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Judith ViorstIt's that pride that Oppenheimer encourages in those Jews who are critical of the imperfect or worse bar mitzvah, who view the rite as an embarrassment of conspicuous consumption or a parody of true religious feeling. But Oppenheimer insists that the increased popularity of b'nai mitzvah suggests a growing hunger for the ritual. And although he won't convince everyone, his engaging book makes the argument that the service (even if lightweight) and the party (even if gaudy) can still be of genuine value to the participants, who are standing before their community and, in a public Jewish ceremony, taking their first steps into adulthood.
— The New York Times