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Bar Mitzvah - Bas Mitzvah

 
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amother






Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 3:13 am
Why are Bar Mitzvahs a firm practice by all different types of Jews, while Bas Mitzvahs are not practiced everywhere?

I know a very MO women in Holland who says that Bas Mitzvahs are frowned upon in her community which is not the case here in most MO communities.
Chassidish Circles do not practice it either, except for some isolated cases.
Lubavitch does practice it.
Litvish/Yeshivish as far as I know also doesn't really put emphasis on practicing it.

Why is there such a difference in how we celebrate Bar Mitzvahs versus Bas Mitzvahs?
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shalhevet









  


Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 7:03 am
First of all, Litvish certainly do celebrate it. (We've got one coming up shortly, IY"H) but since a girl/woman has a mitzva to be tzniyus it is not a big, public event. People often make a small party for close family (sometimes only female) and/or the girl's friends.
since it is on our agenda I have read up on sources (in Halichos Bas Yisrael) and various rabbonim advocate a celebration, the girl having a new fruit or clothes to make shecheyanu etc.
People certainly don't make (in chareidi circles) parties for 100 people.
BTW until very recently (maybe 20-40 years) how did people celebrate a bar mitzva. Getting an aliya, a small kiddush and a seuda for close family. Not 500 people at a 7-course meal plus band and flowers!!
In chareidi communities in Eretz yisrael, Bar mitzvas are often still only a kiddush for the community (drinks plus cake) plus meal for close family. Not everyone even makes a reception during the week.
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Ruchel









  


Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 7:08 am
mummyof6 wrote:

BTW until very recently (maybe 20-40 years) how did people celebrate a bar mitzva. Getting an aliya, a small kiddush and a seuda for close family. Not 500 people at a 7-course meal plus band and flowers!!.


That's good. It's a time to focus on mitsvo, not something else imho...

As for bas mitsva many people are against because they feel it is a secularish invention of North African Jews, to copy Xtians communions. My parents think like that, so I only had a big birthday party.
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elisecohen









  


Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 7:18 am
Bar and bas mitzvah are "practiced" everywhere--the difference is in the degree of festivities and observance. No matter what, when a girl reaches 12 and a boy 13, they are bound to observe all of Hash-m's mitzvahs and are responsible for doing so in a way they were not before. A boy is for the first time old enough to receive an aliyah, lain from the Torah, etc, for the congregation because now that he is bound to observe the mitzvah he is considered responsible enough halachically that he can do it in such a way that others are fulfilling the mitzvah through his actions.

Since girls are not bound by positive, time-dependent mitzvahs, they do not have the same kind of practice in shul, nor would it be tznius for them to do so.

To make a big party for girls and/or boys--that is a different story and is largely community dependent. In some places, over-the-top festivities prevail; in others, a kiddush is sponsored and that is that. Some communities allow and/or encourage girls to speak to the congregation at large after services or during kiddush; others discourage this and consider it not tznius. Some expect the girls instead to offer a women's class on Shabbos afternoon to offer her an opportunity to demonstrate her Torah knowledge and a time to celebrate.

We are not chassidishe and my daughter goes to a school where there are girls and boys from a variety of backgrounds. Some have celebrated bar or bat mitzvah with a simple mention in shul (and laining on the boys' behalf) and kiddush or shul luncheon; some have had their shul's rav speak about the child; some have invited all their classmates of the same gender to join the family for Shabbos; some have made parties motzei Shabbos or Sunday; and one well-to-do girl's family actually sponsored a women's minyan at their synagogue (yes there are halachic issues in this I won't get into, but their rabbi permitted it and that's all I have to say) and a huge motzei Shabbos party with Shlock Rock, party favors, etc.

One of the nicest bar mitzvah celebrations I have attended was a very formal but not overly fancy luncheon held in a shul on a Sunday afternoon. A siyyum was made, several rebbeim spoke on Torah topics, and the family payed a sofer a great deal of money to have him come demonstrate his work to the boys in attendance, which not only gave the sofer parnassah he would not otherwise have had, it honored Torah in a nice way and made it much more concrete for the boys.

If I have made any mistakes in my discussion please forgive me.
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brooklyn









  


Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 7:30 am
Almost every girl in my daughter's class have had or will have a Bat Mitzvah party. Some bigger and fancier in a nice hall. Some smaller in a nice restaurant on in a shul. So far all have had bands or a DJ with favors etc. There is a female DJ who is very popular who plays mostly Israeli music and who specializes in Bat Mitzvahs.
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Crayon210









  


Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 9:14 am
amother wrote:
Lubavitch does practice it.


I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to, but here's an excerpt from one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's letters on the subject:

"According to the Zohar Chadosh (Bereishis 15:4) the joy on the day one becomes Bar Mitzvah should be as great as one's joy on the day of his wedding. According to the reason provided there, it would seem that the same is true with regard to becoming a Bas Mitzvah.

"One should not celebrate a Bas Mitzvah in the style of those who are "modern," who celebrate it in the same style of a Bar Mitzvah. Rather, to do something in a modest manner in school, similar to a birthday. And the parents should buy her a nice present, etc."

Elsewhere the Rebbe writes that it should be celebrated only as part of a Mesibas Shabbos or a Melave Malka.
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amother






Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 11:59 am
I'm Chassidish. Of course we celebrate Bas Mitzvahs but surely not in the same way as Bar Mitzvahs.
Usually on the 12'th birthday the girl will get a nice gift or have a Party at home, unlike bar mitzvah which is celebrated in a hall with a meal, guests and such.
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amother






Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 12:03 pm
Quote:
First of all, Litvish certainly do celebrate it. (We've got one coming up shortly, IY"H) but since a girl/woman has a mitzva to be tzniyus it is not a big, public event. People often make a small party for close family (sometimes only female) and/or the girl's friends


Of course Litvish celebrate it and so does everyone else. I meant that it is not celebrated in a hall, as a major affair as opposed to Bar Mitzvahs which are -Or like certain communities which do celebrat Bar and bas mitzvahs on the same level.

So I see it's a tznius factor -which makes sense.
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amother






Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 12:15 pm
Quote:
Bar and bas mitzvah are "practiced" everywhere--the difference is in the degree of festivities and observance. No matter what, when a girl reaches 12 and a boy 13, they are bound to observe all of Hash-m's mitzvahs and are responsible for doing so in a way they were not before


Thanks for clarifying it. The degree of festivities is what I meant to ask.
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Motek









  


Post  Tue, May 23 2006, 12:22 pm
amother wrote:
Of course Litvish celebrate it ...


Litvish, Chasidish - it's a very recent innovation, just a few decades old!
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