The Conspiracy

“The Party Won’t Stop Till Sunday Morn”

Daniel Dons His Shades

“Welcome to Atlanta, where the players play. Hope you can make my bar mitzvah day. Thirteen years since I was born, and the party won’t stop till Sunday morn.”

Yes, that is actually the hook for Daniel (sans last name)’s Bar Mitzvah invitation. The difference? He raps the words in a music video, rather than writing them out in the swirly font of an old-school paper invite. And, it is just one of many in Modern Judaism’s latest (trying) trend: music video bar mitzvah invitations. Thought that too much time was being wasted picking between various shades of beige for your invitations? Now you can throw that all out and hire a videographer to do the trick.

Not to use the stereotypically annoying “kids today” line, but… seriously. Kids Today!?

For some context: Daniel’s Bar Mitzvah features Daniel, a young white Jew, clad in a Braves jersey rapping his own “bar-mitzvah themed” verse to Will Smith’s Miami (isn’t that song like ten years old? I remember it being cool when I had my bat-mitzvah) It is kind of cute, until you factor in the gold chains, crotch grabs and hackneyed lyrics such as, “The party won’t start till I walk in/ and then I won’t leave until the thing ends.” (Really Daniel? I think that is pretty evident from the fact that it is your party.)

Jorel Rocks his Bar Mitzvah! is in the same vein— a young Jewish boy rapping/singing about his bar-mitzvah, while his smiling parents play various back-up dance roles. While Jorel’s video gets point for being a witty mash-up of two Queen songs and Psy’s infamous Gangnam Style, it also goes on for about three minutes too long.

And lastly (but there are surely more out there), Erez’s Bar Mitzvah Style: which could be chalked up to just another Gangnam Style Parody, except that it was made by an Israeli family, and the rap is about his upcoming bar mitzvah. As he says, “zeh hayom sheli! Zeh bar mitzvah style!”

I don’t know whether to find this new trend endearing or appalling, as each video teeters provocatively on that line between funny and too-far. While I initially smile at the thought of young kids getting so excited about their bar-mitzvahs that they want to rap about them, I’m also not naïve enough to think that is actually what happens behind the scenes. Its not hard to see the vague traces of a few-too-eager parents trying to get their kids “invested” in their upcoming ceremonies, maybe, perhaps, by hiring a videographer to film a rad bar-mitzvah invitation? Maybe then, the father says to his wife, he will finally start practicing his torah portion!

While I am usually all for innovative motivational strategies, this feels kind of… cheap. And weird. Something feels serenely off-kilter as I watch these pre-13 year old boys (with faint mustache hairs gracing their upper lips, and crackly voices that are just on the edge of dropping) gyrating to rap songs as they sing about their bar-mitzvahs. And all the while, numerical figures dance around in the back of my eyelids, wondering how much money, time, arguing, effort etc. went into each one. Alright, it is downright absurd to watch. I know, I know, you’re going to shoot down my objections with the “they’re just having fun!” line, but… if its fun, why does it make me feel so uncomfortable?

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