June 12, 2009

Bat Mitzvah

My daughter is invited to her classmate's bat mitzvah on Saturday. To her, finding the perfect outfit and a cool gift is most important. I, on the other hand, want her to understand the significance of the occasion.

"Bat" is daughter in Hebrew and Aramaic.
"Mitzvah" is "commandment" in both Hebrew and Aramaic.

According to Judaism 101:
"Under Jewish Law, children are not obligated to observe the commandments, although they are encouraged to do so as much as possible to learn the obligations they will have as adults. At the age of 13 (12 for girls), children become obligated to observe the commandments. The bar mitzvah ceremony formally marks the assumption of that obligation, along with the corresponding right to take part in leading religious service, to count in a minyan (the minimum number of people needed to perform certain parts of religious services), to form binding contracts, to testify before religious courts, and to marry."