Tallis Clips

I wore these tallis clips at my Bar Mitzvah in 2012. My grandfather also wore these tallis clips at his Bar Mitzvah, 90 years earlier, in 1932. I had my Bar Mitzvah are on Saturday so people could come to the afterparty and because no one I knew went to temple any other day. When I read my torah portion, I had no idea what it meant (literally or figuratively), and the religious aspect of the experience only served to add an aesthetic for the celebration afterwards. My grandfather had his Bar Mitzvah on a Thursday because there was no party afterwards, and, unlike today when most Jews don't even go to Synagogue on Saturday, he used to go to Synagogue everyday. When it was his time to read the Torah, it didn't matter which day of the week-- all that mattered was becoming a man. In fact, the next day, my grandfather got a job. He lived in a tenement on Hapscott street in Brooklyn. Every day, he got up in the early morning and traveled to the stable to maintain his family’s horse. Then by day, he’d assist his father as they rode through Brooklyn with their horse and cart to sell second-hand items. My grandfather truly internalized this right of passage; he was especially proud of his Judaism. It offered him a safety net to fall back on when assimilation into American culture became rough. His classmates would often pick fights with him because of his religion, but having just become a man, he made sure they regretted it.

Year: 1904

– Zachary Ginsberg

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