When I started Milken Community High School's middle school after finishing the sixth grade at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, I further realized how unacquainted I was with my own feelings toward my religion. Although we had Judaic studies every year, I felt unable to drift away from my parents' beliefs and create my own.
Some kids aren't cut out for academic rigor. Leaving them in a mismatched environment often leads them toward self-destructive paths to failure
"Eve of Destruction" by P. F. Sloan.
One is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until one cannot distinguish between "cursed is Haman" and "blessed is Mordechai" (Talmud, Megillah 7b).
Many Native American parents, in an adolescent rite of passage, send their teenage sons on a solo journey, without food and with little water, into the wilderness. This is called a vision quest, and the child doesn't return until he is visited in a dream by his personal spirit. Often, this takes several days.
We Jews, on the other hand, who are not called stiff-necked for nothing, insist not only on keeping our hormonally challenged teenagers at home, but also on presenting them to the entire Jewish community in an elaborate, expensive and anxiety-provoking ceremony. This is called a bar or bat mitzvah, and it signifies that our teenager has become an adult according to Jewish law, even though this child still cannot vote, drive or pick up his socks.
French-Canadian director Léa Pool calls her latest movie a teenage-lesbian version of "Romeo and Juliet."