What is a Bar Mitzvah?
A Bar Mitzvah is a special moment in your son’s life, marking the transition to Jewish adulthood, when he takes on the rights and responsibilities of a Jewish adult. We mark this age not as an endpoint of childhood but, as the beginning of adulthood, when your son enters a new phase of life involving uncertainties and trying to understand himself and the everchanging world around him. A Bar Mitzvah is the starting point of a lifelong journey of finding one’s place in Judaism, following a rich tradition of amazing Jewish men throughout history.
We at Pinner Shul offer a range of ways to support this exciting process.
Mention the word Bar Mitzvah to the average Jewish boy and they might talk about the party they are planning or being called up to the Torah. In truth, “becoming Bar Mitzvah” is something that simply happens at the age of 13 and there is nothing formal that absolutely must be done – it is simply the start of a journey of independence as your son begins to find his own meaningful connection to Judaism.
Despite this, a traditional highlight of many Bar Mitzvah celebrations is being called up in synagogue and sometimes reading from the Torah, Judaism’s holy scroll, which we are very happy to help facilitate. Many do this on the Shabbat morning following a boy’s Hebrew 13th birthday, while some families also choose to commemorate the occasion on a weekday morning as well.
A Bar Mitzvah boy begins to wear tefillin daily around the time of his Bar Mitzvah (often around a month beforehand). If you would like help researching or purchasing tefillin, please be in touch with Rabbi Kurzer. Some families may choose to honour the start of a boy wearing tefillin by choosing a morning in the lead up to the Bar Mitzvah to come to Shul in the morning and celebrate this milestone. We would be happy to help you arrange this. Additionally, you can watch this helpful video on how to put on tefillin.
The synagogue hall is also available for hire for you to hold a party in honour of the Bar Mitzvah boy, with a festive meal and dancing. We want the Bar Mitzvah weekend to be a memorable and fun one for everybody. Please be in touch with the Shul office for details.
Do get in touch with us to learn more about local teachers to teach your son his Torah portion, and explore ways to make his and your family’s experience more meaningful, including learning about tefillin, what it means to become Bar Mitzvah and connecting with other young people at the same life stage.