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The $10,000 'Bark' Mitzvah

By Tamar Yonah
8/27/2008, 12:00 AM

He spent $10,000 on a 'Bark'-Mitzvah party for his dog.  Ten thousand dollars!  Watch this video and then I will comment below.

Original news report and video can be seen HERE.

So, we have a very successful, nice looking, clean cut man.  He seems educated and well off.  Very well off if he can spend thousands of dollars just to have a party for his dog to have fun, AND is planning a 21st birthday party for his dog in the future.

What has the world come to?

I would like to say a few words to Elvis's owner, David Best. 

Mr. Best,

I have a bone to pick with you.

1)  If you wanted to honor your dog, you could have donated the ten thousand dollars to a hospital or school or any other worthy organization – IN YOUR DOG'S HONOR. A play room for kids with cancer in a hospital could have been named the 'Elvis' room. It would have made more people happy, and would last much longer than a Torah-defiling dog party. That $10,000 could have been donated to a pound, or animal rescue service, or teaching children proper care of animals, and it would have made your little Elvis a lot happier in the long run.

2) Your video of your dog at the podium reading the Torah was a mockery and highly offensive to many Jews AND non Jews alike. 

3)  If an anti-Semite had put a tallit and yarmulke on a dog and laughed about it, people all over the world would be screaming, "Anti-Semite!".  I bet your zayde (grandfather) donned these garments.  I wonder how he feels with you putting them on a dog.

4) Mr. Best, you defended your actions by claiming that one has to have a dog to really know what it's all about.  I have had dogs all my life.  They are a great addition to a family, and we loved all our dogs very much.   But to spend $10,000 on a bark-mitzvah, when all you have to do is look out your window to see the suffering of humanity, it is not just frivolous, but sickening and immoral.

I believe that you believe that you are a nice man.  But even seemingly nice people perpetrate evil acts.  Using the blessing of wealth that G-d has given you, on a mockery and a debasing of a holy ceremony which is meant for the time of life when a Jewish boy becomes a man and takes on the holy mitzvoth for himself, and then replacing it with a dog, is akin to the selfish acts of one who lived in Sodom & Gemorah so many years ago.  Perhaps you thought it was cute to throw a party called a 'Bark' Mitzvah.  Perhaps the people attending your party thought it was just the hippest thing and giggled when they received and accepted your invitation.  But to those of us who see how much good you could have done, it shows a man with a huge ego, and no feeling for others pain and suffering around him.

And so, you can fire your rabbi.  You can take your dog Elvis, to the Pope.  It all doesn't matter.  Elvis may go to doggy heaven, but you will rue your life where you could have brought such goodness to the world, yet chose to use your blessings for your own ego.

That's the bone I had to pick with you. Excuse me now, I have to go and feed my dog.

Left: My newest dog 'Honey'. Isn't she cute? 

Our last dog lived for 17 years, we got her from the pound.  Our other dog that we had before Honey, we adopted from Gush Katif several years ago when my children found her dying on the beach.  Yes, my family are dog lovers.  However, if we had $10,000 to spend, it would be to build our local school which needs more classrooms for our children.  Spending money to make a mockery of G-d and the Torah is just plain barking up the wrong tree.

 

Another gem to show the loss of understanding of the meaning of a bar/bat mitzvah.  Enjoy, laugh and weep.