View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, January 15, 2004

More Bar Mitzvahs

The more I think about this, the less I like it. Not hate it. Doesn't make me want to go out and invent some truly authentic Jewish ceremony involving pine trees and stars, or anything like that. A more sour Joshua would say something like, "Look, you've got yours, leave ours alone," and he'd have a point. Jews want to participate in America, and there are many more than enough secular holidays and traditions to go around. We like New Year's, Valentines, July 4, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving, along with the rest. You start wanting Bar Mitzvahs for your kids, you might not understand why I don't want a Channukah Bush in my house.

It's also a symptom of two religions that, in the public mind anyway, have lost their real significance. This isn't a matter of taking a pagan symbol and incorporating it into your religion. Both Christianity and Judaism have done that in their past. No, this is taking another religion's ritual, and without any intent to usurp, making it a secular event. It has no religious meaning for the adopting group, either. Honestly, I'm not sure what does. Religion is supposed to be about big things, like our relationship to the infinite, how to organize society. A bar or bat mitzvah is supposed to signify that the boy-turned-fountain-pen is now old enough to begin exploring those things.

I shoudl say that this is entirely unthreatening to Jews. But please, with all the Democratic candidates trying to show how Jewish they are, and now this, I'm beginning to feel like the flavor of the month.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory
help Israel
axis of weevils
contact us
site sections