The Bar Mitzvah Boy’s Revenge
Some people — and not all of them anti-Semites — like to claim that Judaism is a religion replete with cruel customs and rules. Usually these people single out circumcisions and kosher butchering, but there’s one custom, arguably the cruelest of them all, that they for some reason seem to pass by in silence.
I’m of course referring to the Bar Mitzvah speech.
i can’t think of anything quite as sadistic as to force a thirteen-year-old to stand up in front of a whole shul full of friends, family and strangers in order to deliver a little speech on that week’s reading. Not only do these young men generally suffer from all the anxieties and voice-altering hormonal imbalances that make those early adolescent years such a nightmare — they also know next to nothing about Torah. That, in turn, makes the whole experience insufferable also to the congregation that is forced to listen to it.
In light of this, I can’t resist linking to this clip that I found while reading Heeb Magazine.
Entry filed under: Judaism.