Bar mitzvah card fail

‘Your bar mitzvah check is in this bacon wallet’

for The Brooklyn Paper
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You’ve been invited to a good friend’s bar mitzvah. The big day is here at last. You look great in your fancy-shmancy clothes, your gift has been selected with care (or at least the check has been written in neat handwriting), and you can’t wait to watch a special person beautifully chant the service and then enjoy a wonderful reception.

There’s just one problem: you simply can’t figure out what to write inside the bar mitzvah card!

You want it be remembered for all times — and most importantly — stand out from the other hundred or so cards the kid is going to rip open 20 minutes after the party.

If “Mazel tov!” just won’t cut it and you want something more original, the only advice I can give you is to put some thought into it. But, be careful! There are some lines that are can get you in trouble. Here are some messages you should avoid at all costs:

“Break a leg!”

You might be tempted to aim for short and sweet. So, you figure you can’t go wrong with “Break a leg!” Thanks. Now all that anyone can picture is the poor kid tumbling from his chair during the hora, fracturing his knee, and then missing the rest of soccer season. Besides, “break a leg” isn’t that much more original than “mazel tov.” If you want to be imaginative, you’ve got you utilize your imagination.

“Sure glad you didn’t drop the Torah!”

Riddle me this: how do you know, when you write this line in the card, that the kid isn’t going to drop the Torah in the fist place? Do you have a crystal ball? Or are you just playing the odds hoping for the best? And if so, wouldn’t you have the foresight to see that this is a really lame line that would make the kid feel bad, giving him the opposite of a warm-fuzzy feeling inside? And, furthermore, what if the kid does drop the Torah and you wrote this mean-spirited line in a card? How would you feel then, jerk?

“Don’t cash this check until Tuesday.”

Maybe you figure a dose of sensible financial reality is a good way to introduce a child to actual adulthood and all the hardships and struggles that come along with it. And sure, maybe you’re right. But you’re still a jerk, Jerk.

“Enclosed please find a gift card for a bacon double cheeseburg­er.”

Regardless of your own personal level of observance, it’s important to remember that the bar mitzvah service is a religious and sacred Jewish event. Therefore, writing this in a card is sending exactly the wrong message.

“Nice job. Now that you’re a man, I can tell you that your mom is hot.”

Becoming bar mitzvah is all about adulthood and beginning to look at the world in a mature way. The average young teen is just starting to struggle with a new perspective on his surroundings. But trust me, no 13-year-old ever wants to open a bar mitzvah card and read this. Some things should never be looked at in a mature way.

Posted 12:00 am, April 11, 2014
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