Like their counterparts the millennials, the modern crop of Brooklyn parents can be counted on to ruin just about anything. they get their hands on. Unlike millennials though, Brooklyn parents actually ruin things, like bar and mitzvahs, as the Wall Street Journal found out this weekend. Not only do they dispense with the years of effort necessary in forcing their children to go to Hebrew school, they don’t even have a temple to hold it at where weird old people your grandparents know but you don’t will corner you and tell you what a great job you did. A shonda for the goyim, I tell ya.
If you’re not Jewish, you probably stopped reading by the time I broke out the Yiddish. Which is fine, nothing in the world is more mystifying than Jews publicly arguing who’s betraying their ancestors from the shtetl. I’m still gonna do it right now though, because my grandfather’s Brooklyn bar mitzvah sure as shit was still held with a healthy fear of the generally angry God that we find in the Torah. Today though? Look at this:
To prepare her daughter for her big day, Shari Pascarosa of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens hired a Chinese wellness practitioner and acupuncturist who taught Torah studies on the side.
A DAMN ACUPUNCTURIST? You don’t get an acupuncturist to make sure your precious angel of a child is feeling alright while they struggle to read an ancient language in its most confusing form. You stick them with the old cantor (or fine, the young one if that’s who’s available) and have them haltingly learn both in person and from old cassette tapes. You don’t hold the ceremony at home or at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a rented rabbi, you stick the kid on the bimah where he awkwardly interacts with the rabbi who’s known him his whole life and has suffered teaching the increasingly irreverent little wise ass through years of Hebrew school.
I mean look, it’s all made up anyway, but if you’re going to insist on going forward with the tradition, at least make the slightest effort and make them sit through a few Shabbos and high holiday services at your local shul. This modernizing, splitting the difference thing with no immersion into weird archaic Jewish things until the last possible second is nothing but a cop out. If you’re gonna do that, you’re better off telling the kid she’s not having a bat mitzvah because there’s no god and just be done with it.