Touched by an Angel

Season 6 Episode 18

Bar Mitzvah

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 12, 2000 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Bar Mitzvah
Ross Berger, an 83 year old owner of a successful chain of exercise gyms, credits his recovery from a stroke to his own physical strength and will. He considers himself a self-made man and believes religion is for the weak. Ross' son Alan, on the other hand, is a man of faith in God and a well-respected college professor who deeply values his Jewish heritage. Alan's son Aaron, who is preparing for his bar mitzvah, admires his grandfather's physical strength more than his father's spiritual faith. Monica and Tess agree to help Ross produce an exercise video for stroke victims, while Andrew tutors Aaron in Hebrew, teaching him the true meaning of the bar mitzvah, the acceptance of his new responsibilities as a man of God. Alan's wife Connie is worried about Ross' influence on Aaron, but is even more concerned about Alan's frequent dizzy spells, one of which results in a serious car accident. When Alan receives the news that he is dying from a rapidly growing brain tumor, he confides in Ross. Despite Alan's pleas to spend his final days with his family, Ross pledges to find better doctors and newer treatments, promising to fix the situation with his own resources. Soon after, Alan collapses and is taken to the hospital. Even while ill, Alan is concerned with Aaron's bar mitzvah, asking Ross to participate in the ceremony if he is unable. Ross agrees and also prays with Alan, but when Aaron oversees this, he believes his grandfather has weakened and has given up trying to save his father. When Andrew arrives as the Angel of Death, Alan realizes that his faith has been justified, and he dies in peace. Aaron is devastated and angry, both at God and at Ross for not saving Alan. Aaron refuses to proceed with the ceremony, citing his grandfather's belief that religion is for the weak as a reason, Meanwhile, Monica reveals to Ross that she is an angel, and encourages him to humble himself before God and accept his love. The next day at the ceremony, the rabbi announces that there will be no bar mitzvah. Ross then steps forward to state his desire to be bar mitzvah. Ross tells Aaron that he was wrong to believe in religion was for the weak and admits that Alan was right all along. Grandfather and grandson join each other in reading the Torah, embracing their Jewish faith and heritage.moreless

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  • The Berger family are not having a great time and it's up to Adam, Tess and Monica to see what they can do to help.

    Ross Berger is a self-made man who has done well with a chain of exercise gyms. After a crippling stroke, he fought his way back to physical health and credits his recovery to himself alone and not to any assistance from God. He has all but put his Jewish faith behind him and is not terribly interested in the upcoming Bar Mitzvah of his young grandson, but the boy's father, a university professor, has deep faith and finds that he needs it more than ever when an inoperable brain tumour is found. Alan puts his faith in God, while Ross tells him to put it in the doctors.

    Close to death, Alan knows he won't be around for young Aaron's Bar Mitzvah, so he asks his father to stand up with the boy instead, but Ross goes one better and decides to have another of his own, his faith in God re-affirmed by his son and the angels.

    Not a bad episode and certainly good to see Kirk Douglas on screen but it seemed a little too 'busy' to me, with too much happening at once which really detracted from the main storyline.moreless

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