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Am I a Man Yet?

The day had come when I thought my life was going to change. Something that morning made me feel as if this day was going to make a big impact on my life. It was the day of my bar-mitzvah. The day I was looking forward to for quite a while had arrived. It was a climax in my life; the day I would turn into a man.

It was a Saturday morning in March, and New York City was filled with life, making my bar-mitzvah day a pleasure. The sky was blue, trees were blooming and everyone was out enjoying the day. My family and I got up early to get ready for the big day ahead. Since we were still early and it was a beautiful day we decided to walk to the synagogue which was only a 10 minute walk. As we walked to our synagogue in Gramercy Park, thoughts kept crossing my mind as to how I would feel in a few hours as a Man. We arrived at the synagogue and I was starting to get nervous. My hands felt sweaty and my heart sped up a few paces. I just wanted to get it over with.

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As the ceremony started, I looked around the room and saw all my family and friends right there with me on my journey to adulthood. It was a warm feeling to know how many people cared to share this special day with me. The passage I read from the Torah was about life which made me wonder again when my own life was going to change into one of a man. The ceremony continued, and I read some prayers from a prayer book, but I still didn t feel any change in my life. As the ceremony came to an end, I was given a blessing by the rabbi and congratulated. I was so surprised that it was over because I still felt like a kid. This was the first of many congratulations I received that day.

At the end of the ceremony my family, friends, and I all walked across Gramercy Park to the Gramercy Park Hotel where we had the reception. I still could not understand why I still felt like a kid. As the reception went on I was congratulated and then asked, So, how does it feel to be a man? I wanted to say Just like yesterday, but I told them what they were expecting, Great! The reception was lots of fun with music, dancing, food and open bar, but by the end of the reception I had almost given up on being a man. I was wondering if I might have done something wrong.

When I got home I was tired from a long day and I opened all my presents and then got into bed. I thought about being a man for the last time that day. I figured that maybe the change happens overnight. So I went to sleep, and the next

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morning I woke up in the same body, thinking the same thing, When? My parents still treated me the same, and I was still in junior high school. From then on I gave up on the expectations of being a man.

As I look back on my bar-mitzvah now, I see the miracle of becoming a man happens from within. My bar-mitzvah was the day I started my long journey to adulthood over the years that followed. Through the years following my

bar-mitzvah, I have noticed changes in my thoughts, level of responsibility, and manner of handling different situations. My bar-mitzvah was only the beginning of new responsibilities and a new way of thinking.

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