Forgive Us for Clicking on Sam Horowitz's Bar Mitzvah Drama

We All Played Some Small Role in Helping It Go Viral

Proud Moment? Sam Horowitz may have enjoyed the 15 minutes of fame (or infamy) sparked by his gaudy bar mitzvah video. But truth be told, we all played a role in making it go viral.
youtube
Proud Moment? Sam Horowitz may have enjoyed the 15 minutes of fame (or infamy) sparked by his gaudy bar mitzvah video. But truth be told, we all played a role in making it go viral.

By Jordana Horn

Published August 23, 2013, issue of August 30, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Ashamnu: Our failings are self-destructive. In embracing the idiotic, in celebrating the tawdry, in passing along such things with a fevered frenzy even if only to condemn them, we contribute to a culture in which we venerate the wrong things. This failing is self-destructive: In spending time on the idiocies so readily available on the Internet, we forfeit time that we could spend constructively using that social space to help our fellow Jews and fellow people.

Bagadnu: We have betrayed what is most essential about us as a people: not the impulse to judge one another, but the ability to act on behalf of one another’s interest.

In the same week that the to-do broke over the Horowitz bar mitzvah, one family in New York struggled to find the funds to pay for their baby son to have a bone marrow transplant to save his life. Idan Zablocki, a boy of not even 2, was born with an extremely rare immunodeficiency that, even his mother admits, untreated is nothing short of a death sentence. He has found a match for a bone marrow transplant, and while the best hospital for his particular procedure is in Seattle, the family’s insurance refuses to cover this treatment in full. Idan’s mother, Amanda Zablocki, has taken to the Internet and press to plea for financial help to save her son’s life.

This story, about a little Jewish boy whose life can literally be saved with financial help from the community, hasn’t gone as viral as a bar mitzvah spectacle in Dallas. Idan’s parents are not on “Good Morning America.” His mother’s story has not gotten as many links or hits (although it was written about in The Forward).

Have we fallen so far from our ideals that a mother should have to put on a Vegas showgirl outfit and do an elaborate dance routine to get our attention?

Gazalnu: We have stolen the conversation, the time, the effort and the social media energies that should have gone to better causes.

Dibarnu dofi: We have talked out of both sides of our mouths. We have judged others for what we deem to be showy spectacles, but in doing so we have failed to realize our own potential for doing good in the world. We have judged others freely, perhaps because in doing so, we implicitly absolve ourselves from the difficult, yet crucial, obligations of self-examination.

Each year, we confess. And each year, we are offered the opportunity to redeem ourselves.

Let’s begin.

Jordana Horn is the former New York bureau chief of The Jerusalem Post and is a contributing editor to the parenting website Kveller.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.