The saying goes: If you put a dozen Rabbis in a room and asked them to study Torah they will return with thirteen opinions.
Although we are the least observant (and arguably the least religious) of all households Mr. G and I keep Jewish tradition alive by completely disagreeing on how we should observe and what the laws are.
Hanukkah with Mr. G is a kippa-less experience. This is fine, just put your hand over your head, but sadly Mr. G likes to recite the blessings completely wrong (this is a fact as he has the words wrong) and with the same “melody” as a cantor would. I say it’s blasphemy, he says it’s the spirit moving him. The children will have fond memories of Mommy kicking Daddy in the shins eight nights in a row. Just as Rockwell would have painted it if he wasn’t a goy.
Mr. G and I have taken to walking together in the afternoons whenever there is time. I have a few little loops that I enjoy and he’s begun to join me. Walks are wonderful and we talk in ways that we otherwise might not. We’ve begun to talk about Alexander’s Bar Mitzvah. I don’t think it’s necessary, Mr. G, who never misses an opportunity to tell the children that the Torah is a Jewish Fairy Tale, is certain that a Bar Mitzvah is a must.
A Bar Mitzvah seems like a monumental parental burden. In addition to thousands of dollars spent either on Hebrew School or private tutoring it’s a money suck. It’s also a time suck. When is Alexander supposed to have a little fun? My girlfriend just sent me an email explaining how her daughter is studying for her Bat Miztvah and it’s great preparation for studying for the bar exam. ACK.
So I’m walking and asking my husband why we have to do this. Why do we have to spend ten to twenty thousand dollars and two years of our son’s life on a Bar Mitzvah that will tell stories that we all know aren’t true? His answer was simple.
We’re Jews. This is what Jews do. It’s a cultural thing. When I was born I had my dick cut, I knew when my son was born he’d have his dick cut. I had to suffer through a Bar Mitzvah, and my son will too.
The next few years will be interesting.