I’d like to offer a warm welcome to everyone joining in the ceremony and the celebration. Especially to my Aunt Linda and Uncle Paul who flew in from New Jersey to be here. That’s challenging enough, but I understand they’re also going through a divorce. I tried my best to talk them out of it, but Aunt Linda told me she is already dating someone who puts a smile on her face, a song in her heart.

If Aunt Linda leaves him, at least Uncle Paul will have his books to cheer him up. He’s a big reader. He’s reading one now called “How to Win Your Divorce”. He’s already put all their money and property in his name. I’m learning so much about life from them and it’s only my first day of being a man.

Don’t worry if you didn’t have time to get me a gift. Cash is always in good taste.

Now it’s time to thank those who helped me make today come to pass. First, of course, my parents, without whom I wouldn’t even be here. And so allow me to apologize for all the times I screamed at them, “You’re not the boss of me.” Apparently, they are. And so allow me to again apologize for reporting them to Child Protective Services. It was just a moment of anger and I deeply regret that dad had to spend three years in prison. For what it’s worth, I did visit a couple of times and brought rugelach.

A big shout-out, of course, to Rabbi Feinblatt, who helped prepare me for the ceremony. The regular calisthenics were, perhaps, a tad unorthodox, but obviously they paid off. Finally, I so appreciate all my friends and family who are here to share this magical day with me and were not judgmental when it took me an hour and fifteen minutes for me to recite my Haftarah portion.

I’d like to make things a little personal now by telling you what my bar mitzvah means to me. And I’ll be honest with you. At first, I wasn’t even sure I wanted a bar mitzvah. Frankly, I was frightened. Did you know that the number one thing people fear most in life is speaking in public? Which is one of the things you have to do on your bar mitzvah. Even now, I think I’ve sweat right through my underwear. And I’m wearing two pair. But I remember reading someplace that if you’re nervous in front of an audience, just picture them in their underwear. I’m doing that now, though frankly it’s a little gross.

I’m honored to become a Jewish adult, though. And to show my commitment to Judaism, mark my words, I will never buy retail again.

Just a few closing words before I turn this over to the rabbi. First, please do not feel pressured when I walk off the bima to give me a standing ovation. Oh, sure, I have low self-esteem and a fragile ego, but I’m dealing with that with both therapy and primarily legal medication. So, only give me a standing ovation if you feel I really deserve it.

And please don’t worry if you didn’t have time to get me a gift. This is easily solvable because cash is always in good taste. I also have one of those credit card processor devices on my cell phone, so I can process your gift right here. You can even spread your gift out over a full year; I don’t mind monthly payments.

Finally, in closing, since I am such a big fan of the Comedy Central celebrity roasts, I’ve prepared a bar mitzvah comedy roast of all my friends and family here today. Think of it as a loving tribute to those I care about. Let’s start with my Zadie Stan. Anyone who even briefly glances at Stan will realize that he has one major love of his life: food. In fact, Stan once took his pants to the dry cleaners and the lady said, “Sorry, we don’t do curtains.” And speaking of curtains, Great Aunt Esther sure seems to be coming down the home stretch of her life. We’ll miss you, Aunt Esther!