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The Goodbye To Childhood You're On Your Own Now Ceremony

January 18, 2012 | 8 Comments

Dear Mr. Keillor,

My Bar Mitzvah is this weekend. I need to make a speech. Do you have any advice? Start with a joke?

Ari Rotenberg
Houston TX

p.s. If you're in Houston this weekend, you're welcome to come and bring a friend.


Dear Ari, We Christians don't have any tradition like this, the Goodbye To Childhood You're On Your Own Now ceremony, but it does strike me that you should've been thinking about this LONG BEFORE NOW, no? Am I wrong? But a joke is fine. Here are two.

You always want to begin a joke by saying, "So!" Pause two beats. Then the joke.

So. There was a big bar mitzvah outdoors in a backyard and all the bees went to enjoy the fresh flowers and fruit and they made sure to wear yarmulkes so people would know they were bees and not wasps.

So. God told his angels he was going away for the weekend and the angels said, "Are you going to visit Earth?" And God said no. "I went down there a couple thousand years ago and got a Jewish girl pregnant and they're still talking about it."

Congratulations and mazel tov and l'chaim, Ari.


Good Jokes!

For folks who watch R rated movies, A Serious Man provides a humorous glimpse of a Bar Mitsvah.

I'm confused...Are Bees Jewish and Wasps just Anglos?

WASP = white. Anglo-Saxon, protestant


It's an analogy with word play: bee is to wasp as Jewish is to W.A.S.P. (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant).


Funny jokes Mr. Keillor! And congratulations Ari!

Dear Mr. Keillor,

Check this out.My 3rd Great Grandmother on my Father's side was a jewish maiden living in Ireland where the family had lived for generations.
When she fell in love with my 3rd Great Grandfather,( Who was Catholic.),both families ostricised the young couple,as it was the 18th century after all. Whereupon the two left Ireland for America, got married, and became good Protestants.
True story.

Here's a good joke for your bar-mitzvah. So. There was this synagogue and it had a terrible rat infestation. The congregation told the rabbi about it and he said not to worry, he had a solution. "I'm going to have a bar-mitzvah for the rats". How is that going to solve the problem, they asked. Answered the rabbi,"Everyone knows once you've had your bar-mitzvah, you're never seen in temple again."

Then of course, you can explain how untrue that will be of yourself.

Debra, Here's the Lutheran version: So. There was this Lutheran church and it had a terrible rat infestation. The congregation told the pastor and he said not to worry...he would hold Confirmation for the rats. How would that work? Answered the pastor, "Everyone knows once you've been confirmed, you're never seen in church again."

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