What is a Bar Mitzvah?
Literally, the meaning of Bar Mitzvah is "son of the commandment". Bar = "son" in Aramaic, Mitzvah = "commandment" in Hebrew. A Bar Mitzvah boy is a boy who has turned thirteen years of age (by a female this occurs at age twelve, and it is called Bat [daughter] Mitzvah). This is the age that a Jewish boy becomes obligated on his own responsibility to follow all biblical commandments. Till the age thirteen it is the parents' responsibility to train their child to do the Mitzvos (commandments of Hashem).
Best Bar Mitzvah guide
The Bar mitzvah boy celebrates his happy Bar Mitzvah day with special rituals. He will start putting on his own pair of tefillin for the first time, he will have a Bar Mitzvah aliyah, a special celebratory meal were the Bar Mitzvah boy will give his own Bar Mitzvah speech.
The meaning of Bar Mitzvah by an orthodox Jew is very special. This is the day where he becomes an adult according to Jewish law. He can be counted for minyan by prayers (Jewish law requiring ten adults by prayer services), can be trusted as witness and becomes obligated to all commandments of Hashem (God).
Bar Mitzvah services
Orthodox Jews will usually hire a rabbi or mentor to prepare the Bar mitzvah boy to his happy Bar Mitzvah day. The mentor will teach the boy how to put on tefillin, prepare for the Bar mitzvah speech and prepare for the reading of the Torah. In some places there are classes for young boys providing all bar Mitzvah services. In those classes the Bar Mitvah boys prepare for their Bar Mitzvah in groups.
Bar Mitzvah etiquette
If you are invited to an orthodox Jewish Bar Mitzvah, make sure you know the Bar Mitzvah etiquette. At first make sure you follow the Bar Mitzvah services with the crowd. You should wish Mazel Tov after the Bar Mitzvah boy reads his Torah portion and after he finishes his Bar Mitzvah speech. Wear a Yarmulke (Kippah), and dress modest.
It is appropriate to bring gifts for Bar Mitzvah boys. Traditional Bar mitzvah gifts can be Hebrew books, or other Judaica. If you don't know what to buy, you can't decide on your best Bar Mitzvah gift, a gift certificate or cash can be the best Bar Mitzvah gift. The meaning of Bar Mitzah gifts for Bar Mitzvah boys is essential. You can make him a happy Bar mitzvah boy! Don't leave it out!Have a question, on Orthodox Jewish Matters? Need an answer? Please Email your questions , Chava will answer your questions with insight and wit.