These days, people alter their names for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are getting married or divorced, they wish to assume a stage name, they want to correct their name, or they simply don't like their name. Some but not all of these cases represent a change in status.
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.
Aside from a date, what can these two events possibly have in common? Strange as it may seem, there are a few points of comparison.
One of the great paradoxes of being an American Reform Jew who chose to make aliyah (move to Israel) is that the whole concept of majority and minority is turned on its head. One the one hand, as a Jew, I am culturally and ethnically now part of the majority.