For children, traditions and rituals are significant; they provide predictability, support, and familiarity, while bringing families together and creating unity and a sense of belonging.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that it can be difficult to be Jewish at Christmas time. It has seeped into North American cultural consciousness so thoroughly that South Park even wrote a song about it, complete with trademark expletives.
The events of my son’s bar mitzvah day don't begin to tell the story of how Max arrived at that moment.
Although my 13th birthday was in August of 1974, I became bat mitzvah in June of that year because my parents didn’t want me to worry about studying while at Camp Ramah in the Poconos over the summer.
Let’s start with a little historical context.