David Arquette Celebrates a Belated Bar Mitzvah… but Does It Really Mean Anything? June 13, 2012

David Arquette Celebrates a Belated Bar Mitzvah… but Does It Really Mean Anything?

Actor David Arquette — you might know him best from the Scream films — celebrated his bar mitzvah Monday on a 28-year delay while filming a segment of a travel show in Israel.

David Arquette celebrates his bar mitzvah (via Israeli Tourism Ministry and Associated Press)

According to the Associated Press, Arquette was an onlooker of the ceremony of a teenage boy and was asked if he wanted a ceremony of his own. He went for it:

“I had my Bar Mitzvah today at the wall…” the “Scream” actor said Monday on Twitter. “Finally I’m a man.”

Finally, he’s a man?!

After not identifying with his Jewish roots for nearly his entire life, the notion that participating in this ancient ritual makes Arquette a man is ridiculous.

It begs the question of whether or not he considered himself a man after other non-religious milestones. Arquette has a successful career in the entertainment industry, has a child, and just days before the impromptu ceremony, filed for divorce from estranged wife Courtney Cox. In a secular culture, these events would most definitely qualify Arquette for manhood.

Learning more about one’s heritage is admirable, but going through the motions of an ancient ceremony and claiming it has made one more of a man doesn’t help progress a culture already entrenched with patriarchy and religious dominance.

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  • Rob

    I’m a “Jewish” Atheist .. and I recognize that he was joking when he said, “Now, finally, I’m a man.”  Yes, it’s a stupid ritual .. but I can’t get worked up by it. This is a non-story.

  • If I had been in his shoes and someone asked me if I wanted a bar mitzvah (at the Western Wall no less), I would have said HELL YES, and afterwards, I would have said “today I am a man.” I would probably have been incredibly moved, as well.

    I say that as a a woman and as a lifelong atheist.

    I agree with Rob. Non-story.

  • Tiffany Harding

    did he get presents?  and i’ve always wanted to do the chair dance.  it really looks like fun.  but yeah, it’s silly as hell.

  • This is…. what? Who cares?

  • It’s a damn site better than the greatest moment in Sandra Bullock’s life.

  • BrianUtterback

    Reciting the phrase “today I am a man” is a traditional part of the ceremony.  So, for someone that feels the desire to have a Bar Mitzvah as an adult, it makes sense to say the words and even perhaps feel more complete because of it. Hard to get upset about the one if you don’t mind the other.

  • Fsq

    Up next, shoes sometimes come equipped with laces and a new segment we like to call “Paint Drying”.

    WTF is this? Is this what passes for atheist content now?

  • Tainda

    You don’t have a funny detector, do you? lol

  • Without being given the exact context, his  “Finally I’m a man” comment comes off as just him being silly. I highly doubt he was serious. I might have done it too, even as an atheist, as a kind of theme park attraction. 

    I don’t know his religious views, but it seems like it’s just a joke. He’s probably well aware of his manhood after being married to Courtney Cox.

  • He is also a former WCW World Heavyweight Champion, don’t forget about that!

  • Every culture has its rites of passage into manhood/womanhood. He missed one of his, and had an opportunity later to remedy that- and in a culturally significant place. So what? It probably had little religious significance. Most of my Jewish friends when I was growing up were atheists, or nearly so, and most had bar/bat mitzvahs.

    This isn’t much of a story. Now if it were reported that the rabbi had performed a belated brit… well, now that would be interesting! (And the pictures worth a small fortune to People Magazine.)

  • Gus Snarp

    Reads like a joke to me.

  • it’s called “press” and it’s what celebrities do. “look at me, i’m embracing my cultural/religious/ethnic heritage in a touching ceremony with irony and emotion.” now he’s higher up on the list of actors to choose for the next big production of “movie about jewish people” and his agent is happy. if he had been a black man and done the ‘see where you came from in africa’ thingee that some black people do this would not have made the blog here, and it’s basically the same thing.

  • T-Rex

    This looks like a Huffpost article about “insert famous, irrelevant person’s name here” and has about as much significance as one. Next!

  • Somebody’s LULZ-Meter needs calibrating. He was probably joking. It’s not like he’s known for his in-depth caracter studies and intense drama; he’s a comedy actor for the most part. You do yourself no favours reaching like Stretch Armstrong for the tiniest crumb of possible outrage. To be honest, it’s more like you’re manufacturing outrage. I can’t even see anything you could stretch to reach the level of outraged derp that makes up this post.

    TL;DNR version:
    It was a joke, chill out.

  • The Other Weirdo

    There’s a version for girls/women.

  • The Other Weirdo

    It means what it means. Just because it means nothing to you doesn’t alter the fact that it means something to somebody. If it had been a gay man who had denied it all his life and then finally admitted it to himself and said, “Finally, I feel normal!”, would you have had this reaction? Would you have said, “It’s hard to believe that after all this time it would mean anything.”?

    Sure, it’s not exactly the same situation, but it still holds up.

    What’s with all the arrogance in the latest guest posts? Yes, it’s an ancient ritual, but it’s a benign one. So freaking what? How is it any of your business? Yes, I’m sure he’ll be immediately rushing out and oppressing your ass.

    Disclaimer: Jewish, adult, atheist, never had bar mitzvah.

  • Does it mean anything?  No.  He’s an actor. As such he needs to try and keep his name in the spotlight.  This ritual for him means as much as the Mormons converting people after they die.

  • D_I_S_D

     I was going to say that beating Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff made him in a man in my eyes long ago.

  • DeviousSoybeans


  • Sorry, the irony meter shot off the scale there. I think I must not be the only one who remembers the Seinfeld episode when the 13 year old son of Elaine’s boss gets his barmitzvah and says that he’s a man, and then starts to hit on Elaine.

    EDIT: Please don’t get me wrong: I think that it would be incredibly ridiculous to really think that “manhood” begins after a barmitzvah. I just don’t think that he was being serious. =)

  • Carrie

    If you’ll allow me a moment of pedantry, that’s not what “begging the question” means. It may raise a question, in this context, but no question was begged. 

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