In 2007, I received a gift. I ripped off its wrapping paper, opened the box, and squinted until I could adequately decipher what was printed on the two pieces of paper I held in my hand. Then, I shrieked: A friend had given me a pair of Justin Timberlake concert tickets for my bat mitzvah. My dreams were about to come true.
At the time, I was obsessed with Timberlake (he was, in fact, bringing sexy back), and a 12-year-old me couldn’t imagine anything better than sitting in the fourth row at the Izod Center in New Jersey, pretending he was serenading me alone. And he did. When Timberlake sang about summer love, I convinced myself he was singing about me. As far as bat mitzvah gifts go, I thought, surely this is the peak. But to all the parents out there planning future coming-of-age extravaganzas, be warned: the bar has been raised.
Last weekend, one lucky tween got to enjoy her bat mitzvah with Drake, the Jewish rapper of every Jewish girl’s dreams. AT NYC’s Rainbow Room, Drizzy performed a few of his hits, including “My Way” and “Hotline Bling,” and he even invited the adorable glitter-garbed bat mitzvah girl to sing along.
Drake performing “Hotline Bling” at a bat mitzvah tonight in NYC. pic.twitter.com/M6oASIncUD
— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) February 21, 2016
In this video, the Bat Mitzvah girl (or let’s assume that’s her) sings with Drake, and dances with him, and even appears to touch him. Her face radiates, and she feels the music. It reminded me of the way I felt at the Timberlake concert. That night was the highlight of the sixth grade for me, but I can only imagine my ecstasy had I actually been able to sing or dance alongside JT, to touch him.
To be sure, this isn’t the first time a celebrity has performed at a bar or bat mitzvah celebration. But given Drake’s special connection to this specific religious rite of passage, his appreciation for them might be a little more authentic. I’ll admit it, I’m a little jealous of this girl. I got tickets for my bat Mitzvah; she got Drake. In the flesh. But it’s nice to see any young kid’s dreams come true—whatever they may be, and whichever heartthrob musician they may involve.
Jordana Narin is an intern at Tablet