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Origin of making a Bas Mitzvah
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Poll

Did you have a Bas Mitzvah party?
YES, a big one with guests
 25%  [ 29 ]
YES, a small one for my friends
 31%  [ 36 ]
More like a nice birthday party for siblings
 18%  [ 21 ]
No, my family doesnt hold of it
 25%  [ 30 ]
Total Votes : 116


Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:20 am
According to one Amother my belief system is too much to the right, making some amothers "uncomfortable". Well, so be it. Women writing that the have a hard time believing in Hashem, Moshiach or Taharas Hamishpacha, makes me VERY uncomfortable. Anyhow, putting that aside, the whole phenomenon of making a Bas Mitzvah is foreign to me and countless other traditional Orthodox families. Granted, we acknowledge that a girl turning 12 is entering womanhood and is a reason to say Tehillim and buy her a nice gift, befitting the situation, for example a nice leather set of siddur and a tehiilim or jewelry etc. but I'm curious how the custom of making a big party/bash crept into frum circles. I was taught, as well as making my own research on the subject is that it has no basis in our Mesorah and was started by Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of the Modern Orthodox movement and later of the Reconstructionist movement in the year 1922.
If someone has a legitimate source for making a whole to do, please provide. Thanks and lets the hugs begin Laughing Laughing


Last edited by Carmen Luna on Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Cyan


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:24 am
Couldn't vote We don't do anything different.

Ps you can't get hugs this thread doesn't have that choice.
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:26 am
amother wrote:
Couldn't vote We don't do anything different.

Ps you can't get hugs this thread doesn't have that choice.


I see that my 4th option, of didnt make anything wasn't added, so I just edited. Am I wierd for trying to find a way to enable the hug options to see how many hugs I"ll get?? Laughing Laughing
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Rutabaga









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:35 am
I don't know if you have enough choices. Maybe add "other" as an option.

What do you consider a big or small party?


For my circles I had a small party. All the girls in my grade were invited (around 60) as per school rules plus a few neighborhood girls I was friends with. My close family was invited, which meant my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, which is not a large group as my parents come from small families. The total was approximately 100 people. My parents invited their closest friends for dessert only. I had no real theme and there was no entertainment other than speeches and dancing with one musician playing the keyboard. It was a melave malka in the shul basement with catered food (milchig) that was served as a buffet. For my circles it was low key. I learned with my father for the occasion and wrote my own speech. This was around 25 years ago.
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 12:39 am
Rutabaga wrote:
I don't know if you have enough choices. Maybe add "other" as an option.

What do you consider a big or small party?


For my circles I had a small party. All the girls in my grade were invited (around 60) as per school rules plus a few neighborhood girls I was friends with. My close family was invited, which meant my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, which is not a large group as my parents come from small families. The total was approximately 100 people. My parents invited their closest friends for dessert only. I had no real theme and there was no entertainment other than speeches and dancing with one musician playing the keyboard. It was a melave malka in the shul basement with catered food (milchig) that was served as a buffet. For my circles it was low key. I learned with my father for the occasion and wrote my own speech. This was around 25 years ago.


That's a big party. By small I meant a small intimate melava malka with a birthday cake and a gift from your parents and grandparents.
And back to my original question, how did it become considered the norm in the MO communities to celebrate it in such a manner, if it originates from a heretical source?
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salt









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:08 am
I assume the origins of a girl becoming a bat mitzvah come from the mishna in pirkei avot - "ben 13 le-mitzvoth" - and somewhere along the line, chazal decided that girls mature earlier, making it 12 for girls.

Origin for a party is the same as origin for a party for a bar-mitzvah. No more reason to make a party for a bar-mitzvah. Buy him tephilin, and say some tehillim. All the rest came along much later.
There is absolutely no more reason to make a party for a boy than for a girl. And no less reason not to make a party for a girl than for a boy. Are you asking where the origin of celebrating for a girl comes from? Or bar/bat mtizva in general?

All this just my opinion.
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:13 am
salt wrote:
I assume the origins of a girl becoming a bat mitzvah come from the mishna in pirkei avot - "ben 13 le-mitzvoth" - and somewhere along the line, chazal decided that girls mature earlier, making it 12 for girls.

Origin for a party is the same as origin for a party for a bar-mitzvah. No more reason to make a party for a bar-mitzvah. Buy him tephilin, and say some tehillim. All the rest came along much later.
There is absolutely no more reason to make a party for a boy than for a girl. And no less reason not to make a party for a girl than for a boy. Are you asking where the origin of celebrating for a girl comes from? Or bar/bat mtizva in general?

All this just my opinion.


Thats false. It's a clear Halacha that a Bar Mitzvah Seudah is a Seudas Mitzvah. and I saw the Ben Ish Chai wrote that it's a beautiful minhag that the bas mitzva girl should get dressed Shabbosdig and daven and take upon a Kabbalah on herself and rejoice on such a day and explicitly wrote that it's not accepted to make a Seudah of any sort
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:17 am
Rav Moshe had denounced it in a famous responsum written in 1959.

About the matter of those who want to make it customary to make some kind of . . . celebration with girls when they become bnot mitzvah. This should not be done in a synagogue under any circumstances. . . because a synagogue is not a place to do reshut [optional matters], and the ceremony of Bat Mitzvah is certainly only a matter of reshut [optional] and hevel b’alma [futility]; there is no source to permit this in a synagogue. How much more so this is the case since the source comes from Reform and Conservative [movements]. Only if the [girl’s] father wants to make some kind of simchah at his home, it is permitted. But there is no concept or basis to consider this to be a . . . seudat mitzvah, because it is only like the simchah of an ordinary birthday party . . . [He discusses how he would eliminate Bar Mitzvah celebrations as well, but cannot because there are halachic sources for it], but to innovate the practice for girls, where there is no source at all to consider it a mitzvah, even in the house, certainly it would be better to prevent it
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salt









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:21 am
Carmen Luna wrote:
Thats false. It's a clear Halacha that a Bar Mitzvah Seudah is a Seudas Mitzvah. and I saw the Ben Ish Chai wrote that it's a beautiful minhag that the bas mitzva girl should get dressed Shabbosdig and daven and take upon a Kabbalah on herself and rejoice on such a day and explicitly wrote that it's not accepted to make a Seudah of any sort


I'm pretty sure seudat mitzvah for bar mitzvah is not mentioned in the shulchan aruch or mishna berura. But I could definitely be mistaken.

Could be that those sources that do promote a seudat mitzvah for reaching the age of mitzvot just write in the masculine, cos is those days girls were kept in the house more.
The only reason I can think of to celebrate a bat mitzvah with a more modest affair that a bar mitzvah is the modesty reason - כל כבודת בת מלך פנימה.

We celebrated our our girls bat mitzvas with a much smaller event that our boys bar mitzvas, for that reason. Girls should necessarily be the cetnre of so much attention, more a modesty reason, not cos there is less significance to their 12th than the boy's 13th.

I'd be interested to see the source in shulchan aruch for seudat mitzvah for boys. I'm not saying it's not there, I just don't really know how to look these things up.
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:22 am
Rutabaga wrote:
If you're really interested, a quick Google search produced the following:

https://www.ou.org/jewish_acti.....t_mitzvah/

http://www.rabbim.co.uk/sources/bat-mitzvah/

http://www.oztorah.com/2010/04.....the-rabbi/

http://chabad.org/library/arti.....itzvah.htm

http://www.torahmusings.com/20.....-orthodox/

http://www.myjewishlearning.co.....t-mitzvah/


Just read your 2nd link and you"ll see exactly why it's heretical. Every source, except the holy Ben Ish Chai l'havdil, reeks of reform ideology
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tichellady









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:29 am
Ok Carmen Luna, all of us modern orthodox and centrist orthodox women out there who celebrate bat Mitzvah are heretics. You are right and we, and all of our rabbis are wrong. Is that what you want to hear?
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:35 am
tichellady wrote:
Ok Carmen Luna, all of us modern orthodox and centrist orthodox women out there who celebrate bat Mitzvah are heretics. You are right and we, and all of our rabbis are wrong. Is that what you want to hear?


If you put it like that who am I to disagree... But on a more serious note, is this how it works around here? Whenever someone has an ideological discussion and you don't have what to add, the solution is to resort to cynicism?? Sheesh, so much for your "intellectualism" Rolling Eyes
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salt









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:42 am
I'm still waiting for a quote from the shulchan aruch for bar mitzvah parties, please...
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Rutabaga









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:42 am
Carmen Luna wrote:
Just read your 2nd link and you"ll see exactly why it's heretical. Every source, except the holy Ben Ish Chai l'havdil, reeks of reform ideology


Way to pick and choose only what already fits your viewpoint. Did you read the other links, including the footnotes?
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:43 am
salt wrote:
I'm still waiting for a quote from the shulchan aruch for bar mitzvah parties, please...



See the Magen Avraham, Orach Chaim 225:4.

He points out a couple things:

It is a Mitzvah for the father to make a Seudah (festive meal) on the day his son turns 13 (enters his 14th year, I.e. not the evening he turns 13, but the next day). This is equal to the obligation to make a Wedding Seudah.
If the son makes a Drashah (Torah speech/lecture) in honor of his Bar Mitzvah, this is considered a celebration of the Bar Mitzvah (and the meal is therefore a Seudat Mitvah) even if it is not on the actual day.
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ra_mom









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:44 am
I grew up in a bais yaakov environment and had a slumber bas mitzvah party with my friends (BBQ dinner, games, theme, continued on into the next day with a trip and activities, 6 friends).
And then I had a restaurant bas mitzvah bash with my immediate family.
I voted small one with friends.

Dh wants a big bash for our girls but the school doesn't allow inviting any school friends as a way to ward off unnecessary competition.


Last edited by ra_mom on Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:45 am
Rutabaga wrote:
Way to pick and choose only what already fits your viewpoint. Did you read the other links, including the footnotes?


Hold on, I actually did read them, but talk about the kettle calling the pot black! Did you not just pick and choose?
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:49 am
salt wrote:
I'm still waiting for a quote from the shulchan aruch for bar mitzvah parties, please...


According to some, the first documented Bar Mitzvah celebration is referred to in the Torah: "And the child [Isaac] grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned" (Genesis 21:8). According to one opinion expressed in the Midrash, this was the day that Isaac turned thirteen; the day when he was "weaned" from his childish nature, and assumed the responsibilities of a Jewish adult. In Jewish literature, this verse is often used as a source for the celebration made in honor of a boy's acceptance of the mitzvot at age thirteen.

The Zohar relates how on the day of his son's Bar Mitzvah, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai made a feast which was akin to a wedding celebration.

Rabbi Shlomo Luria, noted 16th century Polish scholar, rules that the Bar Mitzvah feast is a seudat mitzvah, a "mitzvah repast," which means that participating in this meal is actually a mitzvah.
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amother




Beige


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 2:22 am
Religion changes. Period.

Neither of my grandmothers took challah with 39 other women or went to "Amen Parties." And they were very frum women. What happened? Girls and women in the right wing world wanted some form of religious expression, so they invented new rituals. These are harmless and don't contradict halacha, so what's the big deal? Don't pretend for a second that there's no innovation on the right.

If a family wants to celebrate their daughter taking on ol mitzvos, why should that be any more problematic than a mass hafrashas challah?

(Anon because anyone who's been at my shabbos table recognizes this rant.)
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