Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


I’m an adult now

Filed under : Judaism
On May 30, 2007
At 4:55 pm
Comments : 24

And now, a post to distract myself from all the new interns walking around here in their “I didn’t realize they dressed down at record labels” suits and ties. Since this past weekend was my niece’s Bat Mitzvah, I thought I’d clarify the B-Mitz concept for those who got their knowledge of Judaism from the Krusty the Clown episodes of the Simpsons (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

So let’s explore some of the myths that surround this event.

1. You’re not Jewish unless/until you have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Oh sweet fancy Moses, no. First off, the B-Mitz (abbreviation not found in the Talmud) is like a birthday. Whether or not you have a slick party, it happens and you reach that milestone (as someone who hates parties but likes birthdays, I’m grateful). And second, being Jewish happens at birth or conversion and no party or milestone is going to change that. The Reform do now consider a Jewish upbringing to help your Jewishness if you have only a Jewish father but the other denominations don’t accept that and even for the Reform it’s new.

2. A Bar/Bat Mitzvah happens when you’re 13.

Actually for girls it’s 12 (and a day) but people whose kids go to Hebrew School don’t realize that the school has tricked them into continuing their daughters’ Jewish education for an extra year. Bonus! Not that your Jewish education is supposed to end when you reach the age of responsibility anyway, but since many people do treat it as merely training for the B-Mitz, Hebrew Schools were forced to use desperate measures.

3. When you hit B-Mitz age you’re a man! Or a woman! (depending on your chromosomal structure)

Kind of. It’s actually the age when you’re responsible for fulfilling mitzvot (commandments, not good deeds – another frequent misunderstanding). And it’s the age when if you don’t do the right thing, it’s on your head and not your parents’. So think of that before you leave nasty messages on your friends’ MySpace pages, Jewish tweens.

4. Unless you have a giant event with a “theme” you don’t really love Judaism.

Actually, the theme is supposed to be Judaism. The rest shows you love parties. Yes, I could rant on and on about this but I’m sure everyone knows what I mean. If you had a giant theme event, I’m not mad atcha or anything, especially if I ate a lot of sushi there. But I was probably snickering behind my maki rolls.

5. $36 is a good gift because it’s cheaper than $40.

Technically, that is an excellent thing for the gift-giver, but it’s more because multiples of 18 are considered positive as the letters/numbers that make up the number 18 spell “chai” (life, not tea).

So now you know, mazal tov! Should you have any other Bar/Bat Mitzvah questions, please feel free to comment.

Title comes from the excellent song by The Pursuit of Happiness, sadly not available on Napster.


Look, I’m watching the Nalbandian match!

Filed under : Tennis,The Internets
At 10:50 am
Comments : 5

What, you didn’t think they were showing it on TV, did you? Hell, maybe they are but I don’t get the Tennis Channel at work. But let’s face it, they’re probably not. This method is just so fulfilling, though, isn’t it? And as you can see, Nalby just won a point on his own serve! Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

Live blogging updates:

Rain delay! Merde.

Ack! They started again and I didn’t notice! Just in time to catch Nalby winning a game, however. Here’s the exact second, captured for posterity.

Match Point.

2:04 pm
Wow, great match. What thrills! Those numbers changing back and forth really held my interest. Thanks!