After a long day in the Tri-Cities of Washington State, we were looking forward to meeting the entire Babad family. Upon our arrival at the Babad house, we were warmly greeted by one of the daughters. They really appreciated our visit, and we had a very nice discussion about numerous Judaic concepts. The patriarch of the family, Mr. Babad, happens to be a world-renowned chemist. We were enthralled by his many fascinating stories regarding his experience with the Hanford Project, which pertained to nuclear warfare.

At one point, Mr. Babad looked at us and said that he had never had a bar mitzvah. He had not felt ready to put tefillin with last summer’s Roving Rabbis, but would he was up to doing so now. He was thrilled to hear that by putting tefillin on for the first time, he could become a bar mitzvah (albeit without chopped liver or a brass band).

The issue is that tefillin are worn only during the day. A quick glance at a watch confirmed that it was too late for that day. The family asked us to come back the following day to celebrate the seventy-five-year-old’s bar mitzvah.

As we were getting ready to leave their house, we spoke to them about the amazing mitzvah of having a mezuzah on the front door of the house. With great excitement, the entire family gathered around to watch Mr. Babad say the blessing and place a mezuzah on the doorpost.

The next day we came back to the house to put tefillin on Mr. Babad and his grandson, Joshua. We then sat down to a celebratory lunch that we had prepared.