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Is it Appropriate for Grandmother to Sing to Bar Mitzvah Boy?

Is it Appropriate for Grandmother to Sing to Bar Mitzvah Boy?

Old Nov 28th, 2015, 05:37 PM
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Is it Appropriate for Grandmother to Sing to Bar Mitzvah Boy?

Hi,

My mother offered to sing a song at our son's Bar Mitzvah - the same one she sang at mine. ("Little Boy of Mine", translated from Yiddush Oiffen Pipenstock - or something like that). My wife feels it's inappropriate. I liked the suggestion since I'd like to share with my son the same warmth and good wishes I had at my Bar Mitzvah (and I don't have the voice to do that).

Is it appropriate for a grandparent to sing at their grandchild's Bar Mitzvah, or is this something that's not cool?

Thanks....
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Old Nov 28th, 2015, 06:07 PM
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Ask your Rabbi?

Although it sounds sweet.
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Old Nov 28th, 2015, 06:47 PM
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Why not?
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Old Nov 28th, 2015, 07:38 PM
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I am not sure why this is here, but why not? One can only assume it is not in an Orthodox shul.

The most inappropriate thing is spending $10,000's for a child's party, so I hardly see a grandparent's affection as inappropriate.
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Old Nov 28th, 2015, 08:08 PM
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Maybe the real question is what will cost you more, your mother's disappointment or your wife's disapproval. A very difficult choice. I feel for you.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 03:44 AM
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Would your son like it?
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 05:01 AM
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Why would your wife insist that your mother cannot sing to your son? Is she trying to set up a rivalry between herself and her mother-in-law?

HTtY
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 05:32 AM
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I just went to a bar mitzvah and baht mitzvah of first cousins. Both their paternal grandparents died in the last few months. They would have been thrilled for their grandmother to sing. No time to be petty. It should be a celebration of joy and family, not just an ostentatious display.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 05:35 AM
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What "cool" has to do with anything is beyond me.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 07:39 AM
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Curious - this is the poster's first post and it is not a travel related question. Not sure how one decides to ask this sort of question here.

BUT -

Unless your mother is a professional singer [and even then, I wouldn't have her sing] the short answer is no.

The long answer is no because:
#1. This is not her "little boy" he is his mom and dads' son.
#2. This is a birthday party [albeit a special one] for the son. Did Grandma sing at any of his parties before?
#3. Ask the bar mitzvah boy if HE wants her to sing. I am guessing if he is like most 13 year old boys he either couldn't care less or he would be mortified.
#4. Mom trumps Grandma.

As Dad, if you want "to share with my son the same warmth and good wishes I had at my Bar Mitzvah" make a toast in his honor and say whatever you'd like. A toast will make him seem more "man" like.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 08:47 AM
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I think that the best thing is to ask the boy. It's his day and it should be what he wants - he's working hard enough to get it. If he wants the song fine - if not - I can see doesn;t want to be uncomfortable in front of all his friends.

(Also I think the point about being a professional quality singer is a major one. My grandmother did sing at a couple of family weddings - but she was the lead soloist in her group's chorus - and they were good enough to sing at one of the Kennedy presidential inauguration balls.)
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 08:47 AM
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DebitNM, thoughtful and good answers.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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And don't forget -- a happy wife is a happy life
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 09:09 AM
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I agree 100% with DebitNM, especially #1
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 09:11 AM
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Let Bobba sing. And the idea that she needs to be a proffesional quality singer is bull. Just look at Audrey Hepburn singing Moon River - a huge controversy. The producers didn't want her to sing, but it was the most memorable part of the movie and song - an untrained voice singing from the heart and soul.

Why would Bobba singing to her grandson be less appropriate then Daddy doing a toast.. Do both. It's a life celebration of traditions. It all should be embraced.

Sunrise Sunset
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 09:52 AM
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It's Bubbie, Bubala.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 11:38 AM
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To me the 2 main issues are that it is her grandson (so "boy of mine" feels inappropriate) and that the mother of the boy objects.

If both parents and the grandson endorsed having Grandma perform, the rabbi approves, then for all I care she can juggle swords. But we don't know the grandson's take on this and she is proposing to sing something that sounds a bit like she is taking over the role of the kid's mother.

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that this is not the first time the grandmother and mother have clashed on control issues, especially about role confusion on the part of Grandma? I can just hear "your mother is always trying to... and you don't stand up to her"
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 01:37 PM
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My two cousins who just got bar and baht mitzvahed in the last two months would say yes. They are good kids and already understand not everyone in the family is the same.

I know I would have said yes, whether they could sing or not. It is the intention not whether they sing in key or not.
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 03:35 PM
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The grandmother doesn't need permission to sing. Overcome with love and joy, she should simply go to her beloved grandson, put her arm around him, and let her feelings pour out in song. Who would object to an expression of a grandmother's love?

On the other hand, if the grandmother just wants to turn the spotlight on herself, her daughter-in-law should put her in her place.

HTtY
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Old Nov 29th, 2015, 04:10 PM
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Thanks all. Of course we'd ask my son. The day is about him, and he has been involved in all the planning and decisions. He's a great kid and loves all his family, so I do think he'd appreciate the attention. Grandma is professional quality - has soloed in big name places before. But it is about the boy, her grandson. Unfortunately the person who speculated on past family strife is correct. My wife's parents and mine have had issues in the past. This may be more about that than anything else.
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