Bar and Bat Mitzvah - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Jewish religious ceremony and celebration marking the formal entry into adulthood of boys at age 13 (bar mitzvah) and girls at age 12 (bat mitzvah).

In Hebrew, "bar/bat mitzvah" means "son/daughter of the commandment" or "servant of the commandment." American usage of "bar mitzvah," generally means the occasion itself, and undergoing the bar mitzvah ceremony is often referred to as "being bar mitzvahed." Technically, though, bar/bat mitzvah is a term referring to the altered status that the young person automatically attains at the age of 12 or 13, with or without a ceremony. Thus, in the true sense of the word, one becomes a bar/bat mitzvah. At the age of 13, a boy is traditionally deemed qualified to be counted a part of a minyan (the quorum of 10 men needed for public prayer) and can begin wearing tefillin (phylacteries), small square leather boxes...

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This section contains 1,309 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Bar and Bat Mitzvah from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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