In February of this year, our family and friends joined us in celebrating our son's bar mitzvah. After ably demonstrating his mastery of Biblical Hebrew and its interpretation, my wife and I blessed him as our parents had blessed us a generation ago. We then hosted a quiet and dignified luncheon for our guests at which we could actually hear ourselves talk and reminisce. There was no band, no disc jockey and certainly no clowns or Laker girls. And they weren't missed. When a well-meaning cousin asked what our "theme" was, we simply said, "Religion and family."
The responsibility of bringing perspective to the bar mitzvah celebration and limiting the vulgar aggrandizement plaguing the process lies with the parents. Moreover, we are absolutely confident that, far from cheating our children, our son (and his sister after him) will reflect on the true meaning of that sacred day and will always warmly recall the love, tradition and spirituality we shared, undistorted by the fleeting and faddish grotesqueries apparently coveted by so many others.
DENA AND DAVID GINSBURG