Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Letters

Elijah Became a Bar Mitzvah Whether He Marked the Occasion or Not

In response to Neal Pollack’s article

The beauty of Judaism is that Elijah became bar mitzvah when he turned 13, whether he chose to mark the occasion with an aliyah or a celebration or not, just as he will be old enough to vote, drink or drive when he reaches those chronological milestones whether or not he exercises those rights. What is sad is that no one seems to have engaged with Elijah in a conversation about what it means to “feel Jewish,” why “feeling Jewish” matters, or why “being Jewish” and “feeling Jewish” can be totally separate but not mutually exclusive things. It’s not too late to have that dialogue; in fact, it is a dialogue that continues throughout one’s life. I hope that Elijah and his dad can start it soon. It is much more meaningful than a party.

Barbara Davis,
Syracuse, New York

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.