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Eat Pray Save: Trials & Tribulations Of A Mitzvah Mom – Part 1

Eat Pray Save: Trials & Tribulations Of A Mitzvah Mom – Part 1

By Cindy Silvert,

It’s in six months, eleven days and eighteen hours, but who’s counting? It’s not that I’m dreading or avoiding it, ok, that’s a lie. I’m avoiding every decision and dreading all the nonsense. My son B couldn’t be more delightful or deserving of a fine Bar Mitzvah celebration, but the fact is, he really couldn’t care less if we have hundreds of people and a tacky theme, or a couple of friends for pizza and soda. So why bother? The Bar Mitzvah, after all, is the Bar Mitzvah. Not the video, the band, the caterer or center pieces, not even my dress! He lays Tefillin, reads the Torah, delivers a mind blowing d’var Torah, amen. That’s a Bar Mitzvah.

But while I’m fully mindful of this right now, I can still recall spending the better part of a month picking out the exact perfect shade for the tablecloths at my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, six and a half years ago. (Yes, I chose Almost-Barely-Minty-Mellon-Irish-Mist-Dream). I was (and am) a control freak and obsessed over all the wrong stuff. I almost missed the service because I “had to” bike over to the scene of the crime and make sure they were arranging every table, plate, fork and molecule just so. I break into a cold sweat every sickening time I recall “sneaking in” to the service long after every guest. (Whose brilliant idea was it for me to sit in the front row?) So you see, I fear my own inner OCD Party Monster as much as the gussied up social “norms.”

It’s not that I’m cheap, (lie), it’s really more the principal of the thing. It starts with the invitation, (has anyone heard of the “World Wide Web”?) and it doesn’t stop: Is a backyard tent classy or cheap? Do you force your kid to do a Mitzvah Project or let him grow into it naturally? Is it a culmination or a process or a show? Do you set a strict budget or just pay what you have to while crossing your fingers and toes? Do you delegate (ie. trust your husband to do anything), or just suck it up and get ‘er done? Woe is me. So much time, so many life threatening choices when the uber bare bones Bar Mitzvah is what I yearn for. Which brings me to my mission statement:

I hereby solemnly swear that I will try (at times) to bear in mind that this is supposed to be:

For my son
Fun (good one!)

I will herein share my trials and tribulations, dilemmas, confessions and fears. You are free to offer advice and ask me questions (eg: “Are you still glad you spent the night before her Bat Mitzvah cleaning the laundry room, instead of hanging out with your out-of-towners?”) but I might not be qualified to answer.


About Cindy Silvert
Cindy Lynn Silvert took the long route to the States from Canada via Israel, where she studied, worked and had her first two children. A lover of the Arts, Cindy is a professionally trained actor, prolific artist and writer. She has designed educational software, curricula and museums exhibits in addition to editing two books. She writes for a number of sites including where she shares culinary secrets, shortcuts and tips. She is also a featured chef and lead contributor of

Follow Cindy’s new blog Eat Pray Save, right here on as she challenges the status quo all the way to the Bimah, while planning her son’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah. Eat Pray Save will be the place to get a fresh perspective and a classy, yet fun and affordable solution to the out of control phenomenon of the American Bar Mitzvah.

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I just read your Eat Pray Save blog and relate to everything you’ve said. My daughter’s Bat Mitzvah (my first) is 5 months away and while I don’t want to break the bank, somehow it keeps adding up (and up). I’ll try to stay sane and centered as I read your future entries. Good luck to both of us!
–Karen R.


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