Bar Mitzvah is a Person, Not an Event

It is disappointing to me that many Jewish boys and girls (men and women as well) use the phrase “when I was bar/bat mitzvahed.” I have observed that many non-Jews use the term in same way.

The language to fully articulate the concept of bar/mitzvah is awkward and cumbersome. As a result, it has evolved to describing the ritual rather than the person..

The correct use of the term is “to become a bar mitzvah, and no party is necessary. Age is the only requirement (usually 13 for boys, 12 for girls). Reaching the age of bar/bat mitzvah signifies becoming a full-fledged member of the Jewish community with the responsibilities that come with it.

Bar (בַּר‬) is a Jewish Babylonian Aramaic word literally meaning “son” (בֵּן‬), while bat (בַּת‬) means “daughter” in Hebrew, and mitzvah (מִצְוָה‬) means “commandment” or “law” (plural: mitzvot). Thus bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah literally translate to “son of commandment” and “daughter of commandment.”  Although the term is commonly used to refer to the ritual itself, the phrase refers to the person.

It is the practice in Conservative and Reform congregations for a boy to be called to read selected portions from the Torah on the occasion. In most Orthodox congregations, however, women are not called to read from the Torah.

There is much more to be said on the subject.
Peruse the Internet at your pleasure.



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Changing Emphasis

There are many words whose meanings are changed by the way that they are pronounced.

For example:
… to record his voice; setting a new record
… permit him to do it; issue a written permit

In recent times, however, many people have changed the way they pronounce some words even though there is no difference in the meaning of the words.

For example:
police instead of police
peat instead of repeat
surance instead of insurance

Why do they put the emphasis on the wrong syllable?

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What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between “different” and “differently”?

Most people use “differently” when they mean “different” because they do not understand the use of adverbs (words that modify verbs of action, like “walking slowly” and “running quickly.”

You may also use ‘differently to describe how you do something (i.e., we do things differently around here).

To say “feeling differently,” grammatically refers to the way you touch something. You feel differently by using an insulated glove when handling something very hot instead of touching it with your bare hands.

“Feeling different” is appropriately used when describing a mood, such as feeling happy or tired. For example, I feel “different” in the morning than I do at the end of the day.

What about “feeling badly”? Are you saying you have a bad sense of touch?


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Growing Stuff

My reason for writing about this is that it provides the opportunity for me to express my rage about the term “growing your business.” It’s just plain wrong! You do not “grow” children either; you “raise” them or “bring them up.”

To me, the concept of “growing” stuff will always describe an agricultural endeavor. You plant a seed in the ground, care for it by providing water and, if appropriate, nutrition.

This is how it works with carrots and tomatoes.





This is not how it works with a business.


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Sour Milk

I have dry cereal with milk for breakfast almost every day. I keep the milk well refrigerated and pay close attention to the expiration date. This year, however, I have had to dispose of more spoiled milk than any time in the past.

I think the explanation relates to the hot weather. Milk carriers make deliveries early in the morning, before the supermarket employees report to work. The overheated milk begins to spoil in the hot sun and, as a consequence, does not make it to the stated expiration date.

Despite my complaints to involved parties, no one seems to really care. Customer service failed again. When I return the milk for a refund, it is treated as an annoyance, not a call to action.


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Amazon Failed Delivery—Again

The product I ordered recently was supposed to come yesterday.

However, the product never arrived even though I was notified that it was delivered.

Actually, it was dropped off at the Post Office for pickup.

There is no way that I am going to the Post Office to get it, particularly since I am a “Prime” customer.

So, I called the Customer Care Department to complain. They issued me a full refund and will still deliver the product, albeit a day or so later. Small price to pay!

Who’s smiling now?

P.S. It would seem that the reason Amazon did not blink about sending the refund is that they charge the sale back to the vendor.

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