Jewish Stuff

The Best Card My Son Received For His Bar Mitzvah: When Hilarious Meets Holy

A small sampling of the most popular cards Tech received for his bar mitzvah.

Apparently, there are 7 different store-bought cards a boy can receive for a bar mitzvah.

And don’t get me wrong; they are all lovely.

Friends and family wrote wonderful messages to Tech, who insisted on reading each note before looking at the gift.

After a while, we did start to keep a little tally to see which card would be designated the “most popular card to receive on your bar mitzvah day.”

This was the one.

Tech got a lot of those.

There were waaaay more cards for a girl celebrating her bat mitzvah.

Like this one.

Tech received this card from his grandmother.

I don’t think she was trying to be funny.

But it was extremely funny. *smiles*

Hands down, the best card, came from one of my husband’s oldest friends.

Neil is known for his kooky gifts. It’s his thing. He once gave Tech a sushi stapler; the child looked like he had won the lottery. Another time Neil had just returned from a trip overseas and gave our son a black baseball cap that had “Fukuoka” embroidered in white on the back. Wearing it, made Tech feel like he was getting away with swearing when really he was simply advertising a city in Japan located 1,100 kilometers from Tokyo. More recently, Neil brought us an enormous jar of Polish pickles.

So of course, it should have been no surprise when we saw Neil’s card.

Yup. He penned it on a rubber chicken.

It was awesome.

Especially this part:

In case you can’t read it, it says: “Butt seriously, pardon the fowl humor. Congratulations on your Bar Mitzvah.” Very punny, no?

When I told Neil how awesome it was that he took the time to find a rubber chicken, that he even had the idea to write on it, he waved his hand dismissively.

Like it was no big whoop.

Except it was.

He found a way to make Tech’s bar mitzvah – which was already amazing – even more memorable.

In Judaism, we are taught to be mindful and pay attention to the smallest details because G-d is everywhere and in everything.

Though Neil would shrug and call me meshugganah, I believe that in paying attention to the smallest details, Neil helped remind us even the most seemingly insignificant act can be something that connects us to G-d, to the rest of humanity, even the universe.

The chicken card was a small detail.

It was hilarious.

And holy.

I know Tech will never forget it.

None of us will.

What little things have people done for you that have stuck with you?

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

39 thoughts on “The Best Card My Son Received For His Bar Mitzvah: When Hilarious Meets Holy

  1. Oh, I hope there were photographers in the group. At a grand event I love it when friends take and share perfect shots that I was not at all responsible for. Thanks to them, I could enjoy the proceedings. (I do want to take pictures but I also want to enjoy the guests.) I’m on fb because the first pictures that emerged after our daughter’s wedding were those shared on fb.

    1. We hired a photographer, and I’m hoping that a few people captured some of the happenings — but most folks don’t carry cameras because they know you’ve got a person. It’s. Killing. Me.

      I do have a few shots coming up in the next few posts, and I’m hoping – by then – maybe my photographer will have finished things.

      The other thing is no cameras are allowed during the ceremony, so – alas – sometimes you just have to live the moment rather than record it. 😉

  2. Love this!!

    Not much has changed over the years, it seems. I distinctly recall keeping count of the duplicates as there were about five “Bas Mitzvah” cards available in 1984.

    You are right, though, that we are meant to pay attention to the smallest acts and discern the meaning in them.

    Mazal tov, again, to you, Tech, and the whole mishpacha.

  3. Hmmm. One of the nicest things was when my third grade teacher, Mrs. Constance, an equestrian who walked and carried herself with so much grace, gave me a Hardy Boys book, Three Chums. I always wondered, “Why?” I never knew why she gave it to me but it sure did make me feel special.

    1. I think Neil would be complimented to know that someone was taking his idea. He got it at Spencer Gifts where he claims to have been looking for fake barf. So I guess things could have gone in another direction. 😉

  4. LOVE.

    I try to make it a point to do something different for good friends’ special occasions. It may not be a huge deal, but it’s personal.

    The rubber chicken is just awesome.

    1. It definitely got me thinking. Like you said, it doesn’t have to be a big deal, but something different. My best friend and I ignore birthdays and holidays, but if we see something fabulous that we think the other person would love, we just get it. Just because. It always is the right thing. 😉

  5. What little thing did someone do for me that has stuck with me?
    For me it was the longtime family friend who brought a fully cooked Christmas dinner to the funeral home when my father died on Dec. 23 that year. She couldn’t bear thinking of us not having Christmas dinner. I’ve never forgotten her kindness.

    1. That is a beautiful thing. Cooking for those in grief is a wonderful gift. When Tech was born, it was very traumatic. I lost a lot of blood. Too much. And I wound up in the ICU. My son stopped breathing 5 times. People cooked for my husband, who was stuck at home for 11 days. I was so glad he was being well cared for. I try to pay that forward these days.

  6. HA! Oh, this takes the chicken, I mean, cake! (Although the girl card is pretty fabulous, too.) I need to know this Neil. Where is his blog? 😉

    You always ask the best questions. Someone just sent me a fake Harry Potter “you’ve been made a prefect” letter and pin that was pretty hilarious and fab. I think any snail mail is always a special treat (like my card from you!!). Also stumbling across an unknown (or known!) blogger who’s said something kind always sticks with me.

  7. Love it. Neil is creatively funny.

    A friend gave me a frame with several pictures in it, I kept it up for decades then decide to store it away. I went to take the photos out and she had left a note in the back of the frame for when/if I took the pictures down. That has really stuck with me all these years.

  8. I. Love. It.

    Although I must admit, these kinds of details are the things at which I absolutely suck. I am terrible at finding “just the right gift” or being creative and original when it comes to gestures like cards and presents.


    I do always strive to write the BEST THING I KNOW HOW inside the (probably overused, completely unoriginal) card I buy at the grocery store.

    I do.

    I want my words to be meaningful, to resonate, to be something that person will always remember and/or keep.

    Even if the card is for a girl…ha!

    1. Julie, I’m like you! I would never have thought ot buy something non-paperish to write on. Whaaat? I always try to write beautiful words. And I think people like them.

      But in a tall stack of envelopes, well… the chicken took the cake How’s that for a mixed metaphor?

      I am a horrible shopper, so I pray that people like my words because my gifts usually suck. Seriously.

  9. One time a girl who worked for me found out I didn’t like Valentine’s Day. So she got me a heart-shaped pizza to cheer me up about it.

    So I married her.

  10. Oh how totally awesome! I love unique cards and sent stuff, not quite as cool as a rubber chicken, but cool to all my friends who graduated.

    1. Hi Jess! I have to say, in all my life, I’ve never gotten anything as cool as that card. And these days, anything hand-written is pretty special. I’m sure we will cherish the chicken for many years to come.

      Did I mention that the chicken squawks when you squeeze him? He does. I’m not talking about a bawk-bawk thing, but a full out, blood-curdling “Omigosh-he’s-going-to-cut-off-my-head!” scream. It’s something else. 😉

  11. HILARIOUS, Renee! I bet that story will get even funnier over time. 🙂

    A little gesture that sticks out for me: I moved in next door to my hubby before we started dating. I had a bunch of loaded boxes outside, and came home from work, expecting a soggy mess. But there was a large plastic tarp neatly covering them all.

    I thought my landlord did it until I got to know my hubby. I knew immediately, and asked if he’d done it. He had, and didn’t even care whether I knew. A sign of a huge, awesome heart.

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