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bar mitzvah boy

February 17, 2012

This weekend Keith and I are going to be attending his nephew, Grant’s, Bar Mitzvah!

I know most of you have probably heard the word but don’t know what it is. Let’s do Judaism 101!

Boys have a bar mitzvah and girl’s have a bat mitzvah. When a boy or girl comes of age at 13-years-old he or she has become a “bar/bat mitzvah” and is recognized by Jewish tradition as having the same rights as a full-grown man/woman. A boy/girl who has become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is now morally and ethically responsible for his/her decisions and actions..

The bar/bat mitzvah ceremony usually requires much more preparation and participation on the part of the boy/girl, who will work with a Rabbi and/or Cantor for months (or years) studying for the event.  They are responsible for:

  • Leading specific prayers or the entire service during a Shabbat service
  • Reading the weekly Torah portion during a Shabbat service
  • Reading the weekly Haftarah portion during a Shabbat service
  • Giving a speech about the Torah and/or Haftarah reading.
  • Completing a tzedakah (charity) project leading up to the ceremony to raise money or donations for a charity of the bar/bat mitzvah’s choice.

Basically you are responsable for leading the congregation in a special Shabbat service that usually lasts about 2 hours. Whew! Quite a lot for a 13-year-old to accomplish! Especially when you consider that Hebrew is the Jewish language! So there is lots of studying that goes into this. I had my bat mitzvah when I was 13 and still remember my Torah portion. It was the Ten Commandments (in Hebrew of course, not English).

I am super excited to see Grant this weekend. I know he will do an amazing job! This is a very big deal in the Jewish culture and I am so proud of him!

Have you ever attended a bar/bat mitzvah?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2012 8:24 am

    I actually didn’t have one. I was a Hebrew school dropout.

  2. February 17, 2012 9:40 am

    Yep! In these parts they can be as elaborate as weddings!

  3. February 17, 2012 10:10 am

    I had one…huge blowout! I felt like that was my “princess” moment so I’ve probably been one of the most laid back brides-to-be. My little cousin will be bar mitzvahed next month! I can’t wait! He’s the last one of this generation. Have fun this weekend!

  4. February 17, 2012 10:47 am

    Only Josh’s party. Remember that? I still have a picture. 🙂

  5. February 17, 2012 12:28 pm

    Have fun celebrating! I’ve never been to one (grew up where the majority of the town was catholic), but there seems to be so much that goes into them…

  6. February 18, 2012 9:43 am

    Yes! I went to literally 40 during 7th and 8th grade! My first slow dance was at one….oh memories…

    I love Bar/Bat Mitzvahs!

    Have fun!

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