Bar Mitzvah ceremony holds a significant place in Jewish religion. This auspicious ceremony is organized in order to celebrate the beginning of boy’s adulthood journey, the moment he turns 13. This ceremony basically intends to award formal recognition to the adulthood and implies that a Bar Mitzvah is now capable of being responsible ethically & morally since he has got all the rights of a fully grown man and thereby he can commence his spiritual journey with an aim to become a much sensible person.
The literal meaning of Bar Mitzvah is ‘son of commandment’ where the word ‘bar’ stands for ‘son’ & the word ‘mitzvah’ stands for ‘commandment’. This religious ceremony is followed by a party which too is called as Bar Mitzvah.
However, the ceremony & party both are not compulsory for awarding recognition to a boy’s adulthood because the moment a boy completes 13th birthday he automatically gains a title of Bar Mitzvah. The difference between earlier ceremony and modern ceremony is also more apparent than ever. Where during earlier ceremony, a Jewish boy would be asked to recite few verses from Torah on the completion of his 13th birthday, on another side, the modern Bar Mitzvah ceremony demands for more preparations.
Now a days, there is more emphasis on learning whole Haftarah portion along with its traditional chant & then reciting the same. The boy starts preparing for this big event almost few months before the date of ceremony. He would offer prayers during a service called ‘Shabbat’. He would read extracts from Torah on weekly basis during Shabbat service & may also be asked to deliver a speech about Torah.
The Torah is most significant text of Judaism religion. It is compiled of Moses’s five books along with that it is also comprised of 613 commandments & the Ten Commandments. The word ‘Torah’ stands for ‘To Teach’. The family of Bar Mitzvah is given special recognition during services with an Aliyah. There is a custom of bestowing gifts to a Bar Mitzvah after the completion of a ceremony. A gift doesn’t need to be a religious gift & can be anything which is appropriate for a 13 year old boy. A party celebrating the occasion is hosted and Bar Mitzvah invitations are sent to the guests.
To sum up, the traditional ceremony of Bar Mitzvah is indeed one of the most important and memorable ceremony in a life of a Jewish boy since this is that point of time when he gains familiarity with an inclination towards God. It is similar to the Grahasth Ashram of the Hindu religion.
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