Monday, November 25, 2013

Bar Mitzvah

Jeffrey became a Bar Mitzvah before I got to know him well, but I know he was very proud of this accomplishment. His commitment to his religion was one that he took very seriously, and he explained all of these to me many times. The idea of being a mensch, or man of character, was something he always tried to live up to.

Jeffrey had opinions about other religions and a curiosity that was natural to someone who was genuinely interested in learning things. We would talk about different faiths and what they meant, and I'd try to explain as best I could some of the broader points of Buddism, Christianity and being a Muslim. Sometime he had preconceptions, but most often he tried to understand the concepts and how they related o being Jewish. Finally, he would decide what he thought and make a pronouncement along the lines of " nobody knows for sure" and leave it at that.

It was these times, when Jeffrey's natural curiosity and open minded attitude presented itself, that I most appreciated what he could accomplish, given the chance.

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