Today, August 28th, 2015, is the 12th birthday of Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest-ever Oscar nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Happy birthday, Quvenzhané! Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Quvenzhané, Happy Birthday to you! Suppose you were asked to sing this song, solo, at Quvenzhané’s birthday party. But […]

I faked my bar-mitzvah. 

The rabbi gave me an audiotape with instructions to memorize my portion. I quickly learned the first five lines of text. The rabbi trusted that with practice, I would learn the rest. On the big day, after exhausting my five-line repertoire, I improvised guttural noises to a Torah-y tune. The rabbi tapped me on the […]