It was the epitome of joy and accomplishment. The bar mitzvah boy was the center of attention, multicolored lights shining all around, pubescent boys and girls flirting and dancing, party favors being handed out, and the latest pop music shaking everyone’s eardrums. I was leaning tentatively against a wall in the back, shaking my head in disbelief, jealousy, and sorrow, watching the kids raucously dancing and participating a variety of games. Seeing what I missed out on because of my rigid childhood depressed me immensely. Since I began to distance myself from the Orthodox world in the past couple of years, I have spent much time bitterly believing that I was robbed of a childhood, that I would rather have grown up like everyone else instead. This Conservative bar mitzvah was only confirming what I’d been feeling.
“Torah Lights” – Vayetze 5778 - “A Scholar and a Fighter” Rabbi Riskin continues his discussion of Isaac’s blessing to Jacob, Parshat Vayetze Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
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