78-year-old to Celebrate Bar Mitzvah

Bernie Marks is practicing singing the Torah for his Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish ceremony that marks the symbolic passage to manhood. But at 78, Marks is a bit past the traditional age. When he was 13, he was living in a Polish ghetto under Nazi rule. Later, his family was sent to Auschwitz where he last saw his mother and brother. Marks and his father were sent to a labor camp until they were liberated by US forces in 1945. Rabbi Mona Alfi is delighted that Marks will finally be Bar Mitzvahed.
"It was always my desire to fulfill the dream that my father and grandfathers had," Marks said. "For years, older men weren't afforded the opportunity because it wasn't traditional. But times have changed, and Rabbi Alfi is more progressive."

So Marks, who speaks 10 languages and was trained by his grandfathers who were both rabbis, is scheduled to be bar mitzvahed Sept. 20.

"He's definitely the oldest," said Alfi. And she's never heard of a Holocaust survivor having a bar mitzvah.

Marks' story is a fascinating read. Link -via Fark

(image credit: Renee C. Byer/Sacramento Bee)

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When my son was bar mitzvah, a friend of ours, a holocaust survivor who happened to be 83 that year, also celebrated his bar mitzvah. We were honored to include him in the ceremony.
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He can have a second Bar Mitzvah when he reaches age 83.

From Wikipedia: "Among some Jews, it is customary for a man who has reached the age of 83 to celebrate a second bar mitzvah, under the logic that a "normal" lifespan is 70 years, so that an 83-year-old can be considered 13 in a second lifetime. This practice is now becoming increasingly common among other denominations as well."
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there are many people who have had bar mitzvahs at an older age, especially those who have survived the holocaust as they were not able to have one at the time.
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