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Showing posts from July, 2016

Can you fail your bar mitzvah?

A young man prepping for bar mitzvah asked, "Is it possible to fail your bar mitzvah?" 

My first reaction was "of course not."

Then I thought about it for a long time and decided that his question - borne of fear - was worthy of a more considered answer.

I told him this:

Well, you're not getting a grade, no one will stand there - Olympics style - and hold up signs with judging numbers, and you're not getting a report card. So, to that extent, of course you can't fail.

But that's not totally true, and the answer is in your ballpark and under your control.

How can you fail? 

You can decide here and now that you don't care, that you'll never succeed, that this is a bunch of hooey being dumped on you by your parents. You can decide that because this is hard stuff, you just ... won't and you'll give up before you even start. You can decide that playing ball is more important (we already know it's probably more interesting) than prepping fo…