|Mom - star and narrator of 22 short films
I enjoy bar mitzvahs because they are attended by my family. Tolstoy wrote that all happy families are alike, but is that really true? Take my Great-Aunt Sylvia - 91 next month - who said to me within ten minutes of our reunion, "I wish you were as successful as your Cousin Michael in Columbus." I think the joy that stirs in me is fairly personal, if not unique - it may even be perverse. But maybe Tolstoy would give me an argument.
|Great-Aunt Sylvia and Mom, 2011
|Great-Aunt Sylvia and Mom, 1941
|Sylvia with her grandson, my Cousin Ian
The bar mitzvah itself was the most beautiful and moving I've ever attended. My cousin Gabe has a developmental disability and the last thirteen years have presented him and his parents with a fairly continuous series of challenges in terms of his education and therapy. The bar mitzvah showed equally what his challenges are, and how determinedly and successfully he's met them with his family's help. When he finished his chanting and his speech, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
|Gabe before the service
|Gabe after the service - all grown up
Be sure to tune in next week, when we celebrate the 74th birthday of Philip Glass with the blog's inaugural video, and an unpublished interview I did with the composer in 1993.