Best Bar Mitzvah Ever!

Herman Greenbaum had suddenly come into a large sum of money when his small manufacturing company was acquired by a multi-national conglomerate. This was fortunate, as Herman's son, Izzy, had just turned 13 and it was time to plan the Bar Mitzvah.

In keeping with his new station in life, Herman calls up the fanciest catering company on Long Island and asks for their "free party planning consultation." The caterer arrives at Herman's palatial new house and begins to describe a number of possible options. With each suggestion, Herman shrugs and asks, "But can't you come up with something more unusual for my little Isadore?"

"Well," asks the caterer "is there anything in particular that your son really likes?" Herman thinks for a minute and then responds, "Well, he likes animals. We got him a cocky spaniel and he really loves to play with the dog." "Aha," says the caterer. "I think I have just the thing!" And, with the authority of a craftsman who truly knows his trade, the caterer describes his proposal:

"On the eve of the Bar Mitzvah, we will rent an entire floor at the Plaza in New York City to accommodate all of the guests. We will take them to the synagogue by limousine and then return to the Plaza for an elegant seven course formal dinner. Following the dinner, when they return to their rooms, where they will each find a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and fresh cut flowers in a souvenir Steuben crystal vase etched with a likeness of your son and the date of the Bar Mitzvah.

"The next morning, the limousines will line up in front of the Plaza and, with an official police escort, will take everyone to JFK airport where we will have chartered two Airbus A380’s to fly the Bar Mitzvah boy and the entire Bar Mitzvah party to Israel. Each plane will be custom painted in colors and motifs of Izzy’s favorite animals.

There in the old city of Jerusalem, your rabbi will lead the boy through his Torah and Haphtarah portions. Following the ceremony, the guests will be chauffeured back to the airport where they will board the waiting Airbus’s for a champagne reception as the planes break the sound barrier in close formation.

"The planes will then land in Nairobi where the guests will be met by an entourage of elephants who will carry them on a safari through the great Serengeti preserve while three acclaimed photographers from the National Geographic snap pictures of your son and the guests with the exotic wildlife as cherished mementos of the occasion."

Herman is duly impressed and agrees that this will be a truly fine celebration for little Izzy.

Come the night before the Bar Mitzvah, everyone arrives at the Plaza. The freshly polished limousines are all lined up to take the guests to the synagogue. The dinner is more spectacular than even Herman imagined. Everyone is delighted with their accommodations. The next morning, the trip to JFK airport is led by a police escort with small Israeli flags fluttering from the back of the police motorcycles. The trip to Israel on the Airbus's is perfect. Little Izzy gets to read his Torah and Haphtarah portions with barely an error. The guests enjoy the champagne reception at the speed of sound and are delighted when they see the elephants lined up at the Nairobi airport. Off they head into the Serengeti nature preserve while a coterie of the very best National Geographic photographers snap photographs of little Izzy and the guests. Baron Ambrosia, THE Connoisseur of Culinary Consciousness, himself is directing the video production of the documentary underwritten by the History Channel.

But soon the entourage comes to a complete stop in the middle of the grasslands. The procession does not move. Ten minutes go by. Then twenty. Then an hour. The sun is hot and the guests are becoming restless. Finally, Herman grows concerned enough to instruct the handler of his elephant to have the elephant kneel down so that Herman can get off and find out what's happening. Herman walks up the line of elephants, reassuring the guests. As he nears the front of the safari, he meets the caterer who is coming in the opposite direction.

"What's going on??" asks Herman, his voice quivering with dismay.

"Now, now, Mr. Greenbaum," replies the caterer, reassuringly. "You will just have to be patient. There are two other Bar Mitzvahs ahead of us."

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