Bar Mitzvah- Literally Son of the Commandments
Bat Mitzvah- Literally Daughter of the Commandments
In the Jewish religion when a boy or girl reaches the age of thirteen they participate in a celebration that marks their acceptance
into the adult world with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it.
Although there is usually a huge party, before the party there is an important religious ceremony at the synagogue. The Bar/Bat
Mitzvah has spent many years studying and preparing for this day. Learning Hebrew, learning about the holidays and laws of
Judaism. This is a joyous and important event. Friends and relatives from near and far are invited to the ceremony and the
One of the main parts of the ceremony that the Bar/Bat Mitzvah study is called the Torah Portion. The Torah is comprised of
the first five books in the Bible; called the Five Books of Moses. The Torah is read from beginning to end every year and
the Bar/Bat Mitzvah must learn to read in Hebrew the portion that occurs that week and to understand what it means today.
There are several prayers that go along with this reading and with new responsibilities as an adult Jew. Many members of the
family are invited up to say these prayers and help with the Torah. This is considered quite an honor.
After the ceremony most Bar/Bat Mitzvahs have a party. As this is such an important event in the Bar/Bat Mivahs life, his/her
family and the Jewish community it is often a large and lavish event. Music and lots of food are most often the hallmarks
of this party. The best thing to say to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and his/her parents is Mazel Tov. Mazel Tov translates as Good Luck
but it also means congratulations.
Schoen, Robert. What I Wish my Christian Friends Knew About Judaism. Chicago, IL: Layola Press, 2004.
This book is full of facts, lore, and opinion that is intended to help Christians become more knowledgeable about the issues
of what it means to be a Jew, what the basic tenets and philosophy of Judaism are, and what problems American Jews face in
today's society. Schoen discusses such topics as synagogues and congregations, the Torah, prayers, the roles of rabbis and
cantors, and Jewish education
Kimmel, Eric A.. Bar Mitzvah A Jewish Boy's Coming of Age. New York, NY: Puffin, 1995.
This is a book for every pre-Bar Mitzvah boy to read, but it is also a book for anyone who wants to learn about the beliefs,
philosophies, and history of the religion. Kimmel describes the reason for the coming-of-age ceremony; what happens before
and during it; and its origins and transformations throughout Jewish history. The author, in his informal, warm, conversational
style, clarifies some esoteric facts about the sacred books of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims and looks at the similarities
and differences in the three religions.
Very cool party planning directory for every state!
Website contains meaning and history of Bar/Bat Mizvah's.
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