from the second a male turns 13, he is barmitzva. no smoke, illusions, trips to Israel make it happen. You're right also that there should be joy in beginning to keep mitzvot. However, there are too many families where there is no mitzva observance, there is sacreligious disregard for anything Jewish and the parents use no sechel in nurturing a child's Jewish development and by bar mitzvah, the kids Jewish neshama is totally snuffed out. There are a lot of Jewish morons who think they know what judaism is from their pre-k jewish education. Is Emanuel one of those? Can't say, but if he is, then the proud bar mitzvah boy may see more light than what he has been exposed to thus far.
Brazilian head of UN peacekeeping force in Haiti dies of heart attack (Reuters)