This just in: Glenn Greenwald was never bar mitzvahed

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Two articles about Glenn Greenwald in today's Ha'aretz
These two articles appeared in Ha’aretz online on May 15. Click picture to enlarge.

I find the simultaneous appearance of these two columns (12) about Glenn Greenwald in yesterday’s Ha’aretz to be hilarious.

Is the lack of a bar mitzvah meant to somehow call into question the character of the journalist who published classified documents which angered the American government, its intelligence community and also their close, although duplicitous allies, in the Israeli government and intelligence services?  If so, will this surprising part of his personal history have traction with the readers of the well-regarded and purportedly progressive newspaper?

I doubt very strongly if this revelation, which comes from an interview Greenwald gave to GQ  magazine, would be very meaningful to even most  pro-Israeli American readers, who would seem to prefer their character denigration of those critical of Israel to come from the Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons, American political analysts, Jewish community leaders or in this case directly from the Israeli intelligence community.

Maybe if the editors of Ha’aretz would have not used the identical picture for both stories it would have been easier to ignore this bizarre juxtaposition.

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Ha’aretz suggests: GG is not qualified to receive the polite attention of the American (or other) public, because, as it now transpires, he was never Bar Mitzvaed. OMG! And there I was, actually listening to (or reading) him! Well, well, a declaration of religious power if I ever saw one: WE (who were BM’d) are ELECTORS !! And We elect to “out” GG for not being a member of the electors !! This was not… Read more »

Greenwald does record in his new book that he attended the bat mitzvah of his best friend (he elsewhere says that his lifelong best friend is Norman Fleisher, “one of the world’s best and bravest investigative journalists”). However, Greenwald criticizes what the rabbi said at that ceremony, because the rabbi said or implied that one must always follows the rules imposed by the supreme authority, God, which lesson Greenwald says enforces orthodoxies, compels adherence, and… Read more »

I didn’t read the Haaretz article. I had already read the Algemeiner version and all the really classy comments.

Sorry Ira, but I would chalk this up to clumsy coincidence rather than any attempt to discredit Glenn. Haaretz runs articles like this all the time about prominent people who happen to be Jewish – purely hypothetical examples: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg has second bat mitzvah at age 78”; “Ryan Braun trying to reconnect with Jewish roots during suspension.” With GG, neither article appears critical of him. Surely someone should have noticed what you accurately describe… Read more »

Could someone here offer a little cultural background for the three or four of us goyim who still check out MW occasionally? I have a pretty good idea about the BarM ceremony because I recall how my Jewish buddies used to talk about it when I was a kid. What I don’t have a feel for is the intra-cultural blow-back for not being BarM’d, or whether most Jews would find it offensive or repulsive or… Read more »