History and Function of the Bar Mitzvah

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Judaism is one of the oldest religious practices all over the world. It literally gave a start to two the most popular religions nowadays: Islam and Christianity. It seems that everybody must be familiar with the basics of this religion, though it is not true. The majority of people know only a few attributes or ceremonies that Judaism is using until modern times, such as Menorah (the candelabrum with seven branches), Star of David (traditionally known as the symbol of Judaism) and, let’s say, the Bar Mitzvah ceremony. What people are missing (apart from the associations) is how truly symbolic all of them are in the practice of Judaism. Bar or Bat Mitzvah, for example, present practically the basis of Jewish culture and religion. The idea of how and why it became so important is what we will try to look through. So what it is Bar Mitzvah? According to The Oxford English Dictionary Bar Mitzvah is “the initiation ceremony of a Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13 and is regarded as ready to observe religious precepts and eligible to take part in public worship”. Of course this is a very vague explanation in terms of getting to the bottom of this ceremony’s significance. What is crucially important about both Bar and Bat Mitzvah is that this ceremony is absolutely essential for every Jewish person actually practicing the religion. As it was mentioned before, this ceremony is some sort of emancipation for Jewish children. Consequently, the way the ceremony was conducted has a very important meaning in the life of a child and his or her parents. Prior to Bar Mitzvah his parents were supposed to take under control their child’s cultural development. Every kid, by the age of 13 (or 12, which is the full-age for girls) supposed to ... ... middle of paper ... ... an important event in any Jewish child’s life, and which, also, makes it interesting for us. Works Cited Bank, Richard D.. "Bar and Bar Mitzvah: Becoming Sons and Daughters of the Commandment." 101 things everyone should know about Judaism: beliefs, practices, customs, and traditions. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media, 2005. 196-201. Print. Metter, Bert, and Joan Reilly. Bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah: the ceremony, the party, and how the day came to be. New York: Clarion Books, 2007. Print. Oxtoby, Willard Gurdon. "Jewish Traditions." World religions: western traditions. 1996. Reprint. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2011. 127-157. Print. Sherbok, Dan. "Life Cycle Events." Judaism: history, belief, and practice. London: Routledge, 2003. 534-537. Print. Simpson, J. A., and E. S. C. Weiner. The Oxford English dictionary. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1989.Print.

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