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Brad Mitzvah

‘Brad Mitzvah’

Season 1, Episode 11 -  Aired January 12, 2022

Brad faces his nerves ahead of his Bar Mitzvah. Meanwhile, Dean's girlfriend Charlene tells him he can't hang out with Keisa anymore.

Quote from Brad

Brad: For my Bar Mitzvah, I studied a Rabbinic text that explains that every person is given three names. The first is the name given to you by your parents. For me, that was Baruch, my Hebrew name. The second is the name given to you by your friends. For me, that was Brad. But the third is the most important name. It's the name you give yourself. Now, it's that third one I was stuck on. I had to really think about who I was, separate from who people wanted me to be or who people were forcing me to be. Being Jewish in Montgomery means feeling different all the time. I spent a lot of that time... feeling embarrassed about being Jewish. But I don't want to feel that way anymore. So from now on, I'm not just gonna stand by while people make fun of me or try to make me feel bad. No, instead, I'm gonna stand up for myself, for my people, and for what I believe is right.
Now, I may I not know what my third name is yet, but I do know who I am. A proud Jew from Alabama. [laughter] Thank you, and Shabbat Shalom! [applause, crowd shouting "Shabbat Shalom!"]
Adult Dean: It was in that moment that I started seeing Brad in a new light. Up until that point, I could name all the things that made us different, but after Brad's speech, it was clear we had way more in common than I'd ever realized.
Cory: L'chaim!
Adult Dean: And it was those similarities that made us that much closer and our friendship that much stronger, even to this day. Brad later confided in me that he did take my advice and pictured everyone in their underwear. Unfortunately, that also included my sister. [Brad holds the scrolls in front of himself as he backs away] Poor Brad. He needed a moment to compose himself afterwards.
Brad: [to Rabbi] No. No, no.


Quote from Adult Dean

Adult Dean: When you're 12 years old, anything that makes you unique makes you stand out, and that's the last thing you want to do in junior high.
Girl: [to Dean] Can I... touch it?
Adult Dean: Gary Coleman hadn't made the afro part a common sight yet.

Quote from Adult Dean

Adult Dean: While being one of only three Black kids in my class was a more obvious difference, it wasn't so obvious to me how my friend Brad stood out.
Billy: Hey, Brad!
Adult Dean: Even though he looked White, people saw him differently, too.
Billy: There's a penny. [penny clinks] You gonna pick it up? [snickering]
Adult Dean: At 12, I didn't understand the complexity and hate behind the joke. I just knew they were targeting Brad because he was Jewish. And Brad was just doing what we were all doing... Trying to survive junior high.
[After Brad rolls his eyes and walks away with Cory, Dean bends down and picks up the penny]
Adult Dean: I know what you're looking at, but a penny's a penny!

Quote from Cory

Brad: Yeah, well, I gotta learn to sing my Bar Mitzvah parsha and then write a whole speech about it. And it's not one of those cool portions about locusts or boils, either. It's just a father giving advice to his sons on his deathbed.
Cory: Yeah, and all that's from the Torah, right?
Dean: Stop bragging because you know one Jewish thing.
Brad: Imagine singing something in a language you barely know in front of people you barely know.
Dean: Sounds brutal.
Cory: All this just to turn 13 and dance the hora, huh?
Dean: Fine. Two Jewish things.

Quote from Bill

Bill: [laughs] Look at you. You got yourself a little girlfriend. [laughs] My man!
Adult Dean: It's an exciting thing when your dad's impressed with you for the first time.
Bill: You got any money on you? Got a girlfriend now. Gotta have a little money in your pocket at all times.
Dean: But you don't give me an allowance.
Bill: That's right. Not going to. But here's $3 for you and your lady.
Lillian: Well, I think it's sweet that you have a girlfriend. Charlene seems like a nice girl.
Bill: And she's a preacher's daughter, so make sure you treat her right. Be respectful. Don't be out there acting all mannish.
Dean: All we ever do is talk.
Bill: Then what you need those $3 for? [takes money back]

Quote from Keisa

Keisa: If we were still friends, I could trade you this extra Willie Mays card I have. But how would you ever explain it to your girlfriend?
Adult Dean: It quickly became clear that my decision to end my friendship with Keisa had completely backfired.
Keisa: Anyone want homemade brownies?
Cory: Ohh!
Hampton: Oh, yes!
Keisa: Sorry, Dean. My mom told me to share these with my friends. And since we aren't friends anymore...
Adult Dean: The woman was diabolical.
Brad: Too bad you and Keisa can't be friends anymore. She's great! I even invited her to my Bar Mitzvah.
Adult Dean: Brad's breath had the smell of delicious double-fudge brownies mixed with the stench of betrayal!

Quote from Dean

Adult Dean: With all the Charlene and Keisa drama, I forgot that I was entering an actual synagogue for the first time in my life, though it kind of reminded me of church. There was one thing that I couldn't quite figure out, though.
Dean: Hey. Where's their Jesus on the cross? [Kim clicks her teeth] What? Jesus was a Jewish man, too, you know.
Adult Dean: Clearly, I was still playing catch-up on the whole Jewish thing.

Quote from Keisa

Adult Dean: I know what I said to Charlene was harsh, but I have to admit, it felt good to finally take control of things and stand up for myself. Now I just had one thing left to do.
Dean: [gasps] Ooh, Keisa! I was just looking...
Keisa: Save it, Dean. Charlene told me how cruel you were to her.
Dean: Wait. I-I-I was only trying to just be...
Keisa: Look. I need to be Charlene's friend right now. [Charlene sniffles]
Dean: What?
Keisa: It's like when you stopped being friends with me because Charlene asked you to. Well, Charlene needs me right now. And I can't be friends with you while she hates you. But you understand that. Right, Dean?
Adult Dean: Clearly, Keisa wasn't finished punishing me for what I'd done to her earlier. Turns out all 12-year-old girls need in order to become lifelong friends is a common enemy, and that enemy was me.

Quote from Kim

Dean: Kim, you're invited, too.
Kim: To what?
Dean: Brad's Bar Mitzvah party.
Kim: [scoffs] I'd rather be caught dead than go to a party with a bunch of little kids. Plus, Brad stares at me too much.
Lillian: Actually, Kim, I think you should go.
Kim: What part of "I'd rather be caught dead" are you not hearing?
Bill: I know I didn't just hear attitude coming from that mouth.
Kim: No, sir.

Quote from Kim

Lillian: This is an environment Dean hasn't been in before.
Kim: So?
Bill: So, we know Brad's folks, but we don't know Brad's folks' folks.
Lillian: I think it'd be a good idea for Dean to have someone there to look after him, someone who cares about him.
Kim: [laughs] Why you asking me, then?
Bill: You're going, and that's final.
Kim: Fine. But I'm gonna need some new Bar Mitzvah shoes.

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