Jewish Bar and Bat Mitzvah (Explained)

A Bar Mitzvah is a special day for a Jewish Male.

It is the day where they go from "Boy" to "Man"

It is filled with excitement and it is a very special day for the Boy and his family.

Let's dive into all things related to Jewish Bar Mitzvahs...

What is a Bar Mitzvah?

A Bar Mitzvah happens when a Jewish Boy turns 13 Years Old.

It is a very big celebration that family and friends attend.

Bar Mitzvah is Hebrew and translate to:

"Son of Commandment"

Preparation for a Bar Mitzvah

The preparation will begin around 9 months before the Bar Mitzvah Date.

Preparation for the Boy

For the boy, he will be Reading from The Torah at Shul. So the preparation will include attending weekly Torah Class where he will learn his Portion,

Reading from The Torah is very beautiful and there are many things the boy will need to learn such as:

As well as having weekly lessons, Jewish boys will also need to put in a lot of effort everyday to practise what they learn during The Torah Lessons.

Preparation for the Parents

For the parents, they will coordinate with their Shul to arrange the date for the Bar Mitzvah.

This will ensure the date is available for the Boy to read The Portion from The Torah.

Once this is finalized, the parents will then decide on a venue for the Bar Mitzvah Party.

The Torah Portion at Shul will be on Saturday Morning and the Bar Mitzvah Party will be on the Sunday Night of the same weekend.

It is common for close Jewish families to travel from all over the world to celebrate a Family Bar Mitzvah.

Once the venue is arranged, the family will begin sending invites for the Simcha (Celebration).

Additionally, the Boy will decide on which friends he wants to say a speech at the party.

The Bar Mitzvah Week


On the Thursday of the Bar Mitzvah week, the Jewish Boy will go to Shul in the morning and Lay Teffilin.

It is a very special moment that is shared with close members of the family.

Friday Night

Jews always celebrate Friday Night Dinner with family and friends.

On the weekend of the Bar Mitzvah, Friday Night Dinner is celebrated will all family that have travelled far and wide to celebrate the joyous occasion.

Saturday Morning

On the Saturday Morning, the family will walk to Shul and sit at the front of the Synagogue, waiting for the Jewish Boy to be called up to the Bimah.

It is common for close friends to come to the Shul Ceremony and then the rest of the friends will attend the Party on the Sunday Night.

Once called up to the Bimah, the Jewish Boy will Recite the Weekly Maftir and Haftarah.

The Maftir and Haftarah is what the Boy will have been preparing months in advance for.

Once he has Recited his portion, the crowd will throw sweets (candy) at him as a sign of celebration.

After the Service is finished, the Parents of the Bar Mitzvah will sponsor the Kiddush Lunch.

Saturday Afternoon

After the Kiddush Lunch at Shul, the Family of the Bar Mitzvah Boy will have continued celebrations at their household with close family and friends that will go on into the evening.

Sunday Night

Sunday will be spent preparing for the Party Celebration at their hired venue.

The Party event will start around 5pm and go on until 11pm.

As far as the schedule goes, it follows a normal structure of a party.

And... then maybe a little bit more Jewish Dancing and then call it a night!

Differences Between Orthodox vs. Secular Bar Mitzvah

The main difference for the party would be that Orthodox Jews would have seperate dancing for the men and women.

Beyond that, the Simcha (celebration) would flow more or less the same.

What is a Bat Mitzvah?

A Bat Mitzvah is a similar process to the Bar Mitzvah outlined above, however it is for girls.

A Bat Mitzvah happens when a girl turns 12.

Bat Mitzvah is Hebrew and translate to:

โ€œDaughter of Commandment"

What is the Difference Between a Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah?

The main difference is that for a Bat Mitzvah, the girls do not read from The Torah.

Instead, they will deliver a Dvar Torah.

What is a Dvar Torah?

A Dvar Torah is a Speech that will discuss the Weekly Torah Portion and the lessons to take away from it.

It will not require the girl to read directly from The Torah at Shul.

Instead, she will learn about The Portion during the week of her Bat Mitzvah and write a speech about the lessons she has learnt from it.

Differences Between Orthodox vs. Secular Bat Mitzvah

For Reform Bat Mitzvahs, the Daughter will actually read The Torah Portion.

Orthodox Jews do not agree with the Daughter reading The Torah Portion in public when there is a Minyan Present.

What is a Minyan?

A Minyan is a group of 10 Jewish Men that Pray together.

What Gifts Do Bar and Bat Mitzvah Boys/Girls Receive?

The general gift for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is cash or a cheque.

Typically, the parents will put the money in a savings account for the son/daughter and allow them to spend a small amount of it.

Every parent is different but generally the gift is cash.

There you have it!

Everything surronding Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.

We hope you enjoyed.

Till next time!


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