Bar And Bat Essay

1324 words - 6 pages

Bar and bat Mitzvah both translate to the meaning “son (or) daughter of commandment.” The most commonly spoken language of the Jewish people and most people in the Middle East starting in 500 B.C.E – 400 C.E is the vernacular language known as Aramaic. The words bar, bat and mitzvah all come from this language. The term “bar (bat) mitzvah” refers to two different things: first off, when a boy or girl comes of age (12/13), they have become a “bar (bat) mitzvah,” and then are recognized by the Jewish tradition as having the same rights as a grown man. They are now both responsible for the decisions and actions they make. The second thing it refers to is the religious ceremony that accompanies ...view middle of the document...

The Torah, to many people, is one big book of stories. It tells us what we weren’t able to experience years ago in the eyes of religion. For more religious Jewish people, it is a pathway into the reasons why they do what they do in situations such as celebrating and observing different holidays. For example, a few weeks ago was a holiday we celebrate called Passover, in the Torah known as Pesach. Some people believe they know more about this holiday than they actually do. The Torah tells us about the deeper meaning of Passover, and the story behind this meaning. If it weren’t for the Torah, we wouldn’t know that the actual meaning behind it is because God “passed over” the houses of the Jews when he was told to slay the first born of Egypt. We also wouldn’t know why on this holiday we only eat matzah, the unleavened bread, but the Torah tells us the story about how the Jews had to make this bread in the time they had before they had to made their flight from Egypt. The Torah, so to say, is a huge book of stories for us to read whenever we want to learn a new sense of our religion and hear the stories from our people.
A lot of people don’t know, but within the bar and bat mitzvah ceremony one can be a part of a huge story telling ceremony as well. When the bar and bat mitzvah are called up to the Torah, they are assigned a certain Torah portion or a Haftorah. The Torah portion is from the five books of Moses, and the Haftorah comes from the book of prophets. The Torah portion and Haftorah one is given depends on the day they were born and they day they will be having their service. The Torah portion that coincides with the bar or bat mitzvah is important because it tells what happened on the day they are having theirs throughout history. Also, each Torah portion comes with a deeper meaning and insight from the story.
Another form of story telling throughout the bar / bat mitzvah service is the D’var Torah. D’var Torah translates to “word of Torah.” The bar or bat mitzvah is told their Torah portion, and from that they have to interpret a lesson or sermon from within the story (My Jewish Learning). This could be considered the personal story telling of the service. You are free on your own to think of what you received from your portion. There are numerous amounts of possibilities in which one can read their portion. The interpretation from that becomes their own story, which they tell to all who attend their service, and from then on, their story that they made up can be passed down and told to others.
I myself...

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