Judaism is a religion and practice that is full of history, texts, culture, and most importantly, rituals and tradition. One of the most common traditions for those who are Jewish is the bar mitzvah (or bat mitzvah for girls). The ritual comes first, then the party comes after– and it is a big one! If you’ve planned one before or worked with a bar mitzvah party planner, you know how involved it can be.
Why is a Bar Mitzvah so important? We’ve got all the details you need to know about this occasion so you can be more informed. Whether you’re Jewish or not, you likely already know that having a bar or bat mitzvah is a big deal in the Jewish faith! Read on to find out everything about this coming of age ritual!
Rites of passages, holidays, ceremonies, and celebrations– they’re all huge elements of the Jewish faith. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an official recognition of the transition of a child into an adult. It’s a touching moment for the family whose little boy or girl is growing up, and it’s also a recognition of the responsibilities that the individual being celebrated takes on as an adult. They have responsibilities as adults and as grown individuals in their faith.
Frequently, there is an immense amount of study and preparation before a Bar or Bat Mitzvah occurs. The ceremony comes first, with the celebration to follow. These afterparties are full of food, drink, ceremony, and celebration. The parties sometimes have themes, and there is plenty of merriment and mingling as everyone comes together to celebrate the Bar or Bat Mitzvah-ing of a young member of their community.
Bar Mitzvah: Officially Becoming a Man
Once a young boy turns 13, they have a Bar Mitzvah. According to Jewish law, they are no longer boys, and they must begin fulfilling the mitzvahs (commandments of the Torah). This is a rite of passage from child to adult, and all the duties and responsibilities that come with it. Some branches of Judaism have the Bat Mitzvah for girls, while other branches of the faith do not allow it, such as Orthodox or Hasidic Judaism.
Learning About Judaism
One aspect that people may not know about Bar Mitzvahs is that the participant prepares for it by learning about Torah and Judaism. There are even special classes that they take to study Hebrew chants and prayers that they can read and recite on the day of their ceremony in front of a congregation when they lead the aliyah during synagogue service. This will be the first time that they have this responsibility.
Becoming Part of a Community
The community is very important in the Jewish faith, and Bar Mitzvahs are merely extensions of those values. These are celebrations and rituals that promote togetherness, their culture, and the importance of faith. These ceremonies usher in young people into their congregation while binding them to their faith. The tradition is taken so seriously that thousands of dollars can be spent on the ceremony and celebrations after.
The celebrations of a Bat Mitzvah are unrestrained and joyful, yet also threaded through with tradition. Modern celebrations take place in large venues and have music, dancing, food, drinks: you name it. Guests bring gifts, sometimes cash in the multiples of 18 because it sounds like the Hebrew word for life. These events are a wonderful way to get together and celebrate the marriage of a young man to his faith.