You do not celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, you become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah which means “Son/Daughter of the Commandment”. Bar or Bat Mitzvah means: a full member of the community, with all the rights and responsibilities. Boys become a bar mitzvah at 13 years old and girls become a bat mitzvah at 12 years old.
Tallit: A sign for religious responsibility
During the service, the boys and girls get to the root of Judaism – the Torah. Torah means instruction or teaching. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible. The girls and boys read aloud from the Torah and hold a short explanation. To show their religious responsibilities, they wear a tallit (a Jewish prayer shawl) for the first time.
In Bar/Bat Mitzvah classes the boys and girls are given the necessary knowledge to read the Hebrew texts aloud and experience which melodies are needed for the Torah readings. The students who do not know the Hebrew alphabet will learn how to read it. As well, the boys and girls will deepen their knowledge of Judaism. All of this they can proudly present when they become Bar/Bat mitzvahed. After completing the Torah reading, they will be showered in wishes and sweets, the traditional way in many Jewish communities. The boys and girls should protect themselves under their prayer shawls!
The Torah text, which they spent hours learning, can be used again: at the latest in three years when the text comes around again in the services.