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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


shabbatiscoming









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 2:33 am
A bar mitzvah seuda is completely different than a big party bash.
I really think that these big parties, for bar or bat mitzvah came about when people were trying to outdo each other, keeping up with the Johnses. Nothing new. Its been going on forever and ever.

I know that when I was growing up, all of my friends had very tasteful parties. And almost every single girl, myself included, made some sort of siyum at the party, making it a seudat mitzvah (myself and my siblings all learned something for the year leading up to our bar or bat mitzvahs, with my father and then made a proper siyum, both boy and girl.

These big parties, now a days, are happening for both boys and girls. And again, a seudat mitzvah is NOT a big party bash. One can have a bar mitzvah meal, nice and serene, with family and a few close friends and call it a day.

So, your question is a bit strange to me as these big parties are not specific to girls and they are happening all over, also for boys.

Another reason why I think bat mitzvah parties were happening was because people didnt want girls to feel left out of having a party of some sort when they became of age. I know some friends who felt very hurt that their brothers got these big parties and they got something MUCH less.

And lastly your poll is definitely not complete. We had a small party with my class mates and close family and close friends of my parents. Not a big bash at all.
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essie14









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 3:07 am
Carmen Luna wrote:
...
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

So then don't make one for your daughter. Why do you care if Modern Orthodox families do?
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chanchy123









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 5:13 am
A. The founder of Modern Orthodoxy was Avraham Avinu, or Perhaps Moshe Rabainu.

B. As far as I know many boys never used to have large celebrations for their Bar Mitzva's either, they had an aliya, put on tefilin and that was it, maybe there was a kiddush or a small meal.

C. I am 36 years old (actually closer to 37, if we are being brutally honest) I had a big bat mitzvah.

D. I think it is great that Judaism has evolved and people now have the means to celebrate such a milestone in one's life, whether it is bar or bat mitzvahs. I do think people might go overboard and lose focus of what's important - but the same goes for weddings, and from what I see here, upsherins (which never even existed in my Litvak family).

I edited this post after reading through the thread - I may not have remember the Ben Ish Chai correctly after 24 years Smile. Sorry.

I also voted big party - but it wasn't a fancy part, we had a big fleishig meal that my parents prepared at home, I invited friends and it was mostly my parent's friends (many of my parents friends) and family - and it was in our back yard - no music.
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watergirl









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 6:52 am
Ok so theres a source for making a seudas mitzvah for a boy. Wheres the source for having a band, inviting the whole grade and all rabbanim, renting a hall, etc? Seudas mitzvan means a (fleishig usally)meal with bentching. Wheres the source for a huge party, and kiddush in shul, bo ba yom dougnuts for the class or poppers/sushi whatever, and a melava malka? Why arent you asking those questions too?

Last edited by watergirl on Mon, Jan 09 2017, 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Pink


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 7:07 am
I am chabad. I had a tiny bas mitzva party for my friends, not really any different then the small parties I had when I was 11 and 13. We had basically no extended family but even my sisters did not attend. I think my sisters had slightly bigger parties with some extra touches that I didn't get but my luck my bas mitzva was a few weeks after my brothers bar mitzva. Rolling Eyes (which also wasn't super fancy btw but definitely a big deal.) I absolutely resented the contrast.

I made my daughters big bas mitzva parties that were women only. My sons ended up being bigger since obviously inviting the same crowd double the number of people came. (but were in the same hall etc) I live in a not frum community so in any case my daughters don't have a large number of classmates.
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esuss









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 7:12 am
I recently made a Bas Mitzvah party for my daughter. We just invited girl cousins, aunts and grandmother. Her school does not allow parties for school friends instead they make a big mother/daughter event for the entire class.
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saw50st8









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 8:00 am
essie14 wrote:
So then don't make one for your daughter. Why do you care if Modern Orthodox families do?


I went to a moderately yeshivish elementary school (with plenty of more right wing and some more left wing) people. Just about everyone had bas mitzvahs of varying sizes and degrees based on wealth.
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 8:35 am
essie14 wrote:
So then don't make one for your daughter. Why do you care if Modern Orthodox families do?


Your post is immature. 1 - that's not was my post is about, it's a discussion to get the facts straight. 2 - is that what you write when shaving for women or not learning secular subjects for the chassidish schools is being discussed on here?? I'm going out on a limb here and I'm going to say that you don't tell the OP "what do you care, don't shave if you don't want!"
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PinkFridge









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 8:46 am
IIRC I heard that Rav Shach's children are 12 months apart, and the Shabbos of his son's bar mitzvah, he made a shalosh seudos for his daughter who'd turned 12.
Please don't forward this as Toras Moshe, but I'm pretty sure I remember correctly.
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amother




Blush


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 9:01 am
Seems like we have forgotten how to use the sixth shulchan aruch.
In the days when Bar Mitzvas themselves were skimp I think the Bas Mitzvas too were celebrated in there own skimp way.
Now adays Bar Mitzvas have grown and are celebrated more elaboratly, This should cause the Bas Mitzvas to grow porpertionatly too.
I do not suggest that bat mitzvas must identicle to bar mitzvas. All I am saying is that ALL of our celebrating has grown. Hence the bat mitzvas that are more elaborate than yester years.
...our old customs were once new...
We must keep in mind that within the framwork of halacha we change all the time. There has never been a source NOT to celebrate. So if this will boost our girls confidence teach them that they are valued members of the jewish nation and invite then into the jewish womanhood why should we NOT do this?
we are anyways spending so much more on her brothers celebration...
In todays generation it seems like a great idea
I really don't get what the big issue is.
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eschaya









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 9:03 am
I really don't see that Bas Mitzvah parties are specific to MO. I went to a very mainstream Bais Yaakov, and everyone in my class had some form of bas mitzva party. This was 20 years ago, and very much sanctioned by the hanhala. From what I heard from camp friends, penpals etc, this was the norm in other Bais Yaakovs across the US as well. The parties were primarily done in the girl's home, almost always had some sort of project or activity, as well as dancing and a meal. The Bas Mitzvah girl would say a dvar torah, and maybe a parent or teacher would speak. There whole class would be there, as well as relatives and teachers.
Yes, bas mitzvah parties may be a relatively new thing (as compared to 500 years ago), but then again so is the idea of Jewish schooling for girls, borsalino hats for boys, the fact that we make ha'etz on mangos (did your great grandmother ever eat a mango????), the widespread kollel system, women working, epidurals, ventilators, birth control, and a whole bunch of other innovations that are relevant to the lived Jewish experience of our times. So what?
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amother




Papaya


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 9:57 am
We had a special supper for just immediate family - - - the same way we celebrate every birthday. The only difference was that I got a jewelry gift from my parents and an emotional letter from my mother.
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amother




Lime


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 10:25 am
I didnt read through this whole thread... just noticing your opening line of "your research uncovered that the whole bas mitzva thing started in 1922" got me thinking.
We asked my husbands grandfather who was born in europe in approx 1915 what his BAR MITZVA was like. His answer was what bar mitzva. You were lucky if you got an aliyah the shabbos/day of your bar mitzva. People didnt make these kind of "partys" in thoes years. Even weddings were not in the scale they are on today. This is all ah americanisha zach. An American thing. An excuse for a party.
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watergirl









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 10:34 am
Carmen Luna wrote:
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.

Carmen, my post was directed at you. Please address. Here it is again for your convince.

Ok so theres a source for making a seudas mitzvah for a boy. Wheres the source for having a band, inviting the whole grade and all rabbanim, renting a hall, etc? Seudas mitzvan means a (fleishig usally)meal with bentching. Wheres the source for a huge party, and kiddush in shul, bo ba yom dougnuts for the class or poppers/sushi whatever, and a melava malka? Why arent you asking those questions too?
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tichellady









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 11:55 am
Carmen Luna wrote:
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


I am perfectly happy to have a conversation with someone with an open mind in a forum that I think is realistic for truly listening to each other. I don't think this forum is going to work. I don't even agree with your premise that something has to have a basis in our mesorah to be kosher or even holy. The notion that new things are treif is itself a very new and radical idea (that I reject). I also think that "ultra-orthodox" and chassidish communities are not always so honest about when this rules applies and doesn't- kollel life, chassidish garb, the idea of a rebbe as an advisor on everything, the idea of women being limited in something perfectly halakhically acceptable in order to protest feminism (like not leading a zimmun of women) - these are all new ideas
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Volunteer









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:00 pm
My parents gave me a choice to have a modest party or a family trip to Israel for a week. Duh, I chose Israel. It was perfect to have a meaningful Jewish experience in the holy land to celebrate the milestone. FTR, my parents gave my brother the same choice, and he also chose Israel.
I suppose you could class us as MO.

I understand that bat mitzvah parties may not have been traditional in the "olden days," but why is that such a big problem? I can't think of anything that it violates.

This is how traditions start. Jews in different parts of the world personalize their observance by adding a little flavor here and there. It's kind of like eating latkes and sufganiot, and chocolate gelt on Chanukah. They are ways that different Jewish cultures embraced and embellished their observance of Chanukah in unique fashions. These kinds of traditions make Judaism more meaningful and personal. I've observed that when children relate their experience of mitzvot such as holidays, it is often just these sorts of "extra" traditions that engender fond memories and love of Judaism. Playing draidel, singing songs by the glowing candles, sizzling latkes, opening presents... None of those are at the core of the mizvah, but they add such warmth; and they are, at least in the minds of most impressionable children, the very first sensory experiences that they associate with the holiday. My very first memory of Chanukah is of me and my brother picking out colorful candles from the box, and arranging them in the menorah so the colors would look nice together. These early experiences are the first impressions that color our experience for a lifetime. The Tanya says that the love that children develop for God and the Torah, based on their being surrounded by traditions that are relateable to them at their developmental level, stays with them throughout life and is the rock foundation that hold them up during crises of faith.

I don't think Jewish traditions and observances have ever been frozen such that nobody can start anything new. Every minhag that we do today was started by someone, and was new at some point.
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perquacky









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:32 pm
What's wrong with recognizing a bat mitzvah in some way? My dd is getting the same treatment as my 3 ds did--a backyard bbq for her friends and ours. She won't be leyning and she won't be getting a pair of tefilin, but she will be recognized in our MO shul as she gets called up to the bimah (same as the boys do) to receive a sefer (same one the boys get) from the rabbi. She won't shake his hand, but she will be acknowledged for achieving her new status.
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amother




Royalblue


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 1:40 pm
I had a big bat mitzvah but I grew up in the Conservative movement where egalitarianism was very important.
I'm guessing the trend within orthodoxy to make bat mitzvah celebrations on a larger scale than just handing a daughter a new siddur or whatever comes not so much from halachic sources but from the desire not to make girls feel less than and inferior to their brothers.
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 2:29 pm
So after all said and done, I haven't received a legitimate source (tichellady, I don't mean you, I'm referring to people that actually care about tradition and don't buy into every new enlightened and feminist trend hook, line and sinker) for making a Bas Mitzvah bash.
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Carmen Luna









  


Post  Mon, Jan 09 2017, 2:30 pm
watergirl wrote:
Carmen, my post was directed at you. Please address. Here it is again for your convince.

Ok so theres a source for making a seudas mitzvah for a boy. Wheres the source for having a band, inviting the whole grade and all rabbanim, renting a hall, etc? Seudas mitzvan means a (fleishig usally)meal with bentching. Wheres the source for a huge party, and kiddush in shul, bo ba yom dougnuts for the class or poppers/sushi whatever, and a melava malka? Why arent you asking those questions too?


I brought you various sources for making a Bar Mitzvah Seudah, your follow up question sounds like a perfect S/O thread though
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