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Brad Hirschfield

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Seven Things You Should Know At Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Posted: 07/19/11 08:56 AM ET

Whatever you do, wherever you do it, and whatever you think about bar and bat mitzvah, here are seven things to consider in order to help make sure that the event you get is the one you really want.

1. Reflect on what the words mean.
2. Remember that it's all about you.
3. Be able to explain why you are there.
4. Know that the party matters.
5. Think about the relationship between giving and receiving.
6. Consider the purpose of your learning.
7. What's next?

What Does Bar/Bat Mitzvah Mean?
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Literally, what do the words mean? What is it that you are "signing up for"? What is the connection to this ceremony and a tradition which dates back thousands of years and into which contemporary celebrants are stepping? To be a bar or bat mitzvah means that one is a son or daughter to commandment i.e. that they have reached the age of adulthood, at least in terms of being obligated by the full range of commandments in their relationship with themselves, with others and with God. It means that you don't simply "have" a bar or bat mitzvah, but that you become a bar or bat mitzvah, and choose to celebrate crossing a threshold in your life story.
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