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  • Family and Society
  • General Questions on Education

Refusing Bar-Mitzva


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

21 Shevat 5763
My son doesn’t want to do his bar mitzvah. What should I do????? He wants to know how this proves that he is really Jewish.
Doing a bar-mitzva does not “prove” that a young man is Jewish. It is an expression of joy on being able to fulfill G-d’s commandments. If he does not feel this joy, perhaps it is because he does not appreciate the significance of being commanded by the Creator of the Universe, and does not recognize what meaning these commandments give to his life and to his actions. Try to let him speak with someone who can explain to him why the mitzvot are important (his reluctance may have to do with something else entirely- e.g. a fight within the family, in which case you might turn to a professional in family guidance).
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