What Happens at a Bar Mitzvah Service?
Nov 10, · The bar mitzvah ceremony celebrates a Jewish boy’s 13th birthday (on the Hebrew calendar) and his elevation to adult status in Judaism. This celebration can take many forms. Here is what you might expect at a bar mitzvah celebration, but bear in mind that many elements of the celebration are flexible. (Note: The parallel celebration for girls is called a bat mitzvah, and takes place when a girl turns Nov 09, · The Bar Mitzvah Ceremony - An Introduction. For most boys and their parents, the ceremony in synagogue is the climax of the bar mitzvah experience. After months of preparing, the young man stands on his own before the congregation and shows them what he has achieved. His performance successfully concluded, everyone breathes a deep sigh of relief—now they can relax and enjoy the party.
The Bar Mitzvah service marks the point where a boy transitions into adulthood. It also includes a party with eating and dancing. A Bar Mitzvah can what is audio in port viewed as two main sections: the reading and the celebration.
The most important part of the ceremony, from a religious perspective, is the reading. For months prior to the ceremony, the boy practices studying the Torah with his rabbi. On the day of the ceremony, the boy stands before his friends, family and other members of the church and reads a passage from the Torah on his own. This signifies his accomplishments in studying the Torah and his ability to take on responsibilities similar to that of the other adults in the community.
The second part of the Bar Mitzvah is the celebration of the boy's achievements. This can be handled in a variety of ways, though most celebrations consist of traditional party elements. Music is also present in the form of a live band or DJ so that the attendees can dance.
What Happens at a Bar Mitzvah Service? More From Reference. What Is Product Orientation? What Is Delimitation in Research?
Here are all of your bar/bat mitzvah questions answered.
May 22, · The day begins with a traditional ceremony and prayer services typically held in the synagogue which includes a Shabbat service. The bar mitzvah boy or bat mitzvah girl is called up to the Torah to recite prayers and readings in Hebrew, which have taken years of learning, studying, and practicing during their bar/bat mitzvah lessons. This milestone—called a bar mitzvah—is often celebrated with a ceremony in synagogue, tefillin wearing, and parties. The celebrant may be called to the Torah, lead services, deliver a speech or otherwise demonstrate his newfound status. The bar mitzvah is automatic, whether or not a celebration or special ceremony is held. Aug 04, · The Bar Mitzvah service marks the point where a boy transitions into adulthood. It includes a ceremonial reading of the Torah on the boy’s 13th birthday to signify that he is now viewed as a man. It also includes a party with eating and dancing. A Bar Mitzvah can be viewed as two main sections: the reading and the celebration.
The plural is b'nai mitzvah for boys or mixed sex groups, and b'not mitzvah Ashkenazi pronunciation: b'nos mitzvah for girls. According to Jewish law , when a Jewish boy is 13 years old, he becomes accountable for his actions and becomes a bar mitzvah. A girl becomes a bat mitzvah at the age of 12 according to Orthodox and Conservative Jews , and at the age of 13 for Reform Jews. After this age, the boys and girls bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law , tradition , and ethics , and are able to participate in all areas of Jewish community life.
Traditionally, the father of the bar mitzvah gives thanks to God that he is no longer punished for the child's sins. Bar mitzvah is mentioned in the Mishnah  and in the Talmud. In some classic sources, the age of 13 appears for instance as the age from which males must fast on Yom Kippur , while females fast from the age of The age of B'nai mitzvah roughly coincides with physical puberty. Thus bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah literally translate to "son of commandment" and "daughter of commandment".
However, in rabbinical usage, the word bar means "under the category of" or "subject to". Bar mitzvah therefore translates to "[one] who is subject to the law". Although the term is commonly used to refer to the ritual itself, the phrase originally refers to the person. The modern method of celebrating becoming a bar mitzvah did not exist in the time of the Hebrew Bible , Mishnah or Talmud.
Early rabbinic sources specify 13 as the age at which a boy becomes a legal adult; however, the celebration of this occasion is not mentioned until the Middle Ages. The Bible does not explicitly specify the age thirteen. Passages in the books of Exodus and Numbers note the age of majority for army service as twenty. The age of thirteen is mentioned in the Mishnah as the time one is obligated to observe the Torah's commandments : "At five years old one should study the Scriptures , at ten years for the Mishnah, at 13 for the commandments Elsewhere,  the Mishnah lists the ages 13 for boys and 12 for girls at which a vow is considered automatically valid; the Talmud explains this as a result of the year-old being a "man", as required in Numbers Other sources also list thirteen as the age of majority with respect to following the commandments of the Torah, including:.
The term "bar mitzvah" appears first in the Talmud , meaning "one who is subject to the law", though it does not refer to age. Many sources indicate that the ceremonial observation of a bar mitzvah developed in the Middle Ages. Some late midrashic sources, and some medieval sources refer to a synagogue ceremony performed upon the boy's reaching age thirteen:. Reaching the age of bar or bat mitzvah signifies becoming a full-fledged member of the Jewish community with the responsibilities that come with it.
These include moral responsibility for one's own actions; eligibility to be called to read from the Torah and lead or participate in a minyan ; the right to possess personal property and to legally marry on one's own according to Jewish law ; the duty to follow the laws of the Torah and keep the halakha ; and the capacity to testify as a witness in a beth din rabbinical court case.
Many congregations require pre-bar mitzvah children to attend a minimum number of Shabbat prayer services at the synagogue, study at a Hebrew school , take on a charity or community service project and maintain membership in good standing with the synagogue.
In addition to study and preparation offered through the synagogue and Hebrew schools, bar mitzvah tutors may be hired to prepare the child through the study of Hebrew, Torah cantillation and basic Jewish concepts. At one time, this ceremony was on the verge of extinction in Reform congregations. The widespread practice is that on a Sabbath shortly after he has attained the age of thirteen, a boy is called up to read from the weekly portion of the Law Torah ,  either as one of the first seven men or as the last, in which case he will read the closing verses and the Haftarah selections from the books of the Prophets ; and if he is unable to read, to recite at least the benediction before and after the reading.
In Orthodox circles, the occasion is sometimes celebrated during a weekday service that includes reading from the Torah, such as a Monday or Thursday morning service. Some communities or families may delay the celebration for reasons such as availability of a Shabbat during which no other celebration has been scheduled, or due to the desire to permit the family to travel to the event.
However, this does not delay the onset of rights and responsibilities of being a Jewish adult which comes about strictly by virtue of age. The obligation to lay tefillin begins when a boy reaches bar mitzvah age. The common custom is for the bar mitzvah boy to begin putting on tefillin one to three months before his bar mitzvah. This way, by the time he is obligated in the commandment, he will already know how to fulfill it properly. As the first mention of a party associated with a synagogue bar mitzvah was in the 13th century, hosting some sort of party is traditional and frequently considered necessary.
Bar mitzvah festivities typically include a joyous seudat mitzvah , a celebratory meal with family, friends, and members of the community, the Bar Mitzvah boy delivering on this occasion a learned discourse or oration at the table before the invited guests, who offer him presents, while the rabbi or teacher gives him his blessing, accompanying it at times with an address.
In many communities, the celebrant is given a certificate. According to the Orthodox view, the bar mitzvah boy is so happy to be commanded to do mitzvot and earn a reward in the next world for his efforts, that he throws a party and has a festive meal.
In some times and places, local Jewish leaders have officially limited the size and elaborateness of mitzvahs. Bar and bat mitzvah parties among wealthy Jewish families in North America are often lavish affairs held at hotels and country clubs with hundreds of guests.
In the s, Rabbi Harold Saperstein of New York described them as too often being "more bar than mitzvah". Some of the efforts of early Reform in favor of confirmation [and] against bar mitzvah were prompted by the extravagant celebration of bar mitzvah, which had removed its primary religious significance.
In May, , the board of trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations now the Union for Reform Judaism , the synagogue arm of the Reform Movement, unanimously passed a resolution decrying "excesses of wasteful consumption The cost of the party depends upon what the family is willing and able to spend.
Some families spend tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars on the party. Today many non-Orthodox Jews celebrate a girl's bat mitzvah in the same way as a boy's bar mitzvah.
All Reform and Reconstructionist , and most Conservative synagogues have egalitarian participation, in which women read from the Torah and lead services.
In Orthodox communities, a Bat Mitzvah is celebrated when a girl reaches the age of The majority of Orthodox and some Conservative Jews reject the idea that a woman can publicly read from the Torah or lead prayer services whenever there is a minyan quorum of 10 males available to do so. However, the public celebration of a girl becoming bat mitzvah in other ways has made strong inroads into Modern Orthodox Judaism and also into some elements of Haredi Judaism. In these congregations, women do not read from the Torah or lead prayer services, but they occasionally lecture on a Jewish topic to mark their coming of age, learn a book of Tanakh , recite verses from the Book of Esther or the Book of Psalms , or say prayers from the siddur.
In some Modern Orthodox circles, bat mitzvah girls will read from the Torah and lead prayer services in a women's tefillah. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein , a prominent Orthodox posek , described the bat mitzvah celebration as "meaningless", and of no greater halakhic significance than a birthday party.
However, he reluctantly permitted it in homes, but not synagogues,   as the latter would be construed as imitating Reform and Conservative customs; in any case, they do not have the status of seudat mitzvah. There were occasional attempts to recognize a girl's coming of age in eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, the former in Warsaw and the latter in Lemberg The occasion was marked by a party without any ritual in the synagogue.
According to the archivist at the Great Synagogue in Rome, the custom of a young woman being called up in synagogue before the entire community dates back to the early years of the Roman Jewish community approximately 2, years ago. The community recognized her as "being of age" and acknowledged her in a public fashion. This would support more modern documents that record an Orthodox Jewish Italian rite for becoming bat mitzvah which involved an "entrance into the minyan" ceremony, in which boys of thirteen and girls of twelve recited a blessing since the midth century.
Kaplan , who held the first public celebration of a bat mitzvah in the United States, for his daughter Judith, on March 18, , at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism , his synagogue in New York City. At the time, most Orthodox rabbis strongly rejected the idea of a bat mitzvah ceremony.
As the ceremony became accepted for females as well as males, many women chose to celebrate the ceremony even though they were much older, as a way of formalizing and celebrating their place in the adult Jewish community. Instead of reading from the Torah, some Humanist Jews prefer a research paper on a topic in Jewish history to mark their coming of age. The kibbutz movement in Israel also encouraged the celebration of the bar mitzvah.
All those coming of age in the community for that year would take on a project and research in a topic of Jewish or Zionist interest.
Today many kibbutz children are opting for a more traditional bar mitzvah celebration. Among some Jews, a man who has reached the age of 83 will celebrate a second bar mitzvah, under the logic that in the Torah it says that a normal lifespan is 70 years, so that an year-old can be considered 13 in a second lifetime.
A Bark Mitzvah is a pseudo-traditional observance and celebration of a dog's coming of age ,   as in the Jewish traditional bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah.
The term has been in use since at least as early as ,  and Bark Mitzvahs are sometimes held as an adjunct to the festival of Purim. Bar or bat mitzvah celebrations have become an occasion to give the celebrant a commemorative gift.
Traditionally, common gifts include books with religious or educational value, religious items, writing implements, savings bonds to be used for the child's college education , gift certificates, or money. Monetary gifts in multiples of 18 are considered to be particularly auspicious and have become common for the bar and bat mitzvah. Many b'nai mitzvah also receive their first tallit from their parents to be used for the occasion and tefillin where this is appropriate. Jewelry is a common gift for girls at a bat mitzvah celebration.
Another gift for the bat mitzvah girl are Shabbat candlesticks because it is the duty and honour of the woman to light the candles. While the traditional age to hold a bar or bat mitzvah is 13 for boys and 12 or 13 for girls, some adults choose to have a bar or bat mitzvah if they did not have them as children.
Since the s, adult bar and bat mitzvah have been growing in popularity. Media related to Bar Mitzvah at Wikimedia Commons. Media related to Bat Mitzvah at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Bar and Bat Mitzvah. Jewish coming of age rituals. Main article: Adult bar and bat mitzvah. October 19, Archived from the original on October 13, Retrieved October 5, Retrieved March 7, ISBN p. In Singer, Isidore ; et al. The Jewish Encyclopedia.
Retrieved February 4, Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 13, UAHC Press. ISBN Retrieved August 13, Retrieved December 23, New York Post. Archived from the original on April 20,