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Write a full description of how a Jew becomes a Bar or Bat Mitzvah - Explain the religious importance of this event for (i) the person who becomes the Bar or Bat Mitzvah and (ii) his or her family.

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Religious Education GCSE Judaism Coursework (minimum of 1,500 words) Question 12: Bar/Bat Mitzvah: a) - Write a full description of how a Jew becomes a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. b) - Explain the religious importance of this event for: (i) the person who becomes the Bar or Bat Mitzvah (ii) his or her family c) - "It is unfair to expect a 13 year old to take on adult responsibilities" How far would you agree with this opinion? You must refer to Judaism in your answer. a) Bar and bat mitzvah literally means the son and daughter of the Commandment. Bar Mitzvah is for a boy and the bat mitzvah is for a girl. In all branches of Judaism, bar mitzvah is celebrated on the first Shabbat after the boy's thirteenth birthday. However, for a girl, the bat mitzvah celebration takes place on the first Shabbat, after her twelfth birthday. These birthdays are most likely meant to correspond to the age at which the boy and girl reach puberty, as girls tend to mature faster than boys. In both cases, friends and family are invited to the celebration which marks a symbolic entry to Jewish adulthood and responsibilities at the age of twelve or thirteen. ...read more.


It is a connection from adulthood and perhaps a way of letting them understand what kind of person they are expected to be and how they should act. The bat/bar mitzvah celebration may also help the boy/girl to feel closer and more connected to God, especially during the services and no doubt when they are called up to read a part of the Torah. They may feel compelled to show appreciation God for what they have and show they are grateful for his kindness and generosity and to the person concerned, the bar/bat mitzvah celebration seems the most meaningful and appropriate occasion to do so. The celebration may also be important to them because they want to show their loved ones that they are appreciative of the love and support that they have given over the years. The party afterwards and the synagogue service will be a good opportunity for them to let them know they are grateful and thankful for all that they have. Having a bar/bat mitzvah allows the person concerned to realise the importance of good citizenship and that they are no longer children, but young adults. ...read more.


Taking on full adult responsibility can be demanding especially all at once. When they are 13, the children should begin to understand what is expected of them, but should not be expected to become adults overnight. Just like puberty, entering adulthood is a gradual process and so they should take one step at a time with taking on full adult responsibilities. They should only be expected to take on the full adult responsibilities later in life, when they have seen more of the world and gained more general knowledge. Having a Bar or Bat Mitzvah doesn't mean that the person involved is officially an adult. However in society, there are laws to how old you have to be to do certain things, such as getting married at 16, or driving legally at 17, and drinking at pubs at 18. But in Judaism, by having the bar or bat mitzvah, it gives the boy or girl a mental realisation that he or she is growing up. It shows that ideally, there is no need to introduce age limit laws, as religious celebrations such as bar and bat mitzvah have a much stronger significance and are deeper and more meaningful than any legal document when it comes to confirming one's authority. Wendy Lee ...read more.

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