Life Cycle

Home Life Cycle
Barmitzvah PDF Print E-mail
What is a Barmitzvah?
What is its origin in Jewish tradition? What is its significance? The Torah makes it clear that only an ish - an adult - is bound by the rules of the Torah. But what is an ish - at what age does a child become an adult? In the book of Genesis (34:25) we read that “the two sons of Yaakov, Shimon and Levi, ...took each man his sword...” According to Rabbinic tradition, Levi was 13 years old at that time and the Torah refers to him as an ish - a man, an adult.

For a boy, his thirteenth birthday is the time when his Divine soul, present from birth, becomes fully functional. The thirteenth birthday (twelve for a girl) obviously follows the Jewish (lunar) calendar. At this age, one reaches intellectual maturity. Therefore, on the day he turns 13, a boy becomes ‘Barmitzvah’ - ‘a son of the commandment’ - meaning that in the eyes of Jewish law he has now come of age. From now on he is subject to all the obligations as well as all the privileges of an adult. At most Shuls, including Sydenham, the formal Barmitzvah is scheduled for a Shabbat after the thirteenth birthday, occasionally some weeks after it.

The theme of Barmitzvah, is therefore, “assuming responsibility for one’s Jewish and general conduct.” If you feel the need for “a theme” for the party at all, this is it. There is no need to introduce any other themes into what is, essentially, a Jewish religious milestone.
RABBI YOSSY GOLDMAN

N.B. A Barmitzvah is a wonderful window of opportunity for family growth; particularly in the area of our Jewishness. The Rabbi will be only too happy to discuss this with you at your convenience. Feel free to call for an appointment.
Click here to download more information about Barmitzvah's at Sydenham Shul.
 

PreSchool Graduation 2017

2017 ns graduation