Some teenagers do not succeed in taking their place in filiation. They stay in the position of an almost asexual child, in families close to the primitive horde, where violence, hatred and passion reign.
The female pubertary is composed of the new things that surprise every adolescent girl at the time of the first menses, not only in her body but also and above all in her psychical life. This complex psychical process explores, among other things, the quality of the father’s gaze which follows the evolution of the organization of genital sexuality in his adolescent daughter. This work deals with a rather neglected aspect of the relation between daughter and father. In the analytic treatment of adolescents weak fathers, absent or even violent,can often be the object of huge protective movements and positive judgments on the part of their daughters, who’ll do anything to place the paternal image on a pedestal. In these cases, the Œdipal father seems to have to be kept alive and promoted in order to fulfil his function sufficiently. Indeed, it is only under such conditions that the parricidal fantasy may be fully recognized, its symbolic value fully elaborated, and the Œdipal father can disappear over the horizon.
The ritual ceremony of the Bar-mitzvah marks the Jewish adolescent’s religious coming of age. This article describes the ritual and attempts to elucidate the sense it embodies, the role it plays in the life of Jewish men, and the anthropological and psychoanalytical stakes it entails. While recalling the broad traits of Judaism, the discussion underscores the very particular status of the text in the Jewish religion and, consequently, the particular role of the transcendant law to which Jewish men submit at the moment of puberty. This has psychic repercussions on the identity of Jewish adolescents, whose affiliation with the religious community is determined by their parents when they are born, then assumed in their own name when they reach their religious majority.
The ” ethical questions ” raised by Aids are not specific to it. Yet, though not specific to it, they may take an examplary character as is evidenced by the clinical situation which we present here. The latter, by confronting the doctors to a specific impossible choice, and putting the ” paternal function ” directly at play, enables us to define what we suggest to call an ” ethical position “, as opposed to the concepts of deontology or morals, and stress its essential link with the ” clinical ” touch understood as an art of the ” case-to-case “, i.e. a place where the singularity of the subject is to be revealed.