Sunday, May 22, 2005


Bar Mitzvah & Synagogue & Gangs

I love the Jewish model: At 13, a boy is given a rite of passage to manhood (Bar Mitzvah) and recognized as a man. And then he joins a company of men called synagogue were he is a necessary part of the group -- he is not an observer but a young man in training with real roles (not made up, pretend roles to play).

So, a boy is not only recognized to be a youngman but also welcomed into an exclusive world of men with a real belonging.

What's so sad is that, today, gangs are about the only such group available in a non-Jewish, Western world! Sports teams come close but they are based mainly on specialized skills not a challenging rite of passage which anyone can do after certain maturity (like for gangs, one has to commit some serious crime -- with tools like knives and hand guns, it doesn't require athletic abilities to join).


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