I tutor seven or eight kids a year for their bar mitzvah ceremonies, and consequently I attend a lot of parties. In fact, it’s become my husband’s and my main source of dates, since both hiring a sitter and paying to go out is rare splurge for us. Attending these events, I’m often reminded of how grateful I am to be raising my daughters in a small, haimish, community. There are almost never themes or t-shirts (do they still do these in other cities, or am I showing signs of age?) and never, ever, the “sexy bar-mitzvah dancers” I’ve heard about from my friends in the city. The most popular venue in our town for the parties is the Elks club, the typical entertainment is our local klezmer band, and nothing about the food and drink is opulent. (Sometimes I wish it were a little more kosher, but that’s another post….) Last night we attended a celebration in the bat-mitzvah’s back yard under a tent. In the middle of havdalah the sky opened up and starting pouring rain in biblical proportions. The guests, young and old, shot into gear, moving tables, running food into the house, helping musicians shlep their gear, and generally laughing about our muddy feet and soggy hair, while we sang and danced into the night.
It’s quite a contrast to this piece, which I read last week on Facebook, courtesy of my friend Jess. Seriously, how has it come to this?