Janos’ Bar Mitzvah speech

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This is the speech I prepared for my Bar Mitzvah.

My father, who really knew how to lead a Seder, didn't host one at our home. My aunts weren't really interested in religion. My aunt Iren was rather an atheist. Friday they kept, my mother lit candles. But my father bought a gorgeous, leather-bound complete prayer book - unfortunately somehow we managed to spirit it away. There were one or two volumes on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. My father bought them. He took me, when I was still a little kid, to temple, then in school it was sort of required.

Well, let me tell you about the Bar Mitzvah we had in '39. It was in the boys' orphanage in elegant surroundings. It was important for them that I do it there. When there was a Bar Mitzvah then everyone who was to be invited got a very nice, proper invitation. Jews and non-Jews. The circle of friends, the immediate ones, wasn't all Jews. But they all know that he went to Rosh Hashanah, or temple. He didn't go regularly, sometimes on Friday, but usually I did instead, because its what you half-way had to do in school. At the end of '44 I fell out with the non-existing God, I even went so far as to say that man made God in his likeness, and not the other way around.

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Interviewee: Janos Dorogi
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Budapest, Hungary


Janos Dorogi
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Pediatric surgeon

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