Bar Mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah | Definition of Bar Mitzvah by Merriam-Webster

noun, often capitalized B&M bar mitzvah br-mits-v

Definition of bar mitzvah

1 : a Jewish boy who reaches his 13th birthday and attains the age of religious duty and responsibility

2 : the initiatory ceremony recognizing a boy as a bar mitzvah

noun , often cap B&M bar mitzvah br-mits-v

Definition of bar mitzvah for Students

1 : a Jewish boy who at 13 years of age takes on religious responsibilities

2 : the ceremony recognizing a boy as a bar mitzvah

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I Just Became a Bar Mitzvah at Age 70 on Top of the Rockies – Chabad.org

Let me tell you a little story. It was a cloudless day on Monday in Telluride, Colo., a small Western town high in the Rocky Mountains filled with forests and rivers. This is my eighth year visiting my son Matthew in Telluride, and I have made many friends there over the years. I was on my way into town to run a few errandsmail some postcards home, have lunch with a friend and do some shopping at the market.

Telluride is full of tourists this time of year. As I passed the busy town park, I saw two young men in the crowd. Their appearance was very distinctive, and I immediately recognized them as Jewish men. Neatly groomed with beards, they were wearing handsome black suits and broad-brimmed hats. Without hesitation, I called out the window: Shalom, my brothers, shalom!

I came to a stop in the street as one of them quickly approached my car.

Without hesitation, we clasped hands. The first words from his mouth were: Are you Jewish?

I replied: No, but my mother is.

He asked: Is your grandmother Jewish?

I said: Yes. And he said emphatically: Then you are Jewish.

At that moment, I knew I had to talk to these young men, sent by Chabad of Southern Colorado to perform mitzvahs with Jews in the area. I made a hasty U-turn in the street and quickly parked my car. They were standing on the curb watching me as I walked across the street. We shook hands, and I was introduced to Mendel and Mendy. I wanted to know more about them, so I suggested that we walk into the park a bit and sit down for a talk.

I told them the story of my Jewish grandparents and how they had crossed Europe in the early 1900s to escape the pogroms of Belarus and Lithuania. They settled in the East End of London, and made a life for themselves and their four daughters in the Jewish community. Their homes were bombed and destroyed during the Nazi blitz of 1940, but they survived. My father was an American sailor stationed in London. He met my mother and her family, and after the war, he sponsored their journey and settlement in America.

Then Mendy asked me the most poignant question: Did you celebrate your bar mitzvah?

No, I had not had a bar mitzvah ceremony when I was younger. My fathers family were American Methodists, and everyone seemed to get along nicely without much talk of religion. And what would a 10- or 12-year-old boy know about such things? But talking with these rabbinical students, a host of memories came flooding back to me.

You can be bar mitzvahed here, now, today in the park, they said.

I couldnt believe it! I had never been asked or offered the opportunity. My beautiful mother had expressed regrets to me on several occasions at not having raised my brother, sister and me in the tradition of her Jewish ancestors. But that was many years ago; shes 90 and Im 70two lifetimes nearly gone with so much that has happened over the years.

Again they offered, and I couldnt say no. I noticed a striking black bag with Hebrew letters etched in gold. It was quickly opened. A yarmulke appeared and was placed on my head as the scroll boxes, or tefillin, were put into place. Before I knew it, I was reciting prayers in Hebrew and recalling the words my zayda had used at Passover. The world seemed to melt away for a moment as I gained confidence in reciting the words. Soon we were holding hands, singing and dancing in the town park, taking no notice of the people walking by.

I remember Mendy teaching me about a Divine spark and my relationship to Gd. Then, as quickly as it happened, I was hugging Mendel and Mendy, and saying shalom over and over again. I thought: Am I crazy? Is this really happening? I quickly got my mother on the phone and introduced her to Mendy, who explained that now she had a son who was a proper Jewwell almost, without the years of study and practice. We soon parted, and I promised to stay in touch and come to see them in New York after returning to my home near Washington, D.C.

And there I was. Standing in the bright light of day having just had a bar mitzvah at 9,000 feet with two Jewish men I had met minutes earlier. I called my dearest Uncle Saul in Florida and told him that I just become a bar mitzvah in the town park. With his usual sense of wit, he said the next knock on my door would be the mohel.

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Bride Wears Late Grandma’s Dress To Her Wedding, And It Fits To AT – HuffPost

Madison Kantzer wasnt the kind of little girl who grew up with a vision of her dream wedding. But she knew one thing for certain: When the big day came, she was going to wear a beautiful beaded gown that once belonged to her late grandmother.

And sure enough, when Madison tied the knot with Adam Hoffman on April 9 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, she wore the dress her grandma Adel Schif Greene had worn to Madisons uncles bar mitzvah 51 years earlier, in March 1966.

My mom has had the dress for a long time and Ive always loved it, Madison told HuffPost. I was never someone who envisioned my ideal wedding, but this was something Ive always known I would wear, especially because I didnt think I would ever find a dress as amazing as this one in a store.

The three-quarter-sleeve gown with floral detailing fit Madison to a T no alterations necessary.

Start to finish, the bride called the big day amazing.

Adams grandma stood up for the first time in many years to dance with him, our rabbi was so wonderful and it was amazing having all of our friends to dance and celebrate with, she said. We ended the day with late-night Philly cheese steaks, so really, it was so much fun.

Below, more photos from the couples celebration.

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Holocaust survivor, world’s oldest man dead at 113 – Las Vegas Review-Journal

JERUSALEM Israel Kristal, the worlds oldest man who lived through both World Wars and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp has passed away just a month short of his 114th birthday, his family said Saturday.

Oren Kristal, a grandson, said he died Friday. He managed to accomplish a lot. Every year he lived was like a few years for somebody else, Oren told The Associated Press.

Last year Guinness World Records awarded Kristal a certificate as the worlds oldest man at his home in Haifa, Israel.

Kristal was born to an Orthodox Jewish family near the town of Zarnow in Poland in 1903.

When he was a child during World War I in Poland he was a helper for a booze smuggler, he used to run barefoot in the snow through the night many kilometers with a heavy package on his back at about 12 years old, smuggling alcohol between the lines of the war, Oren, his grandson said.

He used to walk very fast until he was very old, faster than me, and he used to tell me that when he was my age if you didnt walk fast enough your feet would stick to the frozen ground, Oren recalled his grandfather telling him.

Kristal was orphaned shortly after World War I and moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionary business in 1920.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland Kristal was confined to the ghetto there and later sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. His first wife and two children were killed in the Holocaust. Six million Jews were systematically murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators during WWII.

He used to tell us whenever we were mourning someone that we should consider that they are being buried in the land of Israel, most of the people he knew did not get to be buried in a grave when they died, Oren said.

Kristal survived World War II weighing only about 81 pounds the only survivor of his large family.

He later married another Holocaust survivor and moved with her to Israel in 1950 where he built a new family and a successful confectionary business.

He was a very hard working man, a lot of energy always running from one place to another doing something, Oren, his grandson said.

He said his grandfather participated in one of his great-grandsons bar mitzvah just a few weeks ago.

An observant Jew, Kristal himself only celebrated his bar mitzvah last year, a hundred years later than usual. He missed his bar mitzvah the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony celebrated when a boy turns 13 because of World War I.

Oren said his grandfather gave no explanation to the secret for his incredible longevity.

He is survived by two children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, media reported.

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Auschwitz survivor who was world’s oldest man dies at 113 – The Guardian

Israel Kristal, the worlds oldest man who lived through both world wars and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, has passed away just a month short of his 114th birthday, his family have said.

Oren Kristal, a grandson, said he died on Friday. He managed to accomplish a lot. Every year he lived was like a few years for somebody else, Oren told the Associated Press.

Last year Guinness World Records awarded Kristal a certificate as the worlds oldest man.

Kristal was born to an Orthodox Jewish family near the town of arnw in Poland in 1903. When he was a child during World War I in Poland he was a helper for a booze smuggler; he used to run barefoot in the snow through the night many kilometres with a heavy package on his back at about 12-years-old, smuggling alcohol between the lines of the war, Oren, his grandson, said.

He used to walk very fast until he was very old faster than me and he used to tell me that when he was my age if you didnt walk fast enough your feet would stick to the frozen ground, said Oren.

Kristal was orphaned shortly after the first world war and moved to Lodz to work in the family confectionery business in 1920.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, Kristal was confined to the d ghetto and was later sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. His first wife and two children were killed in the Holocaust. Six million Jews were systematically murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators during the second world war.

He used to tell us whenever we were mourning someone that we should consider that they are being buried in the land of Israel, most of the people he knew did not get to be buried in a grave when they died, Oren said.

Kristal survived the second world war weighing only 37kg (about 81 pounds) and was the only survivor of his large family. He later married another Holocaust survivor and moved with her to Israel in 1950 where he built a new family and a successful confectionery business.

He was a very hard-working man, a lot of energy always running from one place to another doing something, Oren Kristal said. He said his grandfather participated in one of his grandsons bar mitzvahs just a few weeks ago.

An observant Jew, Kristal himself only celebrated his bar mitzvah last year, a hundred years later than usual. He missed his bar mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony held when a boy turns 13, because of the first world war.

Kristal is survived by two children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, according to media reports.

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Yisrael Kristal, World’s Oldest Man Who Survived Two World Wars & Holocaust Dies Aged 114 Years – Indiatimes.com

Yisrael Kristal, the man who survived two world wars and Hitlers Holocaust against the Jews passed away at the age of 114.

He was the oldest man as well, recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records. Yisrael died a month before his 114th birthday.

As per the report by Jewish News, Kristal was born in September 1903 in Poland and he started in his family business by 1920s. He operated his business despite Nazis forcing Jews into the ghettoes, where Kristal lost two of his children.

In 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz, where his wife, whom he had married at 25, was killed. In 1950, he moved to Haifa in Israel with his second wife and their son. He started working as a confectioner. In addition to his son and daughter from his second marriage, Kristal has numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Guiness Book Of World Records had recognised him as the oldest living man in 2016. Asked about the secret of his long life, Kristal had said, I dont know the secret for long life. I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why. There have been smarter, stronger and better-looking men than me who are no longer alive. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.

Last year, when he turned 113, about 100 family members celebrated his bar mitzvah, a century after he missed it due to the upheavals of World War I.

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Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart Joke with Media Bar Mitzvah Boy – Jewish Exponent

Will Rubin sits behind the desk at his Jimmy Kimmel-themed Bar Mitzvah. | Photo provided

Jimmy Kimmel threatened to sue him for damages and Jon Stewart grilled him on national television, but for 13-year-old Will Rubin of Media, it was the coolest Bar Mitzvah ever.

The eighth-grader chose a Jimmy Kimmel Live! theme for his June 24 Bar Mitzvah at the Media Theatre, complete with an authentic replica set and video message from Kimmel.

Will, I heard you themed your Bar Mitzvah after my show, Kimmel said in the video. I was so moved, I called my attorney to see what kind of damages I could collect.

The show also sent Will an ice sculpture of Kimmels sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez.

I was completely shocked, Will said of the message and gift. I had no idea Jimmy Kimmel even received my message.

In May, Will put together a video message inviting Kimmel to his Bar Mitzvah, complete with the warning that, I want your job one day.

The teen started watching the show about three years ago, almost accidentally.

My husband and I went to the show a couple of years ago, Wills mom, Aimee Taxin Rubin, explained. Will was originally watching the show because he DVRd that episode to see if he could find us in the audience.

Will added, It was a great episode. Kanye West was on and, at that time, Jimmy and Kanye had a feud. It captivating Will and convinced him to tape the subsequent episodes.

Kimmel became Wills favorite talk show host and, when selecting his Bar Mitzvah theme, a favorite option.

Aimee Taxin Rubin hoped Kimmel would record a quick mazel tov, Will for her to include in the partys video montage.

We knew even that was a huge long shot, she said. What evolved was totally unexpected.

Wills invitation to Kimmel was tweeted to the star and his writers, who enjoyed the video.

He said he never had a Bar Mitzvah boy base his Bar Mitzvah around him, Aimee Taxin Rubin said, noting the writers scripted a message for Kimmel, who then recorded it.

The Rubins, elated with Kimmels response, prepared to send a thank-you package to the show and send Will to overnight camp, moving on from the Bar Mitzvah.

Then, on July 12, Aimee Taxin Rubin received a call from Jimmy Kimmel Live! producers, who wanted Will to video chat with Kimmel on the next days show.

To Wills credit, he had just gotten off the plane from Europe when the show called us, she said. He was talking to the producers five minutes after walking in the door, still on Italy time.

Despite the jet lag, Will agreed to do the show.

Id never been on national television before, he said. In my mind, I was like, Dont freak out, dont freak out.

Kimmel introduced Will, who fielded a few questions until a scraggly-looking Jon Stewart interrupted the host.

I didnt recognize him at first because Im so used to seeing him in a suit, Will said of Stewart, who questioned the teen about his reverence for a non-Jewish talk show star.

Sheket bvakasha! Stewart shouted at Kimmel before adding to Will, Dont be fooled by his learned-looking beard and his puffy, sad eyes. Hes not rabbinical, hes just unhealthy.

I had always heard that in Hebrew school, Will said of the Hebrew phrase, which translates to please, be quiet. It was cool because it was a joke only some people could get.

At the end of his appearance on the show, Will announced he planned to donate a portion of his Bar Mitzvah money to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, where Kimmels infant son recently underwent open heart surgery.

I was so moved by the episode where he explained [the heart condition], Will said. Jimmy asked me in his video for half of the money my grandparents gave me, but I decided to donate it instead, which his mom noted was done prior to the video call with Kimmel.

His Bar Mitzvah project also cemented the value of tzedekah for the teen.

I had a candy bar fundraiser, at his theater company, Will said. I used the money I raised to buy Christmas gifts for women and kids living in the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County shelter.

Will attends Temple Sholom in Broomall, where his Bar Mitzvah service was held.

It was just the perfect day from beginning to end, Aimee Taxin Rubin said. It could not have gone any better.

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Simple, biblical advice on keeping Jews learning after bar mitzvah – Jweekly.com

EikevDeuteronomy 7:12-11:25Isaiah 49:14-51:3

There was a synagogue that had a mouse problem. They tried everything to get rid of the pesky mice. They used traps. They used chemicals. They called exterminators. Nothing worked. Finally, in exasperation, the congregation turned to the rabbi for any advice he could give.

Ill take care of the shuls mice problem, he said. The rabbi arranged for all of the mice to have a bar mitzvah. After it was over, he said, The problems solved. Youll never see the mice again.

This joke, told in many variations, is a sad commentary on the American landscape of the post bar/bat mitzvah Jewish experience. Does the Torah perhaps provide a solution to this vexing problem?

The Shema is our holiest and most important prayer. Twice a day we are commanded to recite it: beshachbecha uvekumecha, when we lie down to sleep and when we awake in the morning. Throughout our long history, it has been the first prayer we are taught as children as soon as we can speak, and the last prayer on our lips when we return our soul to our creator.

The first two parts of the Shema (known as the Vahavta, and Vehaya im shamoa) are divided between last weeks parashah and this weeks. The two paragraphs are remarkably similar in content. Both discuss the foundational principles of Judaism; namely, our obligation to love God with all our heart, the mitzvah of studying Torah, educating our children, putting on tefillin and affixing mezuzot on our doors and gates.

Yet for all their similarities, there are some critical differences between the two sections. In the Vahavta, there is no mention of any reward for the faithful observance of the mitzvot nor punishment for violating it, while in the parashah of Eikev, in the section of Vehaya, it is a central theme.

Additionally, what seems to be merely a minor textual difference may actually explain why there is no mention of reward in the first paragraph, and why it is so central in the second. It also contains a uniquely profound insight that is more relevant in our generation than ever before.

Both sections mention the education of children. The difference, however, is that in the first section it appears earlier in the paragraph. Veshinantam levanecha (and you shall teach your children) is stated before the mitzvah of tefillin is mentioned, which suggests it is addressing the instruction of younger children before their bar/bat mitzvah. In this weeks parashah, the putting on of the tefillin is mentioned first, followed by teaching our children, vlimadetem otam et bneichem, and you shall teach them to your children (11:19).

Perhaps in our times more than any other, parents may focus on the mitzvah of veshinantam while the children are younger and especially while studying for their bar/bat mitzvahs. But in many cases, rather than celebrating the beginning of Jewish responsibility of Torah and mitzvot, it marks the end of formal Jewish study and engagement.

Therefore the Torah brilliantly divides these two life passages into two sections. In the first, parents are instructed to teach the little ones at home and on the road, up to the point of Jewish adulthood. Significantly, at that age the concepts of reward and punishment are immaterial; children are not yet obligated to observe mitzvot, and they arent subject to any of those consequences, positive or negative. Additionally, the idea of future consequences for current behavior is also generally beyond the comprehension of children.

Vehaya addresses the future. After you have spent so much energy and resources preparing your children spiritually and materially for their big day, hopefully teaching them about tefillin and Jewish observance, everyone has finally survived the bar/bat mitzvah year. We take a big breath and say done. Now they are adults and can make their own decisions about their involvement in Jewish life.

It is here that the Torah addresses reward and punishment, addressing really the parents and the phenomenon of post-bar mitzvah life by stating emphatically that the obligation to teach, instruct and ensure Jewish continuity is ongoing, even and especially after the bar/bat mitzvah. How poignant that the ultimate reward of nachas and Jewish continuity is only mentioned here (Lemaan yirbu yemeichem vimei veneichem, 11:21).

If we want to see our children and grandchildren connected in their adult years to Jewish life, and to the land of Israel, we cannot stop our continuous limud with our children even when in their teen years. It is a sacred trust given to us in this most sacred prayer.

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Can One Rabbi Disrupt the Bar and Bat Mitzvah Industry? – HuffPost

Saul Blinkoff

Withreports of multimillion-dollar bar and bat mitzvahparties featuring Drake or Lady Gaga, and private tutoring and membership a prerequisite at some synagogues and temples, one might think it takes a fortune to have a bar or bat mitzvah.

However the facts on the ground are quite different.

While theres nothing new about the communal realities most Jews dont belong to a synagogue or temple, or provide their children ongoing Jewish education in private schools or after-school programs a recent Op-Ed in the LA times will hopefully spark a broader conversation about the many options, costs and benefits of Jewish lifecycle events.

Those who live in the Torah observant Jewish world might have thought that Leslee Komaikos Op-Ed, Its Too Expensive To be Jewish, would bemoan the price of day school tuition, passover food, and high rents in Jewish neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

However, Komaikos Op-Ed took issue with the cost of her synagogue membership, Sunday School Jewish education, High Holiday tickets and the cost of training her twelve year-old boy for a bar mitzvah.

But it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to have a bar mitzvah.

Rabbi Moshe Cohen, of LAs Community Shul, started a program recently called the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Experience. Wehave longrecognized, said Rabbi Cohen, the need toservicefamilies who were otherwise unaffiliatedwith a synagogue or templeandnonethelesswish to provide their children withanauthenticbar and bat mitzvah experience.

After initially raising funds by running the LA Marathon, Rabbi Cohen launched the program this summer with the help of his community and some Hollywood veterans this is Los Angeles, after all. The project consists of six one-hourSundaysessions. Through our program, observed Rabbi Cohen, a teenager comes away with a clear understanding of what it means to be a Jew, what is a mitzvah, what is the Torah, and what is the land of Israel.

The Community Shul has also partnered with the LA Museum of the Holocaust in order to expose and explain to these young men and women the difficult subject of the Holocaust. The costs of the program are kept to an absolute minimum and the family can hold the ceremony in their synagogue without having to take out a costly membership.

We are planting a seed that will germinate and sprout saplings and trees down the line, Rabbi Cohen explained. A bar and bat mitzvah, rather than being an end to a journey, actually is designed to become the start of a Jewish journey.In his letter to the LA Times Op-Ed, Rabbi Cohen wrote, Our Shul embracesthose who want tocelebratea major Jewish life stagein a way that is meaningfuland relevantfor theirentirefamily.

Rob Eshman, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, also offered his response to the subject in, Its a Bargain to be Jewish. Eshman points out that, Jewish institutions…have found ways to make it easier for Jews to afford practicing Judaism. Additionally, thanks to the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of some to Jewish groups and individuals, there are more accessible avenues into Jewish life than before.

One has to agree with Eshman when he writes that, At some point, Jewish involvement does require a choice youll need to pay something, which means foregoing something else. Even Komaiko admits that baseball and sleep-away camp and a million other not-so-good excuses have prevented me from setting up his first tutoring session.

I remember hearing that my grandfathers bar mitzvah in Zyardow, Poland was likely celebrated with being called to the Torah for an aliyah at an early morning minyan, and celebrated afterwards with herring and a lchaim. While such a minimalist approach is insufficient today, where bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies have taken on much more importance in Jewish life as day-to-day Jewish observance has waned, the Jewish community has taken incredible steps in making Jewish life affordable and inclusive.

By offering free High Holiday services, some congregations positively disrupted synagogue and temple budget models that raised much of their annual budget through High Holiday tickets and annual membership requirements. Across denominations, that model is being replaced with newer approaches to make participation more desirable and affordable.

I see that Rabbi Cohens Bar and Bat Mitzvah Project is also a positive disruption in Jewish life by providing more Jews the chance for a meaningful and affordable bar and bat mitzvah.

_________________________________

Yonah Bookstein is co-founder and Deanna and Allen Alevy Senior Rabbi at LAs Pico Shul, and co-director of Camp Neshama, both projects aimed at creating spiritual community for Jews in their 20s and 30s.

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PHOTOS: Fire Interrupts Jerusalem Bar Mitzvah In Shaare Ha’ir Building – Yeshiva World News

(PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)

A fire broke out in a storage room of the Shaare Hair Building located on Sarei Yisrael Street in the capital on Wednesday night. A bar mitzvah was taking place in a simcha hall in the building at the time and the guests were instructed to evacuate when the fire department and police arrived as the thick smoke bellowed into the air.

The storage room is located on the main floor and the smoke rose quite rapidly, compelling the evacuation. Five persons who were trapped were taken out by firefighters. They were on upper floors. Two were taken down from the roof by a crane ladder. They went to the roof for safety as the upper floors filled with smoke. Bchasdei Hashem no injuries are reported.

Fire Department officer Eyal Cohen explains, The blaze began in storage rooms of the simcha hall on the entrance level of the building. Firefighters brought the fire under control quickly, and prevented the fire from reaching gas tanks stored in the facility. There were about 70 people in the simcha hall who were evacuated.

(YWN Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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