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October 30, 2013 4:59 pm

Jewish Actress Lisa Kudrow Talks Anti-Semitism, Her Son’s Bar Mitzvah in Revealing Interview

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Lisa Kudrow in 2009. Photo: Wikipedia.

Jewish actress Lisa Kudrow opened up about her past experiences with anti-Semitism in a recent interview with the Saturday Evening Post, describing how in college she faced a dispiriting backlash because of her religion.

“In college there was more anti-Semitism than before college, because there were people who never met a Jew before. A friend of mine, when she found out I was Jewish, said, ‘Really? Oh, I don’t like Jews,'” she shared.

The actress, who shot to fame playing the capricious Phoebe on the TV show “Friends,” also recounted how she learned about her own family’s connection to the Holocaust during an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, a show that traces the genealogy of a selected participant.

“I took a lot of Jewish history classes and studied Hebrew for two years in college. But the striking thing to me is that while I studied it, I never applied it to my own family history. So I didn’t have to be burdened with the nightmare of what happened to people I knew. Then as I got older my grandmother told me it was Hitler who killed everybody in her family, and that’s the first time I came face-to-face with it. In my fully denial state of mind it was, ‘No, no, we’re not part of the Holocaust.’ But I learned we are,” Kudrow said.

Kudrow, who was bat mitzvah’d at her own choosing, told the story of how her own 15-year-old son, Julian, came to be bar mitzvah’d.

“My son sort of wanted a bar mitzvah, but it was a lot of work, and we didn’t belong to a temple. But then he was at the mall and two Hassidic Jews, I think they were Chabad-Lubavitch, they went up to him and asked, ‘Are you Jewish? Did you have a bar mitzvah?’ He said he was half-Jewish. They asked, ‘Your mother?’


“‘Great, come here, we’ll give you a bar mitzvah in 30 seconds.’ They did a ritual, took a picture. He was all by himself, and he had his own bar mitzvah.

“It was a drive-by bar mitzvah.”

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  • Ugh! In my experience, most of the Jewish people I have met have been greedy, arrogant, abrasive, self righteous hypocrites at best-known, and crooks at worst:) The Public perception of Jewish people as greedy is reality. I personally love the Jews, buf they need to stop using the Holocaust as an excuse to be arseholes and to discriminate in favor of their own kind :))

    • Mor

      im sorry you had such a bad experience but clearly you havent met enough ppl to make such a assumption so how bout you stop spreading your hateful words this is how antisemitism starts.. by ignorant ppl who think they know it all trying put things into “well spoken words” to get other idiots to listen and follow them .. what you just did was displayed nothing but false information and propaganda to those who aren’t aware … and holocaust isnt a reason to complain its a sad reality that the jewish nation faces every day .. do you know that the population of jews in israel is appx 6 million and do you know 6 million were murdered in the holocaust?? thats the same number of the entire state of israel. we will forever speak and remember so dont try to shut us up clearly your grand mother didnt loose all her siblings and parents… you should be ashamed of the way you are speaking about others

    • Linny

      Nothing like grouping millions of individuals and
      “Hating” them. Your ignorance is beyond reach.

      • Kristin

        It does no good to respond to someone that will speak so poorly against a group of people and then say they personally love them. You will never get through to them. They don’t get it. I have a different view on the subject. Raised Catholic, I have been married for over forty years to a Jewish man. Neither of us are religious, but that makes no difference. Somehow this makes it ok for many anti-Semites to tell me how awful “Jews” are…they always add…but not your Lee. Sick. Needless to say, I have had many useless arguments over the years, and few productive discussions along the way.

    • It would seem to me that people like you who go around using the initials Esq. are the real arseholes; narcissistic, self-important and typically without a valid thought at all. Nice labeling, you putz.

    • George Hunter

      My wife worked for a Jewish family and there thoughtful gift of $1000 to my wife was what allowed us to afford the extra required of us at the closing of our home. No “greed” in that family!!!

      And hey, Israel (mostly Jews) is the front line of the war on terrorism.

    • Andy

      You clearly are a real hick. After all the suffering the Jews endured, the last thing they need is to be ridiculed by some god darn hill billy PI or Criminal defense attorney. Get a life and a clue bozo!

    • Karin Korach

      How can you hate me? We don’t even know each other. Sad that you harbor such hatred. You can think I am greedy, arrogant, etc., based on your post you don’t seem so lovely either.
      What were you hoping to accomplish by this posting?

    • Deb

      I’m guessing some people say that about Armenians too, John.

    • ziporah bank

      And you call yourself a lawyer? I for one, would never use you as a lawyer. You’re completly snti-semetic. I didn’t say that, you say it, in your writing. You’re repeating exactly the Nazi propaganda. You’re probably jealous of the Jewish lawyers you come up again, the ones that win and wip your behibd! Your post says about you everything you just said about Jews! You’re arrogent, aggressive and hide behind your computer.
      You must be a very ineffective, inferior lawyer, since you don’t even bother to check the facts in evidance, about who the Jewish people are, and their contribution to humankind for the past 4,000 years. You sound ignorant, untrustworthy and and unreliable. Go find a life! That is probably not even your name…

    • David Sassoon

      You are calling us crooks and greedy? Is Elie Wiesel greedy, Steven Spielberg, Barbara Walters, Albert Einstein? Are any of these people greedy or crooks? That is just a very few of the Jews you call crooks who have contributed to humanity. What about Larry Page and Sergey Bin the founders of Google? Are they crooks too? Here is news flash you piece of trash, I served in the United States Marine Corps for 21 years including 3 tours in Iraq and 2 tours in Afghanistan. Where were you when the UK was bombed on 7/7? What did you do except being an ass with a pimple between your legs for a prick? Come and tell me that to my face and all the American and British Jews who fought for their countries and the families of those who died serving their countries, while you were living under the very freedom they provided for you.

  • In all of this it’s easy to forget the big picture. I’m an ex-christian studying Judaism and have come to the conclusion that anti-semitism only rears its head when the Jews are not doing what they were charged to do by HaShem.

    To keep the covenant.
    To be a light unto the Gentiles.

    It is this crucial to saving the world, the two points right there.

    It is a very dark world out here for us non-jews, we need to be led out of Egypt the same way that your ancestors were led from slavery from Egypt. How can any Jew congratulate him or herself when the Jews are not united themselves?

    Anti-semitism rears it’s head because the Jews are not fulfilling what is required for the world to be saved.

    The whole world hangs on you. You are the key. When you start to realise this then you might find the anti-semitism fall away because you will be doing the right thing.

    Us Gentiles wait.

  • Richard

    Maybe she should have married a man of her religion…wouldn’t that have made more sense? She comes from a mixes marriage and her son comes from a mixed marriage.

  • Trudi Goodman

    Hard to care knowing that she had a nose job because she thought she looked “ugly”-re Jewish. What a hypocrite.

    • Deb

      LOL wow what a stupid comment.

  • Shirah

    I think it’s FANTASTIC!!! …What that Chabadnick did for Lisa’s son:)In reality you don’t need to do anything except turn of age to become a Jewish man. (reading from the Torah and the party are just traditions) The boys study for the Barmitzva so that they will know what they’re doing reading from the Torah and take pride in being Jewish, oh and others do it for the party, but that is also pride in their background, faith and culture. In less than 5 minutes they gave that Jewish “man”, Lisa’s son, a new sense of pride in his identity as a Jew! AND That will always be with him and stay with him forever- AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Amazing how they touched him and her at their hearts with only a moment of effort on their behalves. (We can all see that being a Jew has nothing to do with a grand barmitzva party at all)

  • Suzy Armus

    My son had a secular Jewish upbringing with a typical Reform bar mitzvah with the party… but when he went on his birthright trip and was at the Wailing Wall, he was approached by Chabad and donned tefillin for the first time… now he feels he had his Bar Mitzvah right there and right then!!! My other son came to visit me and met my Chabad community and, lo and behold, he helps make a minyan and dons tefillin for the first time and tells me that it was a more spiritual experience than his first “Bar Mitzvah”…

  • If the story and comments in the Lisa Kudrow article are reflective of non-orthodox American Jewry, then Hitler has won a postmortem victory.

    My parents were not frum. (observant)I was taken to Shul three days a year, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. My Bar Mitzvah was held in a concentration camp.

    After the war I asked myself what I had to show for being a Jew – two and a half years concentration camp and PTSD? This was not good enough and 37 years of Shiurim followed.

    Your respondents in this article appear to be mostly American. I met many American Jewish servicemen in Europe after the war. I don’t know whether they were conscripted or had felt the need to combat the murder of their fellow Jews. Why risk and sacrifice your life only to prolong the limited lifespan of fellow Jews? What is its purpose if one does not also try to understand and perpetuate Jewish teaching and values?

    In a search for understanding the Shoah I have studied various religions without finding answers. But nowhere else did I encounter the beauty, profundity, menschiskeit or intelligence found in Judaism.

    Fobbing off Judaism with a perfunctory Bar or Bat Mitzva and then a fancy party with a sports theme amounts to depriving your Jewish child of his/her heritage and the pride that he or she ought to feel in being a Jew.

    It also does not equip the child with the knowledge and ability to counter the inevitable anti-Semitism that it is bound to encounter.

    Don Krausz.

  • I find the scope and content of these comments interesting, and on the whole, enlightening. So much to learn: thanks, everyone, for sharing.

  • I know someone who is a practicing Orthodox Jew today because someone came to him and gave him the opportunity to put on Teffilin in an unusual way. He was so surprised by the experience that he decided to look into the whole thing further. There is nothing profane about it. It sparks interest and curiosity in some people, and the grow from there. That is the point. Also, there is meaning in the act itself. For many, putting on Teffilin is a first encounter with their Jewish heritage. That it can be fun and unusual helps many people.

  • Lynne Boo

    a thirty second bar mitzvah/ pretty crass.

    • yehudit rachel

      A 30 second Bar Mitzvah is not crass, it actually is pretty long. Bar Mitzvah means you are of age to be responsible for your religious obligations. So it occurs exactly 13 years after the moment of one’s birth. At that moment. What is crass is the people who spend lots of money preparing a child for a Bar Mitzvah ceremony and fancy party and then never pay attention to religious obligations again.

      • Eric HaLevi

        Well put, Yehudit! Exactly right!

    • bz

      Hi. Nothing crass about it. 1. Turn 13 abd you are bar mitz. Parties and speeches aside. 2. Typically the bar mitz will be calked up to the torah to make a blessing, this marks the occasion. Everything else Is not required…
      now if your crass comment pertains to aslubg if mom or dad is jewish, orthodox jews, like the chassids that asjed this boy hold the mother determines the Judaism. It was a normal question. A konger conversation woukd have taken place if it w as dad who was jewish…

    • Not necessarily: I am a Jew. How long does it take to say that? Add witnesses, an affirmation of belonging, acceptance of the meaning of belonging and responsibility – perhaps not ideal, but I’d take that over some of these over-the-top affairs where the mitzvah gets buried under a mountain of trimmings

    • Hatzlacha

      You know what is crass? “Keeping up with the Goldashians” narcissistic affairs that cost more than a wedding! Bringing true meaning to the event can be done in a moments understanding. I know someone who put on teffilin at age 48 and decided in that moment to have a bar mitzvah. The experience had been so profound.

    • Hadara Zemel

      A little bit of a rush to judgment to call what happened to her son crass, don’t you think? I’m not a big fan of Lubavitch, but they have brought innumerable amounts of Jews back to the fold. Who knows what effect those thirty seconds might have in the boy’s lifetime? I’m an orthodox woman and I have no problem with any of this. What I do have a problem with is kids who learn how to say the blessing of the Torah and that’s it. Nothing connected to Judaism at all after that. And the parties that don’t have anything to do with this momentous occasion, and religious parents are guilty of this, too. What this boy had was the initiation into his role as a Jew minus the bells and whistles and $100,000 parties. I am very curious as to what your reasons were for calling it such, and what your background is.

    • A Bar Mitzvah is a person, not an event. Every Jewish boy who turns 13 is automatically a Bar Mitzvah. Same holds true for girls of 12. Holding a ceremony (reading from the Torah) is not required by Jewish law. However, putting Teffilin on is.

  • I got my bases covered

    In 1985 I was at loose ends. I was in transition. I had survived cancer and I knew that changes where imminent but I was not ready to make a move.
    I was walking down West Broadway several months after the radiation. I was back at work and back training. I looked and felt healthy.
    I happened to be wearing a big Star of David that my parents had bought me in Israel when they were on vacation. It was one of those distorted ones. Like big and stretched out. This older guy and his son, Lubovichers, Ultra Orthodox Jews, were coming my way on the street.
    The old guy had a beard and the son had the sideburns deal and the black clothes and the shawl with the fringe, the whole bit.
    The old guy stops me and asks, “Where did you get that?” He’s pointing at the star. I tell him and he turns to his son, “Looks like Goyum!”
    He wants to know am I a Jew, “Yeah, what else?” He wants to know was I Bar Mitzvah. I wasn’t even living at home when I was 13. I was busy getting laid and dropping acid.
    The old guy’s name is Simon and the son’s name is David. This guy makes it his mission to get me a Bar Mitzvah. Not that it really matters, but I hang out with these two and go along for the ride. People latch onto me, all my life.
    But first I got to convince the Rabbi at the Jewish Community Centre that I’m a Jew, because to some people I don’t look Jewish. These two guys, the father and son, hang out at a coffee shop on Broadway at Oak. One guy there asks me, “How do you know you are Jewish?” I ask him, “How do you know you are?” He’s telling me that he is Jewish because his family is and he always was and…
    I guess being a Jew doesn’t mean you got a lock on brains. These guys are telling me they got to be careful, because a black guy was coming around and pretending to be a Jew so he could fuck young precious Jewesses. Which, some big black dick might be just what the doctor ordered.
    Well, the Rabbi asks where my grandma is buried. I tell him I don’t know, somewhere in Brooklyn. In the Orthodox section no doubt. He asks if she kept separate plates. “Yeah, she was Kosher.” Finally I show him a picture my parents gave me. My dad has a full beard and looks like a Rabbi. My mom also looks Semitic. He turns the picture over and it says, “Happy Hanukah, 1975.” He’s sold! That’s enough. So the big day arrives and I wear my cheap double breasted suit and say a transliteration of Hebrew. It takes like five minutes and the Rabbi says, “Congratulations, you’re Bar Mitzvah.”
    Nine years later I was living in Vegas and my witness called me up. “I think it’s time for you to be baptized.” I figured maybe it might have an impact. Where’s the harm?
    I meet him at a big house out by McCarran Airport that had a big swimming pool. The house is owned by a Hispanic couple. He was a maître d’ at the Mirage and his wife was a blackjack dealer at the Excalibur. They were from the Church I had been going to. Nice people.
    So the pastor says some mumbo jumbo and dunks me under and it’s cold, it’s early spring and a plane flies overhead and that’s it. Not much changed. I had my religious experience in the desert a year prior and nothing was going to change that.
    I even tried Buddhism for a period of time. Do I have no convictions? I certainly have my bases covered. I actually think that a person’s relationship with God is as personal as it gets. I don’t really need the fellowship, and in fact I feel that I have to walk alone. But since I walk with God, God as I know him, I can’t be alone. I’m never alone.

    • RM

      I was raised Jewish in a “Reform” home. My father only set foot into a synagogue to be there for my bar mitzvah, although he was bar mitzvah himself when he was thirteen.. My Mother only learned to keep a kosher home when I married: my sweet little wife taught her, and my Mother gladly learned and was proud of her as “her daughter.” My first wife and I were believing, active members of a Conservative congregation. We sent our children to the local Solomon Schechter Day School, followed by a Akiba -the Hebrew high school. Both schools taught Judaism, its beliefs, rituals, history, practice, everything. Today both sons are active members of Orthodox congregations, one of their children is in the Israeli Army (the IDF), a second child is studying in Israel, a third is involved in her congregation, knows fluent Hebrew, and is active in her congregation. (P.S. She’s also beautiful, smart as can be, and about to go into the law, and eventually join my son, her father, into his law practice…(so beware…if she sues you, she’ll mop up the floor with ya!)

      Could I ask for more? I’ll see them when I go to my son’s home for Thanksgiving. BELIEVE ME, I WILL BE GIVING THANKS TO G-D FOR MY BLESSINGS!!!

      I’m retired from my business in the food industry, living in Florida, watching my blessed family prosper. Can I ask for more?

      It all starts IN THE HOME. Jews encourage reading, love study and learning for its own sake, and respect if genuinely, in others, and in all religions. Jews aren’t afraid of the Christian faith: we are proud that Jesus was one of ours…a famous Jew-boy who taught people to follow the faith of their fathers. He never dreamed of starting a religion: He only wanted to bring non-believing, non-observant Jews back to the fold. Maybe He overdid it, or people got carried away, but still, the Pope still wears a yarmulke!…so He can’t be far from the original faith!! He probably keeps kosher!!! I mean, honestly: can you imagine the Pop eating p0ork chops, or a ham sandwich??? Naaaaaaaaaa…i can’t believe it!

      • avalina

        So what is next? Keep the covenant – then reach out into the world.

        You will never know how much the world needs to be led out of Egypt by the Jews, just the Jews were led from Egypt themselves by G-d’s mercy.
        Anti-semitism rears it’s head because the Jews are not reaching out to the world. The law must be observed by Jews but do you not see how much the world needs law right now too? The rest of the world is floundering while the Jews are not even a united people.

        Us G-d Fearers are waiting, waiting to be shown the way.
        You were charged to be a light to the Gentiles.

        By the way, I’m not anti-semitic, I am currently studying Judaism and I know it is the key to saving the world.

    • ” But since I walk with God, God as I know him, I can’t be alone. I’m never alone.”

      I like that, Jesse.

    • It’s a sad commentary that you feel the way you do. No one has taken the time to teach you they just look at you as a number.” Hey I got another one.” (convert to my religion)

      Religion doesn’t work like that. I sense a lot of resentment in your life. Take time to find out about your religion, the one you were born into. Take time to study the beauty of the heritage and the traditions that involve from being Jewish.

  • Michael W

    Unfortunately, in the United States, Bar Mitzvah has become a commemoration of the conclusion of one’s formal education. In truth, it should only be the beginning of one’s education, which is why there appears to be confusion about what took place. While it would have been wonderful had the boy known the proper Brachot for putting on tefillin, these Jewish men showed him the proper way it should be done. Obviously it was meaningful to the family, otherwise she would not have repeated the story.

  • Jenny P

    The title escapes me, but I saw Lisa Kudrow in a movie role of a divorced and disgruntled doctor and mother whose ex-husband’s new wife had lost a baby at 2 weeks old. Lisa Kudrow in the movie told her little 8 year old son that according to Jewish law, it didn’t matter because the baby wasn’t a person until it reached a certain number of months. I didn’t care for that because, first, I had a reform Rabbi tell me a child’s life trumps a mother’s life if it could live outside of the womb, and B, because things like that, promote hatred toward Jews. I know it was the script writers who created the lines of the movie…but ignorant people hear stuff like that in a movie and run with it and then we Jews receive the backlash of Jew-hatred.

    • bz

      Um, I don’t know why the rabbi told you that. Actually, the mother’s life trumps…

      • Mel

        Many messy anics impersonate Reform rabbis. Naive Jews (and ignorant gentiles) make easy targets. Those who believe in nothing will fall for anything!

  • DR

    What a beautiful story. Mazal Tov!

    • Mazal tov! That is achdut, great, that’s the way to be true Jews. I had kind of similar situation many years ago. I didn’t know much about Judaism, only the basics like lighting candles on Shabath and after Chabad of Brentwood I began to learn more, and now we are Ortodox Jews.

  • Momma N

    Aron, a bar/bat mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony. One becomes a bar/bat mitzvah by merely turning the age or 12(girls) or 13(boys). For a boy the bar mitzvah is when he officially becomes a man and is accepted as part of the minyan while dovening and puts on tefillin for the first time. Having a great big celebration is wonderful and most people commemorate this experience with a big party, religious or not, but the emphasis is on him being able to now put on tefillin every day for the rest of his adult life. Chabad-Lubavitch bochrim, or boys in Yeshiva before they’re married, want to aid other men in the mitzvah of laying tefillin. It is never meant to be coarse, the body is merely the vessel in which the souls lies. The souls craves the mitzvah while the body must be taught. It is more important to do the mitzvah and then understand it, just as all Jews said when accepting the Torah on Mount Sinai “We will do ( we will keep Your mitzvoth), and we will learn (and then we will learn the details and meanings)”. It is the mere act of the mitzvah that binds us to G-d our creator, and then it is our job to connect, learn and love all the Mitzvoth and see them as our direct link to our creator and His supernal will.

  • Aron Bally

    How these people make a bar mitzva within 30 minutes??!! There should be a lot of learning in order to pass this procedure, you surely know!
    If they offered him to prepare for the one of the most important events of a Jewish boy it is OK , but the way it is described it makes the Bar Mitzva profane!!

    • Actually bar mitzvah is a stage and not a ceremony/party. All they did was welcome him to that stage by putting on tefillin- a really holy mitzvah one can only go once they reached that stage. She just made it sound low but really it’s amazing that they zoomed in on this opportunity by using that line. Chabad offers lessons and the proper ceremony for those that can and will…. But for those that won’t they give them an awesome opportunity of doing this great mitzvah any way they can convince them:)

    • Lynne T

      Agree. These “outreach” guys are almost as creepy as Scientologists when it comes to trying to lure in new members and render the faith ridiculous by “performing” a serious rite like that.

      • Chana

        Lynne T, you’re not seriously implying that a Jewish boy is not a member of our faith!?

      • Cooki M.

        I don’t think Chabad tries to “lure” people and while it may seem strange for someone to approach you on the street, it really isn’t “creepy”. I think Chabad feels that every Jew should have the opportunity to say a blessing or somehow experience something Jewish in their life and many people are quite happy for the opportunity. Usually it brings back a memory from their childhood, a grandparent, and they connect with this memory in a positive way. Intermarriage has resulted in people losing any connection at all to Judaism and Chabad fills this need.

      • No not at all . They don’t redicule it- they show the true holiness which is the deed itself (tefillin) and not the ceremony ($). They are just zooming in to the true message for those that have only one moment. You won’t get any ‘nonsense’ with chabad:)

      • Leah

        I know some Chabad folks, and they are very serious, dedicated, and spiritual. They believe in the power of the act, of the mitzvah itself, and that the doing of the mitzvah will have an effect on the person who does it. So from that point of view, it was not at all profane. In fact, much less profane than many of the overdone, super-expensive ceremonies and parties in which the bar/bat mitzvah kid has memorized their part and gets no real training in Jewish tradition. What you see (and judge, apparently), on the outside may be far different from what’s really happening. Meet and talk to some Chabad people before you judge. Most of the ones I’ve met are warm, caring, and deeply dedicated.

      • While from a superficial perspective it is easy to call them “creepy” and compare them to other religions which may fit that criteria, it must be noted that members of Chabad do not fit into the general mold of religious outreach. For one, their outreach is only directed towards people who are, according to Judaic law, Jews. In fact, proselytism is legally forbidden in Judaism. Also, it seems as though you do not fully understand what a bar mitzvah actually is. A bar mitzvah ceremony is not necessarily adding on any more religious responsibility than was already there; it is more of an acknowledgement of the existence of Judaically legal responsibilities, however those may be interpreted. If they hadn’t been there to offer the experience, he most likely would not even have known that it was something he *could* do, and therefore would not have benefited from it. That is the mission of Chabad: to spread religious fulfillment to Jews everywhere, no matter what level of observance or belief one is on.

      • Gavin

        Faith is rendered ridiculous when comments are made by people who have no idea of what they are talking about.

        This promotes misconceptions and causes people to think the religion is something that it isn’t!

        A bar mitzva isn’t a “rite,” it is an age, and a Jewish boy is bar mitzva whether he knows about it or not!

        These “outreach” guys, do a wonderful job of correcting the misconceptions of people who were not lucky enough to have a Jewish education.

        Chabad aren’t “creepy,” they are different (I suppose that to some, that’s creepy) and they do a wonderful job!

    • Marc Arazi

      not really the boy is 15 its long overdue. now the onus is on the parents if they want to continue the mitzvah like sending him for some Hebrew lessons, Jewish and Torah education, and a nice party. And thanks to the yeshiva boys he discovered his Jewishness and his people

    • Gavin

      The literal translation of the term “bar mitzva,” is “the age of mitzva!”

      A boy becomes bar mitzva (strictly speaking) when he starts to grow pubic hair, I stand to be corrected, but I think when he has 2 pubes!

      There is no learning needed, it is simply his age, likewise, he just “passes!”

      The bar mitzva signals the age at which a boy becomes a “man,” i.e. becomes obligated to keep the precepts of the Jewish faith.

      What is profane, sadly, is the total lack of knowledge about this issue. It seems that Chabad has a lot more work to do!

    • Peter Salamon

      Who are you to pass judgment on what is and what is not profane? God works in many mysterious ways, and if this child felt he needed a bar mitzva, he got his wish… the ceremony is just that… a ceremony. A jew is bar mitzva when becomeing 13 years of age, ceremony or not…

    • I believe he just put on tefillin, phylacteries.

  • Mike P.

    It would be nice if she informed her son that the purpose of a Bar Mitzvah is to know Jewish law and history and offer him the opportunity to actually learn it. One can’t realistically expect a 15-year-old to know enough about the world, and its range of values, to make that choice without encouragement and support.

    • Gavin

      There is no “purpose” of a bar mitzva, it just is.

      It is the age when a boy becomes a “man” and now becomes liable for his own sins (as opposed to his father) – it’s always a good idea to know what you are getting into, hence all the learning that secular boys are given when they approach this age.

  • Andrea

    It’s a bit hard to imagine people at Vassar who never met a Jew before. However, thanks a lot to the “liberal” professor there who convinced my son (and who knows how many other students) that the Palestinians are victims of Jewish oppression. For the record, I’m pretty liberal myself, but that doesn’t mean I like terrorists and anti-Semites.

  • dina


    • Chabadnik

      G-d rules the world, the Rebbe was a saintly man who made bringing Moshiach his life’s work.

      The Rebbe does not rule the world, and a quick read of the Rambam, along with an observation of the world around, will explain why !

      I think the Rebbe and his family turning in their graves, oh, I forgot, there aren’t any bodies there!

    • I think you have major confusion in your belief in Judaism if that is what you think you are observing because your comment is way off from actual Judaism. First of all Hashem is “rulling the world” not the Rebbe. Believing that anything else controls the world is heresy. Second “THE REBBE FROM CHABAD” as you put it is not alive he died on 3rd of Tammuz, June 12, 1994. Sorry to break this sad piece of news to you.

      • Gavin

        Well said Devorah, there are those that have drawn parallels between this issue, and the start of the Xian faith !

  • I understand what you were going through. My parents were Holocaust Survivors and both survived the war. Even today there is so much anti-Semitism going around New York, for instance I was at Marshalls and some women came up to me and asked me if I was jewish and realized even with her education that she was ignorant, my response to her was not all jewish women wear long skirts and that she should be careful what she says as a doctor before she looses her job. We must remember to be proud on who we are and embrace being jewish even if we do not look or act it. We should never allow another Hitler ever to strike again.

  • Lorraine Aronowitz

    “Bat Mitzvah’d”? It is not a verb.