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  • 30. September, 2013BlogComments are off

    Bar is a Hebrew word that means son, and Bat is the Hebrew word for girl or daughter. Mitzvah is a word that is defined as responsibility or law. These are the words which we refer to as the religious moment in time our teens, who have reached the age of 13, have become Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

    At thirteen years of age a youngster is considered ready to fulfill the obligations of performing the Mitzvot of chanting from the Torah and Haftarah. They may also participate in all of the rituals of the community, such as chanting from the Torah (receiving an Aliyah), being part of a minyan, putting on (laying) Tefillin and taking responsibility for all of their actions.

    One of the most famous scholars of all time was Shlomo Yitzchaki, better known as Rashi, February 22, 1040 – July 13, 1105. Rashi had four daughters, Joheved, Miriam, Rachel and one other daughter (whose name is unknown), who died at an early age. What is known about these three women is that they were extremely smart, learned and independent. It was written about them that they may have even put on (laid) Tefillin (phylacteries), and practiced other rituals that were considered the domain of males. So, some women were practicing the same rituals as their male counterparts, although probably in secret.

    Literally, for hundreds, if not a thousand years, females were strongly “advised” not to participate in rituals that pious men (men who prayed or davened three times a day and followed many of the rituals of Judaism)

    Today, girls have the same privileges and responsibilities as do boys, (which corrects a long time wrong), in all Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Synagogues, but not in Orthodox synagogues.

    I am pleased to be just about the first person to offer innovative Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparation by Video Chat Tutoring; I-Chat, Skype, Voodoo or any other company that offers video chatting capabilities!

    When we work together (I do not “farm” out any of my students; I teach them all personally), using Video Chatting technology we schedule your lesson when it is most convenient for you. There are no travel, requirements, unless of course, you wish me to officiate at your Simcha; and then I travel to your destination.

    I will personally work with the parents, students and other family members to plan the most appropriate and realistic course of study relevant to the needs of your child as well as to your Jewish needs.

    Group or small class instruction study sessions can and is also available using the wonders of technology…and one never need leave their home.

    As stated before, if requested, I will personally officiate at your child’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah Service. I have worked with students and family members officiating at services in many states, including: New York, New Jersey, California, Minnesota, Virginia, Utah and even on the beach on the island of Aruba.

    I have also officiated at services in homes and backyard, in beautiful parks or beach settings. In addition to that, I have officiated in catering halls in NYC, in country clubs on Long Island and in NJ.

    A full size, Kosher Torah and English/Hebrew prayer books are printed and you may personalize them with your son or daughter’s photo (or other family members), and write an introductory letter. Services last approximately one hour or so and the Bar and/or Bat Mitzvah service can be arranged on just about any day of the week … it’s your Simcha (a most joyous celebration). All dates are ideal times to have your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and it’s your decision as to which day and date fits your needs.

    Please contact Michael Marcus to discuss your suggestions and ideas for the most meaningful comprehensive, participatory, Bar or Bat Mitzvah preparation and celebration that your family, and especially your child can experience.

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