Elaborate teen parties, should we judge?

To spend or not to spend

- Are teen parties over the top? -

Awesome Bat Mitzvah Theme

Elaborate teen parties, should we judge?

You see the photo above? This was not a wedding party, this elaborate table setting was done for a Bat Mitzvah party (a girl 12 years of age) with over 300 invitees.

The other day I was reading an article in the Huffington Post written by Ann Brenoff about what she calls “elaborate Bar Mitzvah parties”. She says that people lost complete perspective of what is important and I partly agree with her.

I don’t feel I have the right to judge people that want to throw an excessive party for a 13, 12 or for that matter to a 16-year-old. My own Bar Mitzvah was excessive. Taken place in a known nightclub with a famous singer and a 6 piece band, it included no less than 350 people. The only people my age were my cousins, other than that, I did not know more than half the guests.

Years later I learned that my parents were contemplating between a party or sending me to a three-week summer camp in Switzerland. Seriously? Why didn’t they chose Switzerland? Because they did not do this for me, the party was for them. It was to show off, plain and simple.

I have been to some very elaborate Bat/Bar Mitzvah parties but except for one, all had more teens than adults, that’s a good thing. It means that the parents at least try to make it about the girl/boy more than about themselves.

Awesome decoration and expensive table settings | Should we judge?
Elaborate Bat Mitzvah Themes Elaborate Bat Mitzvah Themes Elaborate Bat Mitzvah Themes Elaborate Bat Mitzvah Themes

Holywood style setups

When you see the table settings, the huge amount of decoration, the eight people animators & DJ team, not to mention the gifts that are thrown to stretched arms (from NHL original jerseys to $100 make-up kits and DVD players), you got to wonder if it is just a little bit over the top. Are parents really doing it purely for their children or is there some ego involved? Or, they just want to keep up with other parents. At some parties it is clear the event is less than showing their kid a good time and more about parents impressing their friends. Some parents, whether they can afford it or not, make it ostentatious and garish.

Rabi There is a known saying that sometimes there’s too much BAR and not enough MITZVAH. Unfortunately, there are people who cannot afford these elaborate parties but feel they need to keep up with the Jones, or in our case the Cohen’s.

Now, if you do not know what the basic tradition of a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah is, well, a Bar Mitzvah boy (it is redundant by the way, a Bar Mitzvah is the boy) has to show up at the synagogue the morning of his turning 13 and put a Tefilin on. From that moment on he is considered to be a man, not a boy. That’s it. No special cake, no day off school, nothing.

Of course, traditionally, the family would invite neighbours and family to a large Friday dinner and the richer the family the larger the dinner. For millenniums Bar Mitzvah “parties” consisted of dinner and good family gathering. However, human nature as it is, and the urge to show off how much richer you are than others, Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties took a life of their own growing to a monstrosity that is sometimes today.

Hollywood style neon sign and Nine person DJ crew | Should we judge?
Elaborate Bat Mitzvah Themes Elaborate Bat Mitzvah Themes
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