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A Belated Bar Mitzvah

Turned away for having dyslexia, one man celebrates his Bar Mitzvah decades later at Masada.

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Published: December 28, 2013

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Visitor Comments: 16

(16) CJ, January 7, 2014 12:43 AM

Jews Behaving Badly.

Good way to describe it. I'm Jewish and a social worker who provides case management services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. We need to behave inclusively, not exclusively.

(15) Sanford & Chana Goodman, January 5, 2014 7:13 PM

This is a wonderful act of real kindness

Dear Lori,

This is a very moving story about people who showed a wonderful kindness by compensating a person who was deprived of having a bar mitzvah by giving him a belated one on top of Masada.

Sandy & Chana Goodman, Dallas Texas

(14) Raphaelle Do Lern Hwei, January 5, 2014 10:56 AM

Admire the Courage

Congratulations, Todd! I am happy that his friends stood up for him and supported his convictions to stand up and be counted as a Jew.

(13) Jen, January 5, 2014 6:12 AM

why no barmitzvah for a Dyslexic boy?

I'd love to know the reasoning behind Todd's childhood community not allowing him to have a barmitzvah ceremony. My son is an Aspie, and we were very very lucky to have a rabbi who works with kids with disabilities. He arranged for the barmitzvah to be on a Thursday afternoon after school. Just family (and a few close friends) attended, and all my son did was read out the transliterated brachot for the call-up. In the years since then, he has been encouraged to be called up more times (this rabbi moved and we follow him at yom tov, and the shul he now has is small, so often my son and husband are the only cohanim in the shule) and he does the duchening too - so much nachas, and just from a rabbi who understands!

(12) Anonymous, January 3, 2014 6:42 PM

Jewish pain

Shows how ignorance can cause great pain to children ,next week is my nephews bar mitzvah beshalach, a local kollel man told my nephews teacher that he is not Jewish! The teacher accepted the lashon hara and cancelled lessons two months ago, my family is devastated , this precious child and his parents were shaking and sobbing at the cruelty of both this man who "decided" based on "perceptions" to spread baseless rumors about my family , and the teacher who accepted the gossip as fact. The damage done due to their arrogance and ignorance can not be measured. How do we now undo this cruelty and damage. My sister,unaffiliated due to other incidents of Jews behaving badly, has now slammed the door and locked it tight, the pain of this most recent cruelty is too much to bear, as we see from this mans many years of pain he has carried due to the selfish ignorance and arrogance of Jews behaving badly , the antithesis of the behavior of a true Gd fearing and educated jew.
It's time Jews recognize how badly their self righteousness can damage innocent others.

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