Bar Mitzvah lessons

Laini’s Bat Mitzvah is scheduled for March 7, 2009. This year at her Hebrew School, all 6th grade families have to go to regular meetings and events focused around our kids’ big day that will happen next school year. Oy gevalt.

Last night, the meeting was a movie night and we all watched Keeping Up With the Steins. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a cute, likeable comedy about the “true meaning of a Bar Mitzvah.”

There’s one small section where the young hero’s best friend gives him advice on how to make it though his Haftorah without getting nervous. He tells him when he’s up there on the beemah, he should reach in his pocket and squeeze his balls. Later, during the Bar Mitzvah, you see the boy really nervous and fumbling the words but then he suddenly gets his confidence and completes the prayer beautifully. The camera pans to the beaming parents and relatives and then to the boy as he removes his hand from his pocket and his friend gives him a knowing thumbs up. Ha ha snicker snicker. Wasn’t exactly the kind of humor I like sharing with my kids, but oh well.

After the movie, our Rabbi led a discussion with the kids about what they learned from the movie. They talk about it being more important to love your family than the party. They talk about how you can get really over the top with the party and that’s not right. You don’t need to have a theme for your Bar/Bat Mitzvah party. Yadda yadda.

Then one of Laini’s 11 year-old classmates earnestly and sincerely pipes up with the line of the night…

“I learned I should wear pants with pockets.”