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March 16, 2006 - Image 116

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-03-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ce ete L ra tt

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1.To perform (a ritual, ceremony, etc.) publicly and formally; solemnize
2. to commemorate (an anniversary, holiday, etc.) with ceremony or festivity
3. to honor or praise publicly
4. to mark (a happy occasion) by engaging in some pleasurable activity.

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going down towards the floor for
've happily covered
a little nap.
the first three defini-
The next thing I remember, I
tions of the word as
was in another room, lying on a
part of my job.
couch and every Jewish doctor
But I'm all over defini-
in Flint, including my dentist,
tion 4 - it sounds more
checking me over. By the time I
like a day off to me.
made it back to the sanctuary, I
Happy events usually
Harry Kirs baum had missed the rest of the
come with drawn-out
Staff Wr iter
rabbi's speech.
speeches, overcooked food
I learned later that he didn't
and not enough bar-
miss a beat when I went to the
tenders.
ground. I'm sure he appreciated my
We've all celebrated various things in
gesture, because it woke up the back
various ways with various results.
row.
They're like dating. You either have a
good date, or a great story.
The Big Party
Take my bar mitzvah. Please.
That night, we returned to the shul
for the party, and my parents adjusted
April 6, 1968
to the assassination situation on the fly.
Two days after the death of Martin
Less than a year had
Luther King Jr., I found
passed since the Detroit
myself standing in our
riots and my parents
sanctuary located in a
hired security guards to
black neighborhood in
patrol the parking lot.
Flint.
They also convinced the
There I was, on the
Detroit band they hired
most important day in
to travel to Flint, with
my young Jewish life. I
the promise that they
stood in front of my
would be put up in a
Jewish community — all
hotel that night. Detroit
72 pounds of me — to
was under a nighttime
listen to the wisdom of
curfew.
our spiritual leader.
I don't remember the
Our rabbi shared his
name of the band, but it
thoughts on this tragic
The bar mitzvah boy
was a quartet or some-
event — MLK's assassi-
in 1968
thing, and they had
nation, not my entry into
sparkly sport coats and
manhood — with a rapt
they played the stan-
crowd of people in the
dards.
first four rows. The rest
This was a few years before old-peo-
of the room seemed unattentive.
ple bands introduced the song Proud
I was just dizzy. Maybe it was the
Mary as, "now a little something for the
stuffiness, the long sermon, or maybe it
young people," so there was nothing for
was the undisclosed half pill my moth-
us. Just some rubber chicken and seven
er gave me that morning "to settle me
layer cake.
down."
Life was tough back then, but we
Halfway through the sermon, I found
kids dealt with it the best we could.
myself losing the feeling in my legs and

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According to Webster, "celebrate" is not a newspaper insert; it's not even a noun:

Bar Mitzvah
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