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Bat and Bar Mitzvah

Length - 5:23
Published - Dec 2013
Keystage(s) - 2 and 3

Bat and Bar Mitzvah – When does someone become an adult? Emily recently had her Bat Mitzvah at an Orthodox Synagogue and is now a Daughter of the Commandment and responsible for her own actions. She talks about the ceremony and compares it to her friend Ben’s Bar Mitzvah.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:



Component 1 - The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices - Judaism – Practices - Family life and festivals - Rituals and their significance: • Ceremonies associated with birth including Brit Milah; Bar and Bat Mitzvah.



Area of Study 3 -Section 3: Living the Jewish Life -The importance of ritual for Jews today: the nature, features and purpose of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies



Component Group 1 - Judaism - Practices- Rituals • The meaning and importance of rites of passage • The form and meaning of Jewish birth ceremonies including: •• The welcoming of a baby girl •• The connection between Brit Milah and the covenant with Abraham •• The circumcision •• The roles of the father •• Mohel and Sandek •• The importance of birth rituals for the community • The form and meaning of Bar/Bat Mitzvah including: •• The preparation •• The nature of the service •• Subsequent preparations •• The meaning and nature of Bat Chayil



.2 Unit 2 PART A - Judaism- Core beliefs, teachings and practices Beliefs –Practices -Jewish identity  Symbols: the mezuzah and Magen David  Brit Milah ceremony and symbols (including the roles of the mohel and sandek)  Bar/Bat Mitzvah as ceremonies marking Jewish identity; Ceremony, significance and symbols  The use and importance of the tallit, tefillin and kippah; symbolism and significance of each  Festivals and commemorations: Yom Hashoah, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach; significance, preparation and celebration of these festivals (Exodus 12:14)



Component 3 (Route B) Study of a World Faith: Judaism: Practices : Rituals ➢ The role and importance of Brit Milah: Covenant, identity, features of the ceremony ➢ Bar Mitzvah: Law and personal responsibility, features of the ceremony

Bat and Bar Mitzvah

Emily         Here's a question for you. At what age do you think we become an adult?

Passer-by  I think at the age of 18.

Passer-by  16.

Passer-by  Uh, 18.

Emily         Different people think different things. Yes. At 21, you can become a member of parliament. Hello. At 17, you can drive. You can drink alcohol when you're 18. For Jewish people, the answer is simple. When Jewish boys are 13 and Jewish girls are 12, we have to take responsibility for everything we do. So as far as our religion is concerned, we are adults and we have a special ceremony known as a bar mitzvah for boys and a bat mitzvah for girls.

Emily         My name's Emily and I'm 12. I had my bat mitzvah last month. This means I am now, according to Jewish tradition, an adult. Girls have their bat mitzvah one year earlier than boys, as it is believed that girls mature slightly faster than boys. Bar means son and mitzvah means commandment, or rule, so bar mitzvah means son of the commandment, which basically means a son who must obey God's rules. Bat mitzvah means daughter of the commandment. We believe that before I became bat mitzvah'd, God would hold Mom and Dad responsible for anything I did. But now I'm old enough to take that responsibility for myself. Bye, mom.

Emily         This is my synagogue where my bat mitzvah took place. My preparation began by learning a piece of Hebrew called the Eishet Chayil. For boys however, they have to learn from this. This is the Torah. It's precious to the Jews, as the New Testament is to Christians and the Qur'an to Muslims. During all bar mitzvahs, the boy will be expected to read from the Torah. The difficult thing is that we both have to read in Hebrew, which is the traditional Jewish language. I had to practice for weeks, but with the help of my rabbi, who is the leader and the teacher at the synagogue, I got there in the end.

Emily         What's the importance of the reading?

Rabbi Yehuda The bat mitzvah girl will prepare reading the Eishet Chayil, a poem from the Bible, which explains the importance of a Jewish woman and what her ability can be, and what the bat mitzvah girl should strive to be. The Bar Mitzvah boy will read a Torah portion. The first Torah portion, which he can read, now that he is part of the congregation.

Ben           (Ben reads from the Torah)

Emily         This is what I wore on my bat mitzvah, but boys have to wear tallit and kippah. Hi, Ben. How was your bar mitzvah?

Ben           Yeah, I was a bit nervous, and it, because there was a lot of people here, my family, my friends, and I was also very excited to have my big day. I stood on the bimah. I had to read from the Torah with the yad. I like to use the yad because I like to go through the Hebrew reading. It took me a year to prepare it.

Emily         At the end of my Bat mitzvah, everyone threw sweets at me.

Ben           Me too.

Rabbi Yehuda It is on a bar mitzvah boys day or a bat mitzvah girls day, that we want them to be showered with as many blessings as possible, and so to symbolise this, we throw sweets at them.

Emily         And now it's party time when everyone comes together to sing, dance and celebrate becoming an adult.

Emily         Who's had their bat mitzvah.

All             I have.

Emily         Did you enjoy it?

Friend 1    I really enjoyed mine because I had mine together with my brother, because we're a year apart. I don't feel that much different, but my parents definitely give me more freedom now, and they treat me a bit more like an adult, I think.

Friend 2    I was given a bit more respect and trust as well, to look after my sisters and to go out with my friends and everything. So that was good

Emily         For Jewish people. The bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah are important events in a young person's life, and a celebration that we will always remember. This is because the bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah are about becoming a young adult, taking responsibility for themselves, maturing and continuing life's journey. And although the ceremony is about becoming an adult, we can still behave like children sometimes afterwards if we really want to.

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