S. asked in Society & CultureHolidaysHanukkah · 7 years ago

Personal question about Bar/Bat Mitzvah then vs. now?

A Jewish male child celebrates Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13 or a female child celebrates Bat Mitzvah at the age of 12. How have you changed since this age? Do you believe that you were ready to be an adult in the “eyes of God”? Are you ready now? How do you believe that the role of a child has changed since the intro of Bar and Bat Mitzvah several hundred years ago?

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  • 7 years ago
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    This is a false premise. The titles of bar and mitzvah is not a modern invention, it dates back to the beginning of Judaism.

    Most people incorrectly believe that the public celebration associated with becoming a bar or bat mitzvah is required for a child to become one. What a bar and bat mitzvah is, is a title given to a Jewish male automatically on his 13th birthday and a Jewish girl on her 12th birthday regardless of there being a public celebration or not.

    It's the large public celebrations that are new. Even as recent as the 1960's/70's that a child becoming a bar or bat mitzvah started becoming a public event. Even now, in a lot of places, the boy (sometimes girl, depending on country/stream of observance) is simply called up to read from the Torah on his 13th birthday, that's it.

    In the sense of 'becoming an adult in the eyes of [HaShem]', that doesn't mean what it appears you think it means. It actually refers to our being seen as old enough to start taking responsibility for our actions. One of the biggest things for me was that I got to participate in fasting for Yom Kippur which was a big deal. I think that 12 and 13 years old is quite reasonable to expect children to start taking responsible for their actions.

    Source(s): Jewish
  • 7 years ago

    > since the intro of Bar and Bat Mitzvah several hundred years ago?

    This is an error.

    The celebration was made popular a few hundred years ago.

    The Jewish age of majority was set at 13 and 12 respectively during the Roman period.

    Prior to that - majority was determined by puberty. So ran at roughly the same age.

    > How have you changed since this age?

    Alot

    > Do you believe that you were ready to be an adult in the “eyes of God”?

    No one is ever ready.

    But yes - an early teen has the brains to take responsibility -- if society pushes him to do so, he will rise to the challenge.

    The Jewish ritual cycle does quite a bit of such pushing and even in our infantilized society, I have seen the transformation of the children who are taken through it.

    > Are you ready now?

    I'm over fourty, and I'd still rather not take responsibility.

    > How do you believe that the role of a child has changed since several hundred years ago?

    Teenagehood is a very modern American phenomenon.

    Before that time, by 12/13 people had taken responsibility in their lives -

    they worked the farm, took care of animals and younger siblings,

    and in the artisan jobs were halfway through their aprenticeships.

  • 7 years ago

    I wasn't ready then

    I had other issues that had to be taken care of first

    Source(s): ..
  • 7 years ago

    I feel I cannot place my words better than this article has expressed, I would highly recommend it!

    http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/203109...

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