This past weekend our congregation had the distinct honor of witnessing our newest Bar Mitzvah. So, what does that mean, you ask?
According to Jewish law, when Jewish children reach the 13 years for boys and 12 for girls they become responsible for their actions, and "become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah" (English: Son (Bar) or Daughter (Bat) of the commandments). Prior to this, the child's parents hold the responsibility for the child's adherence to Jewish law and tradition and, after this age, children bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law, tradition and ethics and are privileged to participate in all areas of Jewish community life.This fine young man worked diligently on his Torah portion (studying both in Hebrew and English) and all the other incredibly cool projects his homeschooling parents directed for him - he is absolutely wonderful. What a privilege to watch such a promising young adult take hold of his faith.
In modern Jewish observance, the occasion of becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah usually involves the young man or woman being called to read the Torah, a Haftarah portion, or both at a Shabbat service where the Torah is read. (source: Wiki)
I was thrilled when my friend asked for a stamp to help decorate for the celebration - what fun!