on her own (the go with the triennial cycle) and ultimately she was able, she did just that. Still, I felt since it was a bit ambitious (especially for their shul), she should have someone ready to back her up, just in case. She did not need it (and I am not surprised), but I figured I would back her up.
As a result, I learned what she was reading fairly well. Yes, I was out of practice as this year rolled around, since I had not read any of it since I worked with her, but I started looking it over and a lot came back.
So, I really need to praise my friend and his daughter for helping me learn the Torah reading and the Haftorah reading. It is the drive and determination of the youth, it is their ability and desire, that certainly is one of the most exciting aspects about Judaism.