A bar mitzvah is a symbolic event that marks the boy’s passage into adulthood. This ritual takes place when the boy reaches the age of thirteen. There are several different traditions and rituals associated with this important occasion. Most Jews put on tefillin on the day of their bar mitzvah, and the boy reads a passage from the Torah publicly. When attending such an occasion, don’t forget your Bar Mitzvah Cards from cazenovejudaica.com/uk/cards/bar-mitzvah
When a boy turns thirteen, he becomes a bar mitzvah, which makes him a member of the Jewish community. He can read the Torah for the first time and has many responsibilities. He is also responsible for forming a minyan, a group of at least ten men, for the purpose of attending services. In this way, the boy is no longer held responsible for his family’s religious shortcomings, but for his own actions.
The tradition of calling a boy to the Torah is universal, but the practice of having the boy read a portion of the Torah seems to have originated in the 19th century. The boy spends a year learning to read Torah, and then begins a lifelong education in mitzvahs and rituals.
Traditionally, a bar mitzvah ceremony was preceded by a father’s blessing. After the blessing, the boy began reading the five books of Moses and chanted the weekly Haftarah portion from The Prophets. He was also expected to deliver a speech about a difficult rabbinical point. The ceremony, usually in a family’s home, would take place after the family had prepared a lavish banquet.