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  • Bar Mitzvah Lessons

    Bar Mitzvah

    Bar Mitzvah means that a Jewish boy is old enough to perform the Mitzvot (the Laws, Commandments or Responsibilities) that a Jewish adult is supposed to follow throughout his life.

    When a Jewish youngster becomes a Bar Mitzvah he publicly reads a section from the Torah, (which is the Five Books of Moses). Each week every congregation in the Jewish world reads the identical passage. In this way, the youngster is linked to the entire Jewish people, regardless of where the Jewish youth happens to live. The Bar Mitzvah also reads a portion from the Haftarah, which is a selection from the weekly section of the writings of the Prophets, such as Isaiah, Hosea, etc., or from historical books like Joshua, Samuel or Kings.

    The Torah symbolizes the moment when God met the Jewish people at Sinai and made a covenant with them. This covenant with the Jewish people has lasted thousands of years and has been passed down from generation to generation. Lih-door-vah-door; from generation to generation; it is not only a prayer, it is the strength of the Jewish people.

    The Torah also symbolizes that the Jewish people hold sacred: stories, laws, histories and poetry. When a Jewish youngster chants from the Torah, he is enveloped in its heritage, in its power and in the power of Sinai. He also says to the community: “I am now a young Jewish adult and I am now ready to fulfill the covenant with God by being responsible for performing the obligations of Jewish life.”

    Bar Mitzvah is a symbolic way to usher a boy into the adult Jewish community and a way for the entire community to say to that youngster, “All we cherish, all we hope to be, the sum total of our visions, we place in your hands. May God make you ready. Make God make you good and may God make you strong.”

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