By now, you’ve probably heard about Sam Horowitz and the extravagant celebration following his bar mitzvah at Shearith Israel in Preston Hollow. His video went viral and was reported on local and national media outlets. He even landed an interview on Good Morning America.

If you haven’t already, watch the video — complete with Dallas Mavs dancers, Jennifer Lopez pop tunes, and Sam’s towering name lit up behind the stage at the Omni Hotel.

A religion writer from the Washington Post, however, wasn’t thrilled with the display, writing “The Bar Mitzvah (which is a stage a child reaches, not the name of a ceremony) is important because one becomes responsible for the mitzvot, not because one poorly approximates a pubescent Justin Timberlake.”

Sam’s rabbi William Gershon at Shearith Israel came to his defense, the DMN Scoop Blog reports.

“… your words play right into that sensationalism and buttress the real travesty of this matter — the egregious and hateful words directed at a child of God, which have now gone viral on the Internet and blogosphere,” Gershon wrote in a letter to the columnist, David Wolpe.

It’s understandable to express concern over the excess, to paraphrase Gershon, but mocking a 13-year-old kid? Not cool.

Tell us what you think. Was Sam’s video over-the-top? Or just a creative and innocent way to celebrate his sacred milestone?


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