Most adults claim they would never want to be 13 again.
But what if they were 13 just for a day and with the wisdom of their years intact? That would be cool.
What if people showered them with gifts? Very cool.
And even if they had to keep the gray hair and liver spots, it would still be pretty darn cool.
Jewish men — of the baby boomer generation and older — are doing just that. Generations of fathers and grandfathers have sat in the pews failing spectacularly at hiding their pride as their 13-year-old sons and grandsons read from the Torah as part of their bar mitzvah ceremony. In the Jewish faith, boys are considered responsible enough to adhere to Torah commandments at age 13. Torah commandments, yes. Saturday night curfews, not so much.
These days, the roles are reversing as fathers and grandfathers stand on the bimah and their sons and grandsons watch from the congregation as older men tackle the ancient musicality of Hebrew Scripture.
"This is grandchildren celebrating their grandfathers, rather than the grandfathers celebrating the grandsons," said Shlomo Bistritzky, a rabbi at Chabad of Oak Park.
The avuncular 42-year-old Brooklyn native finds more older Jews seeking the bar mitzvah ceremony that passed them by in boyhood. continue reading...