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What is a Bar Mitzvah?
A Bar Mitzvah, or Bat Mitzvah, is a Jewish celebration to commend the coming of age in Jewish children- for boys, this happens when they turn 13, and for girls it’s 12. When the Jewish child comes of age, it means that they are from then on held responsible for their religious actions, ethics, and traditions, and they can make their own decisions the same as an adult Jew.
The Bar Mitzvah, for boys, and the Bat Mitzvah, for girls, tends to coincide with puberty and is deemed a special honor to be able to participate in all areas of the Jewish community. Prior to the celebration, parents assume full responsibility for their child’s adherence to Jewish law and tradition.
At the Bar Mitzvah itself, the child in question has to stand up in front of all their friends and family at the synagogue and recite the Torah, which is printed in Hebrew and so read from right to left. This tradition has come down through the ages for two thousand years since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
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