27 Jun 99
Martin Goldberg
Bar Mitzvah: Coming of age of a Weenie from Hell

It has always been my fervent hope that i could post a HS post that was longer than Leipzig's. This one will approach it. However, since this is a Family Echo, I will leave out MOST of the four letter words and all references to brain damage. So here it is. My rendition of our weekend last. it's a little thing that I like to call:


Some of you will remember the telling of my first son's bar mitzvah and my forcefull ejections of the spousal unit's sister and her husband and kids and they eagerly awaited free food at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Some months later, we were invited to Houston for their first child's Bar Mitzvah. the problem is that they attend a super orthodox synagogue out in the styx of south Houston. My SIL's husband is a convert and has gone mega fundy on us. The kid whose turn it was on the rack has gone a step further. What kind of rational child uses his bar mitzvah money to buy a refrigerator so that milk and meat can be kept apart? I used mine to persuade a young lady to..er...show me some of the facts of life. So for those of you with dirty minds, it was a math tutor...However, this sets the scene for the weekend of Fundy Mania.


We showed up on their front doorstep about 6:30 Friday evening and managed to get inside the door without incident. The wife's BIL was soon home with a cousin who had come to town. This clown, over the course of the eveing told us his life story three times. He was some kind of officer in some kind of jewish organization. This is all we heard about the entire evening:he, himself and his involvement with judaism. Three fundies under one roof. As our collective blood sugars dropped, no one was allowed by this fifteen year old savior to remove the wraps from the food or eat anything until the sun had set. It reminded me of a concentration camp until I removed the wraps and ate some of the cold cuts. Then it took on a more Oliver Twistian mode. After eating before the sun set (I'll be going to hell to that little room reserved for those who actually LIKE Roseanne Barr) and then refusing wine or grape juice (but it's SPARLKING grape juice) for reasons of my own, I was in the dog house with the kid. After about onehalf hour of endless hebrew jibberish, we sat down to our delicious kosher meal...MMMMM....mmmmmmmm. Tough corned beef, slimey "smoked" turkey, and some pickles that could have been used as solid jet fuel. Whadda treat. Afterwards,the Fundies Three sat around a table and recited prayers, so I went upstairs to listen to their dog bark endlessly. The elder child wnet into a room by homself and recited payers with occaional head banging ala Monty Python. As far as I am concerned, his father is responsible for this pathological condition and should be held accountable. At the last Bar Mitzvah, we all went out to a chinese joint on Friday night. Now, the kid won't eat chinese food. It's far too grim tothink about. I thought I was off the hook until I was accosted by the jewish federation man and pinned to the wall while he told me about his daughter's wedding. I had no idea you could have a wedding with so few people there.


Saturday morning finds us some 30 miles away at the synagogue. Fundy jewish ceremonies are bizarre. The men and women are not allowed to sit together. Like xtians, jews place women on a high level if only to feed and water the kids so that the men can study. Another study in mysogeny. At any rate, when we arrived, service was in full swing. Loads of jewish men with yarmulkes and prayer shawls going at it a mile a minute. We took some from the public stock, entered and sat down. Most of the men have their own and wear them covering their head or covering their entire suit like a biblical robe. The swervice progresses and the torah is read. Yours truly had the honor of opening the ark and removing the Torah for the portion of the day. In the vernacular, this is called an "Alliyah". Normally, you go up and read a prayer of a bit of Torah but there are so many handed out that they have to split up the duties. I was relieved as my Hebrew is very shoddy, only able to read at about a 6th grade level. And reading Torah is out as I have to have the vowles to make the sounds which are not included in the Torah. Some four hours later, we are almost ready to break up although the rabbis has a ten minute sermon. His last sermon was a biggoted affair decrying the paestinians for wanteing their homes back. he loves to mention Hitler to make his own bigotry less by comparison. Everything jewish is good, everything not jewish is bad. both sermons had the same message. May as well go out and tell your congregation to kill all the non jews.


Did I mention how tasty kosher food was? Since I abhor crowds, I waited until the line was gone and went in to find the food long gone and hordes of jews sitting around bragging about how jewish they were. Oy gevahlt....


The evening's gaity was to be held at a local Landry's restaurant. I've been to landry's several times in Corpus Christi and have sworn off going back. The really unfortunate thing about it is that this islocated in a small city south of Houston called Kemah. Kemah is like a Monty Python joke where they clear away the beachfront so that they can develope shops and restuarants, along with a carney mall and whole lots of wholesome fun. Troubel is, that there is a 300 to one parking space ratio for the place. I had to kill two little old ladies who were trying to pull into my space in their 1957 De Soto. Anyone need a used car?

To make a terribly long and dirty story short, there was a DJ who was too loud, two photographers who were too pushy, the food stank and the elder son prayed all night. Doug (the father of the bride so to speak) kept his head covered, with of all things, a Jack Daniels gimme cap. I always knew that fundies have no taste We returned to the hotel at 11:30, the wife fell asleep (all I have to do is mention sex) and so I got to watch my first episode of Southpark.


We had breakfast with the fundies this morning. Bagles and lox with coffee and juice. The elder kid actually played nintendo. We sat and talked to the SIL and left about noonish. An eneventful trip finds me home at last to read the ravings of Rex Garrard and George "Huffer" Pope.

Any comments would be welcome if they do not contain the phrase "Boruch ato adonai..."


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