Your RDA of Irony

Keeping Up With the Cohens


So what are Karen and I planning for our B’nai Mitzvah?  Not this….

The headliners read like a who’s who of music: Aerosmith, 50 Cent and Don Henley of the Eagles. No, it wasn’t the Grammys, it was 13-year-old Elizabeth Brooks’ birthday party — a $10 million mega bat mitzvah.

How could anyone spend ten million dollars on a bat mitzvah? From an ethical perspective, you can’t; and even from a financial view, it is a daunting challenge. But there are ways…

The traditional form of overkill would be to buy 250 tons of lox, along with cream cheese and assorted bagels. Aside from sating your guests–provide them with doggie bags by Gucci, this strategy would likely corner the lox market, preventing anyone else from having a bar mitzvah. In effect, you would be the most powerful Jew since Herod or at least Louis B. Mayer.

Of course, if you think that cholesterol is Anti-Semitic, consider a California theme. All your guests get plastic surgery. The bat mitzvah’s rhinoplasty can be done during the temple service: What better gift for a bat mitzvah than looking Gentile. Your guests will have their clips, lifts, and tucks during the luncheon: the open bar is all the anesthesia they’ll need. Everyone leaves looking like a 13 year old! For those who actually are 13, the California motif offers body piercings by Bulgari. And in honor of our Jewish roots, we can also provide designer tattoos based on Marc Chagall.

If you prefer a more mental form of ostentation, then you would want a bar mitzvah theme that would look good on a college application. For ten million dollars, the thirteen year-old can receive a Junior Nobel Prize. Fly your guests–and don’t forget the Harvard admissions office–over to Stockholm for the ceremony. King Carl Gustav will present the award (what else has he got to do). The ceremony will include the world premiere of Harold Pinter’s translation of the Torah.

Here is an excerpt:

God: Thou shall not kill.

Moses: I never do.

God: I wasn’t accusing you.

Moses: I might cheat at cricket.

Burning Bush: What kind of Jew plays cricket?

God: Now I can’t remember what I was going to command next.

Moses: Does it matter?

At the very least, this bar mitzvah will also be nominated for a Tony.

However, since there are already so many Nobel laureates, you might want a truly distinctive celebration. Do something that no one has ever done before: rent the Vatican for your bar mitzvah. What could be classier than having chopped chicken liver in the Sistine Chapel? Why settle for ice sculptures when you can have the actual Michelangelo Pieta lactating champagne? And who wouldn’t enjoy the Gregorian version of “Hava Nagillah”? Make your 13 year-old feel like a Messiah.

Remember: when money is no object, neither is taste.

  1. Cindy Starks says:

    Another wonderfully funny piece. I look forward to your posts, Eugene, because they always have me laughing out loud. What does it matter? My family thinks I’m a lunatic anyway? I particularly like the Gregorian chant version of Havah Nagillah. A nice touch. 🙂

  2. Michele says:

    Good god, Eugene, what is wrong with people? I thought pony rides at birthday parties were over the top!

    This is a wonderful and hilarious post.



  3. Bob Kincaid says:

    Better watch that Helenophilia, Eugene! You don’t want the congregation to celebrate your special day by busting out all Judah Macabee on you! Then again, if it’s a Reformed synagogue, they might not even be able to tell the difference etween Ancient Hebrew and Anciwnt Greek. I say go for it after all!

    Sing me, oy! Muse!

  4. Leah says:

    So, did David Brooks get convicted one hopes?

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      He was convicted but I don’t think that he has yet to see a day in prison. His defense attorneys will probably get all the money he embezzled–minus the ten million for the bat mitzvah.


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