For some reason, at the time that I wrote this, this Bar Mitzvah Speech video was nearing 170 000 hits.
As a speech writer I am both saddened and outraged to hear this Bar Mitzvah boy talk. However, I do not blame the Bar Mitzvah boy himself, for the feelings that he has which are totally legitimate!
Every person, every Jew, is entitled to question and to search for answers. Every person has a right to express their doubts! It is certainly reasonable that in one’s early teens, when one is searching for self identity, role models and – lets admit it – rebelling against societal givens, that one is highly critical of the institutionalized and societal structure that religion often represents.
However, IMHO, it is a major failure of the Jewish Establishment, which has not been able to give this boy ANY sort of profound Jewish experience – in whatever form it may be – Jewish camp, Jewish school, Sunday school, youth group, maccabi games, Bar Mitzvah project, JCC etc…!
But more so, I blame the parents of the Bar Mitzvah boy, who think they do not need to search for a Jewish outlet that will be meaningful to him, and to help him connect him with his Jewish identity and the destiny of his nation at the critical time of his Bar Mitzvah. I also blame his smirking Bar Mitzvah teacher/Rabbi who clearly gave up on this boy and should have known better!!
Within the wide world of Judaism there ARE answers, and there IS a place for everyone, and it is a bar mitzvah boy’s and bat mitzvah girl’s right – not privilege- to have parents, educators and youth leaders that will help to guide them to the Jewish arena where they will feel at home.
At YouJewishSpeech.com, we provide a meaningful Jewish experience to every Jew, not matter what their political, religious or ideological persuasion may be! We are proud that our Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah clients tell that that we contributed to making their occasion so special and unforgettable!