Bat Mitzvahs

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Bat Mitzvahs are important rites of passage. Though Bat Mitzvahs traditionally take place when a girl turns 12, they often occur when she is 13. Boys celebrate their Bar Mitzvahs when they turn 13, and it's often easier to have boys and girls in the same grade have their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at roughly the same time.

Plus, holding Bat Mitzvahs at 13 is more in keeping with the idea of passage into adulthood. In American culture, the teenage years are considered the beginning of a young person's development into adulthood. It makes sense, then, that the Jewish rite of passage into adulthood would take place only once a girl had become a teenager.

Bat Mitzvahs and Adult Responsibilities

When a girl is Bat Mitzvah, she is expected to perform and observe the duties all Jewish adults are expected to do. For instance, children under the age of 12 are not encouraged to fast during Yom Kippur. Jewish boys and girls over the age of 13, however, are expected to fast.

When a special young girl in your life is Bat Mitzvah, you have an opportunity to give her a lasting and important gift. A piece of Judaic art or other Judaic gift can be a wonderful present for Bat MItzvah. At this age, she may want nothing more than clothes, music and money, but years from now she'll come to appreciate a more meaningful gift, such as a silver kiddush cup. Clothes don't last; Judaic art and gifts do.


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