Need to Know
From Meaning to Planning A Bar & Bat Mitzvah
A note: Throughout this
segment there are many instances where the terms “bar mitzvah” and “bat mitzvah”
are interchangeable. In sections where gender doesn’t matter, the sentences will
open with a reference to “bar or bat mitzvah.” Following this, bar and bat will
be used interchangeably.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah
by Rivka C. Berman
Where have the years gone? Only yesterday, it seems, your little one
pronounced his first work, bowed at the close of the school play and
memorized 150 warriors in the latest video game. Only yesterday, it
seems, your little one delighted at a red ribbon in her hair, danced her
first ballet recital and wore her first very lady like shoes. And now,
the twelfth/thirteenth birthday rolls around and your little darling is
now a Jewish adult.
For an instant. Preteens ping pong between gracefully wearing the mantle
of adulthood and whining childishly the next. One glance at a
thirteen-year-old boy or a twelve-year-old girl and there’s no mistaking
him or her for a tax-paying, carpool-driving, got-a-meeting adult. Yet
this does not change the reality of the transition. In the eyes of
Jewish law, a thirteen-year-old boy and a twelve-year-old girl have
reached a rite of passage and are now obligated to fulfill mitzvot, the
commandments. (Reform girls celebrate their Bat Mitzvah at age
Talmudic privileges of being counted as part of a
minyan (a quorum: the ten adults traditionally necessary for some prayers
and ceremonies), offering testimony, and making a vow were extended to a boy who
passed this benchmark age. Mystically speaking, there are some rabbis who
thought bar/bat mitzvah birthday was the age when a child was granted a
yetzer tov, a conscience, that gives them a little boost in the “be good”
This turning point is cause for celebration. Mazal Tov!
For Literal Meaning of
"Bar Mitzvah" Click Here!
More Information About Bar and Bar Mitzvah
The Mazor Guide to Jewish Celebrations is proud to present to you guidance
from the perspectives of the three major streams of Judaism.
Orthodox Perspective: Bar Mitzvah Traditions and Information
Perspective: Bar Mitzvah Traditions and Information
• Reform Perspective: Bar
Mitzvah Traditions and Information
here for Jewish Celebrations Speech Writing Services