Shabbat Surfing: Bat Mitzvah Edition

This week, we’ve all been acting like teenagers around here – sneaking out (because the weather has been so gorgeous, any excuse to get outside will do), obsessing about what we’re wearing (in last week’s Pride photos that came out this week), and gossiping about the varsity athletes (because how is it possible that the Nationals are still in first place?).

Maybe the teen behavior is just spilling over from of all these bar mitzvahs in the news right now.

Today I am a man. In a loin cloth.

Also feeling youthful this week is Kirk Douglas, who has just set a bar mitzvah date for later in the year, when he will be 96 and celebrating his third bar mitzvah. (His second was at the traditional 83.)

Douglas returned to his Jewish roots as an adult, about 20 years ago. David Arquette has also been inspired to connect to his Jewish side as an adult, having an impromptu bar mitzvah in Jerusalem at age 40. Using that most “teen” of media, Twitter, he told his followers, “Finally I’m a man.”

And in other “bar-mitzvahs-of-people-I-didn’t-know-were-Jewish” news: Muhammad Ali’s grandson, Jacob Wertheimer, became a bar mitzvah in Philly, with his family’s fab multi-culti support.

If your teen wishes their own year of bar mitzvah boogie-ing wasn’t behind them, they can now turn their Jewish dance floor moves into cash. Parents and DJs are now hiring teens to be dancers at the receptions, so no one is left out of any given Chicken Dance, Electric Slide, or even a Champagne Snowball.

Or you could just hire these two:

Fun New Thing of the Day: Those Tortured Teen Years, Now in T-shirt Form

Oh, those anxiety-filled days when you were thirteen and wondered if you would ever get kissed.

Some DJ must have taken pity upon us and created the “champagne snowball,” wherein all the kids dancing at the Bat Mitzvah would circle up around the Bat Mitzvah girl and she would pick the cutest boy in her grade to dance with. They’d dance until the DJ said “champagne snowball!,” in that creepy way that only comes from trying to get thirteen-year-olds to hook up.

“Champagne” meant a kiss, and the “snowball” happened when each partner of the dancing couple split to choose another person from the circle, until eventually everyone was dancing and everyone had been kissed.


At my Bat Mitzvah, the girls outnumbered the guys 4-to-1. (Seriously?! No one called ‘lesbian’?! Hindsight, I guess…)

At the time, “champagne snowball!” gave us an excuse to ask anyone we wanted to dance. Those were the rules. We had to; I mean, you can’t not “champagne snowball.”

And now, someone has a t-shirt* to bring you back to that time when all you had to do to get to kiss the person you liked was wait around the dance floor long enough.

*We have no connection to these people. We just liked the shirt.

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