Lesson video

In progress...


Hi everyone.

My name is Rabbi London.

Today we're going to learn about the Bar and Bat Mitzvah.

The Jewish rituals and ceremonies, welcoming people into adulthood.

And we going to talk about what does it mean to be an adult in the eyes of Jewish law and who does that apply to? Before we get started, please try to turn off any applications or notifications that you might have on your phone if you're able to.

And end any conversations you might be in the middle of.

Try to find a place where you're going to have the least amount of distractions.

Today, you're going to need to have with you a pen or pencil and some paper or something to write on or with.

If you don't have these things ready yet, press pause and then press play when you're ready to begin.

Before we really delve into the work that we going to look at today, I'd like you to take two minutes and write down in bullet points, some answers to the following questions.

One, when in your opinion, does someone become considered an adult? And two, what responsibilities do you think adults have that children do not? So press pause to complete this task and press play to resume when you're finished.

I am so curious to know what you wrote and what you think it means to be an adult.

And when does that even take place? Is it when someone's 18 or 21 or 25 or maybe even older, or maybe younger? In Jew Judaism, one of the ideas is that someone becomes a Bar and Bat Mitzvah.

we've passed around those words, so let's look at what those words mean.

So Mitzvah means commandment.

I'm so curious to know what you wrote about who you think is an adult and what responsibilities you think adults have that kids or children don't? We going to talk about the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony.

In short, those ceremonies are welcoming kids into adulthood.

But before we get into what does this look like? And how does this happen? Let's look at what the words mean.

Mitzvah means commandment, Bat means the daughter or the daughter of.

So when we say the words Bat Mitzvah, we are saying the daughter of the commandments.

Similarly with a boy, mitzvah means commandment Bar means the son of.

Bar mitzvah means the son of the commandments.

In short, a Bar or Bat mitzvah is a ceremony celebrating, becoming an adult according to Jewish law.

Meaning, that one is now responsible for their own actions and for following Jewish law.

So when does this happen? Hey, one of the questions I asked before was how old are you when you become an adult? Well, a Bar or Bat mitzvah happens when boys are 13 and girls are 12 , or in some communities girls are also 13.

The ceremony will generally take place close to their birthday.

Most many people will have a ceremony or be part of a service.

And this service will generally take place on the Shabbat before or right around when their birthday is.

Although there are communities that will have the ceremony on any day that the Torah is being read.

And the Torah gets read in most Jewish communities on Mondays, Thursdays.

Shabbat on the new moon and on holidays.

Let's review a bit, mitzvah means commandments.

The Jewish people believe there are how many mitzvot? 10, 613, 2000 or seven.

Correct, the Jewish people believe that there are 613 mitzvot and mitzvah means commandment, mitzvot means commandments.

How old is a boy at his Bar mitzvah? 12, 18, 13 or 25, 13.

A boy is 13 years old at his Bar mitzvah.

A Bar or Bat mitzvah celebrates a Jewish child being born, a Jewish child entering into the covenant, a Jewish child going to school for the first time or a Jewish child now being seen as an adult in the Jewish community.

A Bar or Bat mitzvah celebrates a Jewish child now being seen as an adult in the Jewish community.

A Bar or Bat mitzvah generally happens on Shabbat or Torah reading day closest to the child's birthday.

On the child's birthday no matter the day of the week.

Only on Shabbat or only on Tuesdays, on Shabbat or Torah reading day closest to the child's birthday.

That's when a Bar or Bat mitzvah will generally happen.

At least the religious ceremony.

Sometimes the party might take place another day.

How does someone prepare for their Bar or Bat mitzvah? The short answer is a lot of learning.

Now let's go into what does that actually look like or what can that be like? Most students will learn with either their rabbi or a special tutor or take a class in their synagogue or sometimes a mixture of all of that.

And together they're going to learn a number of things such as Hebrew.

Hebrew is the language that most Jewish prayers are in.

So this will be an opportunity to either get better at reading Hebrew or learn how to read Hebrew, sometimes for the first time.

They going to learn the prayers.

Generally there will be a focus on the prayers of the Shabbat services.

So that the Bar and Bat mitzvah student will be able to potentially lead the services, but also in their new role as an adult in the Jewish community.

They'll be able to follow along when services are happening.

Some Bar and Bat mitzvah students will learn how to lead either all or some of the services, whether that is on Shabbat or even weekday prayers.

Many will learn about their Torah portion.

In the Jewish community reads a section of the five books of Moses of the Torah, every single Shabbat.

So every Bar and Bat mitzvah for student has a portion, or what's known as a Parshah that belongs to them.

They going to learn that Parshah, that section in depth.

Getting to know what is the plan, what is going on, asking questions and seeing what they're able to learn from that section to bring into their everyday life.

Some students are also going to learn how to read either their entire portion or a section of their portion.

This is part of the Shabbat service is reading the Torah.

The Torah is read from a scroll in Hebrew, in a special tune.

So there's a lot of learning that's going to go on there.

And a few lessons we'll learn more about what goes into Jewish worship.

And we'll talk about that more then.

Some students are going to learn about the mitzvot.

Now that they're about to be a Bar or Bat mitzvah and be in charge and responsible of their own selves, following the laws.

They need to know what the laws are.

Some would do what's called a mitzvah project or a facet project.

The idea behind a mitzvah project is to give back, it is to do something related to social action that is important to the Bar or Bat mitzvah for student.

In some ways it's allowing one's first steps into adulthood to be done in giving back and giving back to their immediate community or to the global community.

And it shows how important it is to constantly be helping and showing love and care to those around one.

And lastly, but definitely not leastly, they'll learn about what does it mean to be part of the Jewish community.

So we learned about all the things that a student is going to learn in order to prepare for their Bar and Bat mitzvah.

And there's a lot, now, what actually happens at the Bar and Bat mitzvah.

That's how she going to look different depending on what community someone is from.

And in some community, that's also going to look different if you're a boy or if you're a girl.

In general, Orthodox boys and Masorti, Reform and Liberal bne'i mitzvah, that's the plural of a Bar and a Bat mitzvah per student.

They're going to lead part of the service, they'll get an Aliyah which means to get called up to the Torah.

They'll read all or some of the weekly Torah portion.

And they might even give a speech or a sermon talking about something that they learned from their Parshah or something that they learned from their mitzvah project.

Maybe giving thanks to their parents and grandparents and friends and teachers, or maybe just something that they want to share with anyone who decided to join them in their celebration.

Orthodox girls in most Orthodox communities won't read the Torah.

Although there are very few where they will.

So for an Orthodox girl, she might still learn the weekly part portion and then give a speech at the end of the service.

Sharing with the community things that she learned about the Torah portion, or she learned from her mitzvah project or something that she might have been learning either in her classes or with whoever she was learning to prepare for this special occasion.

In some Orthodox communities, she might lead a service that is only open to women.

And in other community sections of the Orthodox community, she might read what's known as one of the Megillot, one of the scrolls and the books of Ketuvim in writings, such as the book of Esther which is read on Purim or the book of Ruth which is read on Shavout.

This way she's also learning how to read from a scroll and read with a special tune.

And it does take a lot of preparation to be able to do that.

Additionally, the rabbi and the parents are going to be involved with the ceremony that's taking place.

The rabbi will generally address the Bar, Bat mitzvah student in their speech.

And usually also, the Bar and Bat mitzvah student's family and friends.

Maybe even mentioning something that they learned together.

The parents of the Bar and Bat mitzvah will say a prayer, giving thanks for their child coming of age.

Because for the parents and carers, this is an important milestone.

Their child is no longer seen as a child in the eyes of Jewish law.

And they're also celebrating and giving thanks.

I like you now to pause the video, to complete the following task.

And please write in full sentences.

Describe what happens at a Bar and Bat mitzvah.

Be sure to include differences in an Orthodox celebration and a liberal celebration.

When you're finished, press play to resume.

How do you do? Here's my answer.

A person will start preparing for their Bar or Bat mitzvah by attending classes in their synagogue to learn Hebrew and learn how to read their Torah portion or to give a speech.

Some Jewish people will also take on a mitzvah project, getting involved in social action in their community.

In Liberal communities, both boys and girls will get an Aliyah called up to the Torah and might read from the Torah or lead services.

In Orthodox communities only boys do this.

Orthodox girls might give a speech generally at the end of the service.

The parents will say a prayer giving thanks that their child has come to this age.

We just went over a lot of what happens in a synagogue for a Bar and Bat mitzvah.

In addition to this, celebrate the religious rituals and ceremonies that take place.

Many people will also have a party to celebrate, inviting friends and family, and this can look different for every person in every community.

The main point is for the Bar and Bat mitzvah to be able to feel celebrated and with the people that they love and who love them.

So now that the Bar or Bat mitzvah is considered an adult at the ripe old age of 12 or 13, what does this mean? What changes for them? In an Orthodox community,this is going to be primarily for boys.

And in the Masorti,Reform and Liberal communities, this is anyone of age.

Now they're able to be counted in a minyan, a prayer quorum where according to Judaism means 10 adults.

They're now also allowed to lead prayer services.

And we'll most likely our will wear tefillin.

Their phylacteries the black boxes that go between a forehead and on an arm.

In all Jewish communities, someone who's had their Bar or Bat mitzvah is now seen as an adult in Jewish life.

What this means is they're now able to make their own choices.

And are now seen as responsible for what is doing right and wrong in the eyes of Jewish law and Jewish practise.

I'd like you now to pause the video, and write in full sentences.

What does it mean to be a Bar or Bat mitzvah? And what does it mean to be seen as an adult in Jewish law? when you're finished resumed the film.

You did a great job today.

Today we learned about the Bar and Bat mitzvah ceremonies and rituals within the Jewish community.

A Bar and Bat mitzvah is the ceremony and ritual welcoming someone into Jewish adulthood.

That happens when a boy is turns 13 and a girl turns 12.

In many communities, the ritual celebration within the Jewish service, will look like leading a service or getting called up to the Torah or reading parts of the Torah or giving a speech or a sermon about their Torah portion.

The part of the Torah that is read on the week of their birthday.

We also learned that what does it mean to be an adult in a Jewish community? It means that one is now responsible for their actions and in their own ways of following God's law.

Additionally, they will now take part in more aspects of Jewish communal life such as potentially counting towards a minyan, a quorum of 10 adults needed for prayer services or being able to lead the prayer services.

Or wearing things like tefill, the phylacteries worn on the arm and between the forehead during morning prayers.

Before you finished today, write down three things that you learned.

And feel free to share those with your parent or carer or friend or teacher.

Don't forget to complete the end of the lesson quiz.

And if you'd like to share your work with us here at Oak national, please ask your parents or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, tagging "@OakNational" and "#LearnwithOak".

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and happy learning.