You thought ostentatious Bar Mitzvah parties were pretentious. You disliked the mindless memorizing and recitation of prayers. You didn’t know that Adon Olam is a melodic nostalgic hymn that you were only recruited to sing as if you were in a military parade band! You navigated two worlds – escaping into the world of street-gang youth at pool halls -- maintaining highly ritualized relationships; and socializing with classmates from the most privileged families in Iran. You left home at 16 – because you thought you needed strict discipline. On the way from Tehran to New Bedford you stopped in Jerusalem to perform the rite of passage to manhood at the Western Wall. You craved a spiritually significant initiation.