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Judaism / Cult and Festivals /
Bar Mitzvah
Arabic: bar mitsvah



Training for the Bar Mitzvah.
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Training for the Bar Mitzvah. Photo: Avital Pinnick.

The boy reading as part of the Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
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The boy reading as part of the Bar Mitzvah ceremony. Photo: faxpilot.

Celebrations of Bar Mitzvah includes the larger family, food, music and dancing.
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Celebrations of Bar Mitzvah includes the larger family, food, music and dancing. Photo: Bryan Warman.

Hebrew for 'son of the commandments'. Ceremony marking the entering of the boy into adult observance of Jewish religious activities.
This ceremony takes place on the Sabbath following the boy's 13th birthday, and includes participating in the hymns in the synagogue as well as having to recite a text from the Torah or from the Prophets. The ceremony of Bar Mitzvah seems not to be not very much older than 500 years.

Bat Mitzvah
Hebrew for 'daughter of the commandments'. Modern ages have brought forward the same kind of ceremony as Bar Mitzvah for Jewish girls, but limited to modern-oriented synagogues. The ceremony resembles the one for boys to a large extent, but the ceremony's actual content changes from synagogue to synagogue. Girls celebrate Bat Mitzvah at the age of 12, one year earlier than the boys. The popularity of Bat Mitzvahs grew strong through the 20th century.
Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs are important social happenings, and bring the family together and gifts are presented for the boy or girl.




By Tore Kjeilen