A bar or bat mitzvah is commonly known as a “coming of age” ceremony for young people of the Jewish faith. The ceremony is cause for a celebration, and is often comes in the form of a party thrown in high fashion. Many times, the party is a grand affair and comes along with a DJ, Emcee, dancers, special acts, a photobooth, and many other forms of entertainment. Due to the bar or bat mitzvah occurring at the age of 13, here are 13 facts about bar mitzvahs.
While you might think that a bat mitzvah or a bar mitzvah refers to the event or celebration, it actually refers to the boy or girl who is coming of age. Bar mitzvah translates literally to “son of the commandment”. Likewise, bat mitzvah translates to “daughter of the commandment”.
The Jewish faith believes that adulthood is considered established when the child begins to develop their own mind and think for themselves. It is their belief that this occurs at the age of 13 for a boy, and at the age of 12 for a girl. That is why their celebration occurs at this age.
The tradition of putting on a feast, called yom ha-tefillin, is very old and ates back to old Jerusalem.
Bar mitzvah training consists of thirteen years of learning how to do mitzvahs, and why. And it continues on from there for the rest of life.
Tefillin is something all Jews have done since the time of Moses. Tefillin have even been found in archaeological digs from Roman times. They are first worn on the day of bar mitzvah.
On the day of bar mitzvah, it is of the Jewish belief that the father is no longer responsible for the sins of his child because they are not responsible for their own actions. It is tradition for him to have a prayer to thank God for removing this burden.
Under Jewish Law, children are not obligated to observe the commandments. It is only when they become a bar or bat mitzvah that they are obligated to follow the commandments.
There are 613 commandments in Judaism!
The new status not only holds the young person to a responsibility for their morals, but also enables them to lead religious services, count towards a minyan (a quota of ten required for some religious services), enter into contracts, and to marry.
The young person automatically becomes a bar or bat mitzvah at the appropriate age, and a celebration is not necessary to attain the status.
The young person reciting the aliyah for the first time at the first Sabbath service after their birthday marks traditionally, the rite of passage. Over the years the duties have gradually increased, and they may now have to recite the haftarah, read the entire weekly Torah portion, lead part of the service, or lead prayers.
The plural of bar mitzvah is bney mitzvah.
Playing on electronics, taking photos, applause, and excessive noise are considered rude during the mitzvah ceremony.