Belated Bar Mitzvah Celebrated Behind Bars

A belated Bar Mitzvah was celebrated under most unique circumstances – locked behind bars and wearing iron shackles in a Maryland jail.

A belated Bar Mitzvah was celebrated under most unique circumstances – locked behind bars and wearing iron shackles.

The man was assisted by Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Sholom Reindorp, founder and director of Jewish Incarcerated Family Services of Maryland, who attended his trial to show support for him and his family.

Before the trial commenced, the judge granted the Rabbi access to the holding cell to pray with the defendant.

Invoking the declaration of the sages that “the world stands on three pillars: Torah study, prayer, and kind deeds”, Rabbi Reindorp proceeded to share Torah insights, help the man say Shema, and give Tzedakah.

The walls of the cell echoed the Shofar blasts (as is customary during the month of Elul), as well as the heartfelt singing of Mazal Tov as they danced in celebration of laying Tefillin for the first time.

After the service, the defendant walked into the courtroom as a proud Jew with a yarmulka on his head.

The judge was moved by what had transpired and took it into account during the trial.

Jewish Incarcerated Family Services, a Chabad of Maryland organization, serves the Jewish incarcerated population across Maryland with chaplaincy visits, reentry programs, and support for the families. Visit jifsmd.org/donate to partner in this vital mission.

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