Bar Mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah

[bahr mits-vuh or, Ashk. Heb. bahr; Seph. Heb. bahr meets-vah]
Bar Mitzvah [Aramaic,=son of the Commandment], Jewish ceremony in which the young male is initiated into the religious community, according to tradition at the age of 13 years and a day. The celebrant performs his first act as an adult, saying the blessing for the reading in the synagogue of part of the weekly portion of the Torah or, more traditionally, performing the actual reading. The exact content of the ceremony varies according to local traditions and customs (e.g., Ashkenazic or Sephardic). Today the religious ceremony is accompanied by a social celebration that is considered a Seudat Mitzvah, a feast in celebration of the fulfillment of a commandment. The 20th cent. has seen the introduction (1922) of the Bas, or Bat, Mitzvah, a comparable ceremony for the young female, by the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist groups and to a much lesser extent by the Orthodox. The Bat Mitzvah ceremony is performed at the age of 12 or 13. It often includes the reading of the weekly Haftarah, although it is increasingly becoming identical with the Bar Mitzvah.

Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah is a live album by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, released on October 19, 2004 on Fat Wreck Chords.

It was recorded live at an actual bar mitzvah party, and its runtime lasts their entire performance, including a break in which little can be heard other than the sounds of party guests wandering around and chatting amongst each other. Jonny Wixen, the Bar Mitzvah boy, plays drums on one of the hidden tracks that are on the final track. The CD comes with footage of the bar mitzvah.

This album is interesting in that instead of the standard live album which includes live versions of popular songs by the band, the album is almost entirely made up of songs that have not appeared on previous albums. The only exceptions are two hidden tracks: "Seasons in the Sun" from Have a Ball (1997) and "Sloop John B" from Blow in the Wind (2001).

Song notes

  • The beginning of the performance of "The Longest Time" which seems slightly out of character is taken from the Stiff Little Fingers track "Suspect Device" of the album Inflammable Material (1979).
  • "Hava Nagila (Christmas Arrangement)" is a song which features the music of "Feliz Navidad" with the lyrics changed to include Hava Nagila and Rosh Hashanah.
  • The opening of "Superstar" is taken from The Adolescents' song, "Kids of the Black Hole".
  • The (non-Christmas) arrangement of "Hava Nagila" interpolates the guitar riff from "Come Out and Play" by The Offspring.
  • The opening of "Sloop John B" is a near exact copy of the opening of Teenage Lobotomy by The Ramones

Original performers

The following lists, where applicable, who originally performed each song, or in some cases who performed the most popular version, and on what album it originally appeared on.

Track listing

  1. "Jonny's Blessing"
  2. "Stairway to Heaven" – (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant)
  3. "Heart of Glass" – (Debbie Harry, Chris Stein)
  4. "Delta Dawn" – (Larry Collins)
  5. "Come Sail Away" – (Dennis DeYoung)
  6. "O Sole Mio" – (Traditional)
  7. "Strawberry Fields Forever" – (Lennon-McCartney)
  8. "Auld Lang Syne" – (Traditional)
  9. "The Longest Time" – (Billy Joel)
  10. "Always on My Mind" – (Johnny Christopher, Mark James, Wayne Carson Thompson)
  11. "Take It on the Run" – (Gary Richrath)
  12. "Superstar" – (Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell)
  13. "Hava Nagila" – (Traditional)
  14. "Hava Nagila (Christmas Arrangement)" – (Traditional)

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