Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sam Horowitz Video: Bar Mitzvah Battles Go Viral

Sam Horowitz’s video of his Bar Mitzvah celebration went viral this week.  In it, Las Vegas-like show girls perform a dance, almost seductively, until near the end, young Sam Horowitz emerges and joins the dance.

Some find the video offensive. In an editorial in the Washington Post, David Wolpe suggests that the dance teaches a young child “sexualization of spirit.”  In addition, he says, "the Bar Mitzvah (which is a stage a child reaches, not the name of a ceremony) is important because one becomes responsible for the mitzvot, not because one poorly approximates a pubescent Justin Timberlake.”   In short, he finds the video “godless.” 

Others, like Brad Hirschfield, also writing for the Post think that we might be too quick to judge. Maybe the dance was never meant to reflect the "religious part" of the celebration.   In addition, the two minute dance routine is a small part of the larger celebration.  "...No celebration should be reduced to any single part of the whole."

Are these videos considered degrading? Disrespectful of Judaism? Disrespectful generally of religious festivals? These are good questions a religion class could debate. 

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