Today is the anniversary of my Bar-Mitzvah… now while this is not a huge thing to celebrate it really got me thinking. It has been 9 years since I became a “Man” within the Jewish faith and at present day I could not feel more disconnected from the religion.
I remember the period of my Bar-Mitzvah quite clearly. It seemed every Saturday was taken up by the standard service, cocktail hour, and DJ party. (by the end i felt I knew every DJ in town.. repeats were always fun as for some reason they tended to remember me)
At the time I was proud to be part of the Jewish community. I prided myself on continuing my Jewish education through community service, worship, and class. After my Bar-Mitzvah I went on to be an active participant in Hebrew High School and eventually became the President of our Youth organization. It seemed a vast majority of my life revolved around the roots of my religion and at the time I did not mind. I was drawn towards it and to this day I think it helped me become a better person.
I now ask myself; what happened? Why is it 9 years later and it is like pulling teeth to get me to attend a service or actively praise the religion? While it may sound like this is something that upsets me, it is quite the contrary. What intrigues me is the degradation of my dedication to the religion.
Part of me believes that it was my synaguage itself that pushed me away. Whether it was my Rabbi getting arrested for getting pulled over with 27 grams of pot or the sudden sense of feeling un-wanted at our little hangout behind the stage; I cannot deny the fact that my synagogue itself had something to do with my distain.
While I feel like I have pushed away due to social pressures, changes in life, and my synagogue; I hold pride in the fact that the fundamental lessons I learned while deeply enriched in the Jewish faith and culture have ultimately bettered me.
Forever I will remember the good times and the bad and every year at least on this day I will look back and reflect on how my past involvement has helped me become a man of honor, trust, and respect.