What Is a Bat Mitzvah?
Are you currently learning about Judaism? Do you have a new Jewish person in your life? Are you headed to a bat mitzvah soon?
Let’s go through everything you need to know about Bat Mitzvahs.
What is a Bat Mitzvah?
“Bat Mitzvah” is actually the Hebrew word for “Daughter of Commandment.” When we think of Bat Mitzvahs, we think of the Jewish ceremony and party thrown for Jewish girls when they turn 12 years old. The male equivalent is called a Bar Mitzvah, and it’s held when boys turn 13 years old.
A bat mitzvah marks the occasion where a girl becomes an adult in the Jewish community and will be held accountable for her words or actions. She can also then participate in all Jewish ceremonies and occasions. Basically, a bat mitzvah marks the day a Jewish child becomes a woman.
How Is a Bat Mitzvah Celebrated?
How a bat mitzvah is celebrated depends on the religious tradition of the child. Bat mitzvahs weren’t celebrated in the way we understand today until around the 1900s, so there’s a lot more flexibility than bar mitzvahs.
In some communities, bat mitzvahs are the same as bar mitzvahs. The child will read the Torah portion related to that week, give a speech (usually about that week’s Torah portion), and perform the traditional prayers to a Shabbat service. Most of this is done in Hebrew; also, the speech tends to be in English.
In more religious communities, the service might be limited so that only women can attend, and the service might be abbreviated in different ways.
Usually, bat mitzvahs are held Friday night and Saturday morning, during the traditional Jewish Sabbath. Bat mitzvahs tend to take months and months to prepare for so that the child can get everything they need to know down, so it truly is a momentous occasion.
What Do You Do When You Attend a Bat Mitzvah?
It may be intimidating to attend a bat mitzvah as a gentile. But, there’s no reason to be concerned about Bat Mitzvah etiquette. During the ceremony, you’ll basically just be required to sit quietly and listen.
During the parts where standing is required, follow the lead of the people around you. After the Bat Mitzvah ceremony, there is usually a dinner or reception to mark the occasion. There may be a party on the day of the ceremony or held at a different time.
Of course, no special occasion is complete without gifts.
If you’re stuck when it comes to bat or bar mitzvah gifts, there’s no need to stress. There are tons of websites out there that will explain what you should bring for your loved one’s Bat Mitzvah.
Bat Mitzvahs: A Joyous Occasion
Clearly, you don’t need to worry about bat mitzvahs too much. Just enjoy the moment, and celebrate your loved one’s special day!
Are you looking for more tips and tricks on related topics? Make sure that you check out some of our other blogs today.
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