Historians are baffled by the enigma that is the Jew. “What is the secret of his immortality?” asks Mark Twain. In a letter written to a young man upon the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah in 1942, the Lubavitcher Rebbe gave a moving and profound answer. Learn how our tiny nation, which numbers less than a statistical error in the Chinese census, gets its power from the world’s first Bar Mitzvah, when Og, the mighty king of Bashan threatened to crush Issac, the Bar Mitzvah Boy.
Amidst the ravages and destruction unleashed by the Ogs of history, the very same Heavenly voice that rang out at the first Bar Mitzvah is renewed at every subsequent Bar Mitzvah: “I swear that you will live to see thousands of his descendants,” G-d says, “and in the end you will fall by their hands.” The children of Abraham can never be defeated by the forces of Og. Evil adversaries, such as the Emperor Hadrian, the man responsible for one of the first attempts to destroy the Jews, is today imprisoned behind glass in Jerusalem gazing blindly at the thousands of Jewish children visiting the Israel Museum. He bears witness to the thousands of descendents of Abraham and Sarah whom he had sworn to wipe out.
The message and lesson of the first Bar Mitzvah is the legacy we pass on to our children to this day. Indeed, as we gather to celebrate in the spirit of the Inaugural Bar Mitzvah, we witness the miracle of Judaism as it continues to flourish in the modern world.
L’chaim Bar Mitzvah boy, carry forth the torch of Torah and Judaism. Continue the momentous journey begun by Abraham and Sarah. Am Yisroel Chai!