Why do Bar Mitzvahs happen?
The Bar Mitzvah is the marking point of adulthood in a Jewish boy's life.
The Bar Mitzvah is a celebration of a young Jewish male's
entrance into adulthood. It is a coming of age ritual.
Bar and bat mitzvahs are when a Jewish child becomes an adult in the eyes of Jewish law. For boys, this happens on their 13th birthday and for girls, on their 12th birthday. To celebrate this major event in their lives, the bar or bat mitzvah will read from the torah for the first time in their life.
Bar Mitzvah ceremonies symbolize Jewish boys becoming men. It happens after they turn 13. Girls' ceremonies are called Bat Mitzvahs, and can happen when a girl turns 12. Depending on the denomination of Judaism and the congregation, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs will have different traditions. At my congregation, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child will lead the Shabbat morning service, read parts of the Torah portion, and chant the Haftarah. There are a bunch of speeches made by the…
Because at the age of thirteen, which is when the Bar Mitzva ceremony is held, the young man enters Jewish adulthood and becomes a full member of the adult congregation. He reads a portion of the Torah, or a Haftarah from the Prophets, with the traditional trope (chant) and blessings. He will have been taught how to do this, as well as some basics about the Torah and mitzvot (Jewish observances). A celebratory meal is…
Bar Mitzvahs are generally celebrated wherever there are Jews to celebrate them. In terms of actual places, Jews typically celebrate the Bar Mitzvah ceremony in a synagogue in front of the community. There is also a party which occurs either later at the synagogue or in a local hall for such meetings.
Not necessarily, but there usually is. On Saturdays, there is a Kiddush after the service and a lunch. However, this is not unique to a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but occurs after any Saturday morning service. Additionally, many Bar or Bat Mitzvahs are followed by a private party for friends and relatives of the Bar Mitzvah.