What does the word Bar mitzvah means?
The word Bar mitzvah means “Son / daughter of the Commandment”. When a girl is 12, she becomes bar mitzvah. When a boy is 13, he becomes bar mitzvah. This means that they are consider being old enough to keep the rules of Judaism. In the reform synagogues (not as strict to all Jewish rules and Laws), a special service is held for both girl and the boy.
In the orthodox synagogues (practice the strict Jewish law), service is only held for the boys. Only men are allowed to lead out in worship in the orthodox synagogues.
What happens during Bar Mitzvah?
During bar mitzvah, the boy/girl reads from the Bible for the first time. They have to practice hard for the reading, because it is in Hebrew. This service is held on the Sabbath closest to the boy’s thirteenth birthday. Both girl and boy are taught by the Rabbi weeks ahead, learning the Hebrew Language of the Law.
In the orthodox synagogue the Jewish boy is invited to read the scripture that was set for that day. The Rabbi preaches a sermon. In his sermon, he gives special instructions to the boy concerning his duties to the Jewish Law. Prayers are offered and a benediction is pronounced upon the Jewish boy. When a boy has taken Bar Mitzvah, he is allowed to wear the prayer shawl and prayer- boxes and say the Hebrew prayers over bread and wine.
According to Jewish Law, it is not good for a man to be alone. Singleness is never encouraged.
What is the wedding ceremony called?
It is called “Kiddush in” which means, “to be holy”. There are many symbols at a Jewish wedding.
The groom puts a ring on the bride’s finger. He says in Hebrew: “You are now to me, with this ring, by the Law of Moses and Israel.
The bride joins the groom under a special canopy. The canopy is a symbol of their future home together. It symbolize that the groom will provide a home for his wife and any children they have.
The bride and the groom drink wine from the same goblet. Wine is a symbol of joy. It shows that they are going to share their lives together in happiness.
The marriage contract:
The marriage contract:The marriage contract is in the form of a certificate. Its read out by the rabbi. In it the groom promises to take care of his wife.
The 7 blessings:
The rabbi says 7 blessings over the couple. He ends by praising God for creating joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, love, brotherhood, pleasure and delight, peace and harmony.
Breaking of the glass:
Finally, the groom breaks a glass on the floor with his heel. This is a reminder that there will be bad times as well as good times ahead of them. They will face them together.
At the end of the ceremony, everyone shouts ‘Mabel Tov’ which means ‘Good Luck’.