I spent the next few days doing two things, and two things only: Trying to convince my dad that what he witnessed was not a failed suicide attempt, and practicing my Torah portion. Right to left, up to down, beginning to end, singing.

And when the day came, I donned my new light blue Don Johnson suit and went to Temple Beth Israel. I stood in front of my entire family and the Bar Mitzvah class of 1986 and did it. My voice didn't crack once.

I didn't do it because the Nazis were bad and we survived. I did it because I'd been bad and survived. I did it because I was Jewish, as inconvenient and confusing as it was. And I knew it meant something.