Talk:Bar and Bat Mitzvah

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I support the new "criticism" paragraph, but it needs WP:CITE. I can produce references from Rav Shimon Schwab's "Collected Writings", but there may be a more generic source from rabbinic panels etc. JFW | T@lk 11:33, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Here is a source book for criticism against Bat Mitzvah celebrations —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobover1 (talkcontribs) 03:30, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
It's an all-Hebrew pamphlet from a dubious website. Not much help on English Wikipedia. Jayjg (talk) 03:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


It states in the Introduction part that In the Sephardic tradition, a boy may enter adulthood somewhat later, waiting until after his 14th birthday.

As a Sephardic Jew I can say none of my Sephardic friends waited until 14 years old of age. Even I was 13 years 1 month old... I think this statement should be removed once and for all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iggydarsa (talkcontribs) 16:51, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Bas mitzvah[edit]

It is possible, when reading the New York Times, to encounter "bas mitzvah", as well as "bat mitzvah". On one occasion, a Metro Diary entry addressed the difference: see

However, not being Jewish and having seen a mistake or two in print, I don't trust this enough as a source to cite it and edit the Wikipedia entry accordingly.

Would someone please add a reliable explanation of 'bas' and 'bat' usage? Publius3 (talk) 23:42, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

In the Hebrew alphabet "s" and "t" are basically the same letter -- well one of the "s"s anyways. In some ethnic backgrounds it's always read as an "s" and in others it's read as a "s" in some words and a "t" in others where there's an extra dot. You'll see the same thing with Shabbat, which is often pronounced Shabbas, though I've never seen it written that way.
This seems like an problem endemic to discussing words which come from other languages, or at least ones which span multiple ethnic subgroups. There's not much to say about it or you would be noting the same points over and over again for every word. (talk) 02:44, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
It has to do with the differences between Ashkenazic and Sephardic Hebrew dialects. Here's and article that explains it a bit more. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 02:59, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Reply to Wgungfu, and Marty Goldberg

Hebrew (Ivrit) has many letters that carry the sounds "T" and "S".

"T" can be written with a letter "Tet" or a letter "Tav". The latter can be pronounced "T" or "S" depending on the word, but the "S" pronunciation of "Tav" (never of "Tet") is peculiar to Ashkenazim, not to Sephardim or to modern Ivrit.

The sibilant "S" can be written with a letter "Sin" (which can also be read as "Sh" depending on the word) or with a letter "Samekh". It is rather like English, there "C" can be hard like "K" or soft like "S". Hebrew is on a cusp area of consonant shift. Apart from the examples given, there is Qof and Kaf ("K" for Ashkenazim) but for Sephardim they (and Khet) are sounded slightly differently (although the distinction is now disappearing). "B" and "V" have the same letter (Bet and Vet), but "V" can also be written in some words with a "Vov". "P" and "F" (Pe and Fe) have the same letter. Many Arabs cannot pronounce the sound "F" that is why they refer to themselves as "Filistines", and that is why the English spelling of the ancient Semetic tribe is written with a "Ph" (Philistines) . Conversely, peolple from the Philipine Islands cannot pronounce the sound "F", and refer to themselves as "Pilipinos".

For the non-Ivrit speaker, some of these letters carry a dot to help with pronunciation, but you will not see these pointers written for native Ivrit speakers. The biblical tribe of Simon was said not to be able to pronounce the sibilant "S", using "Sh" instead. Modern Ivrit follows the Sephardi pattern, so for example, "Sabbath" is pronounced "Shabbat", never "Shabbas".

The term Bas/Bat/Bar Mitzvah is explained thus. At age 13 a boy becomes "Bar Mitzvah" ("Son of the covenant", i.e. between God and Abraham) where "Bar" is Aramaic for "Son of....", it is not Ivrit. "Bat" is Ivrit ("Bas" is Ashkenazi) for "Daughter of....", but the "Bas/Bat Mitzvah" is a modern tradition to "Equalize" girls and boys, but in fact has nothing to do with Judaism. There is actually no "Bar/Bat" mitzvah ceremony at all, but there is a celebration. A Jewish boy automatically is "Bar Mitzvah" when he turns 13, and this is celebrated by "Calling him to the Torah", much like "Reading the lesson" in a Christian church. He cannot do this before he is "Bar Mitzvah", but on that occasion he is allowed to read from the Torah and the "Neveim" (Prophets) himself, a task that is usually performed by a Cantor (Khazan) or Rabbi. When this occurs, congregants to be honoured are "Called up" to witness the reading. Honourees could be celebrating a birth, marriage, anniversary or some civic or religious event. The Shabbat reading of the Torah is divided into 6 parts, the first going to a "Cohen". the second to a "Levi" the 3rd, 4th and 5th to an "Israelite". The 6th is called "Muftir", and has special significance, for it leads to the reading of a matching "Haftorah" passage from the "Neveim" (which, despite the name, is read from a book, not a Torah scroll). It is traditional for the "Bar Mitzvah" celebrant to read both Muftir and Haftorah, a few read the entire 6 Torah and Haftorah passages. Bas/Bat Mitzvah celebrants do not read the Torah or Haftorah, except in ""Reform" Synagogues. The New York times is not an authority on Judaism, or any other religion.

Hope this helps Historygypsy (talk) 02:13, 22 May 2011 (UTC)


The basic content of the first sentence seems to be: "In Judaism, a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah is a Jewish boy or girl who has come of age." The sheer volume of other material makes this quite difficult to see. Suggestion: make the simple statement first, then give all the linguistic detail.

[First sentence in full:

In Judaism, a Bar Mitzvah (Aramaic: בר מצוה, "one (m.) to whom the commandments apply"; if it were Hebrew it would be בן (ben) not בר (bar). בר is "son" in Aramaic, and בן (ben) is son in Hebrew.) or a Bat Mitzvah (בת מצוה, "one (f.) to whom the commandments apply;" Ashkenazi: Bas Mitzvah) (pl. B'nei Mitzvah) is a Jewish boy or girl who has come of age.] PeterBiddlecombe (talk) 07:07, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, I had a go at fixing that… Ant (talk)

See reply to "Bas Mitzvah" above Historygypsy (talk) 18:08, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Scheduling of bar mitzvah[edit]

A couple of Judaism 101 questions:
In the film Sixty Six "based on the true life bar mitzvah of director Paul Weiland", the plot hinges on the fact that the protagonist's Bar Mitzvah is scheduled for the same day as the 1966 World Cup, and the resulting conflict in priorities evidenced by his relatives and friends.
AFAIK (and I don't) it's not necessary that a Bar Mitzvah be scheduled on any specific day. Yes? No?
On the other hand, I assume that a Bar Mitvah must be scheduled so as to avoid conflicts with various holidays.(?) -- (talk) 22:46, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

There is a difference between a Bar Mitzvah (on the 13th birthday) and the Bar Mitzvah party. Most prefer to have it on the exact day and on the shabbat following it. Happy138 (talk) 07:29, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

B'nay mitzvah[edit]

I'm not sure if I'm spelling it right, but when a boy and a girl both have their mitzvahs in the same ceremony, isn't it called a b'nay mitzvah?

Yes, but "bnei mitsvah" is simply the plural for "bar mitsvah"; i.e., it corresponds to either multiple boys or any mixed group (since the masculine is used by default in the case of mixed-gender groups). "Bnot mitsvah" is the plural for "Bat mitsvah"; since these are the simple Hebrew plurals for "sons" and "daughters," it is probably best viewed as a grammatical issue and probably doesn't warrant anything more than a cursory mention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:20, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I think it'd be more appropriate to entitle the article, "Bnei Mitzvah" (בְּנֵי מִצְוָה, cf. wikt:בר מצוה) because it has no disjunction and is the plural of "Bar and Bat Mitzvah"; NB: instead of a page called Jew and Jewess, ours is called Jews like יהודים (Yehudim). I think it is more practical to use the globally-gendered plural than the current disjoined mix of English and Hebrew. Additionally, the English language WP:GOOGLETEST for "bnei mitzvah", , yields over eight million results so using it as an English encyclopaedic label should be entirely appropriate. Warmest Regards, :)—thecurran Speak your mind my past 06:31, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Literal meaning[edit]

If "bar" means "son" (as in many Jewish family), and "mitzvah" is a commandment, isn't the literal meaning of "bar mitzvah" 'son of the commandment(s)' rather than 'one to whom the commandments apply', which would seem to be a metaphorical extension. Likewise with "bat" 'daughter'. Worth mentioning?

Also, the introductory sentence is cumbersome; I'll try breaking in two. (talk) 16:37, 17 October 2009 (UTC)


Is there any reason why "Bar Mitzvah" and "Bas Mitzvah" are capitalized in the article? Robert K S (talk) 01:22, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Moreover, is there any reason why every permutation of capitalization of the first and second word seem to be employed in the article? Which is correct? — QuicksilverT @ 05:13, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Girls become bat mitzvah at 13 years statement[edit]

I found and added a Reform reference for girls becoming Bat Mitzvah at 13. I haven't found a Conservative one so that still needs to be added. Unless we can find a reference for both. Kathyfeller (talk) 09:52, 11 October 2010 (UTC)


The entry

At times the child boy or girl has to postpone if the father and mother think it necessary.

doesn't appear to be related to responsibilities and doesn't read well, either. Not having a clue regarding the topic at hand, I ask here instead. How does that bit work? (talk) 21:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Orthodox orientation[edit]

The article presents the Orthodox practice as normative, and notes deviations from that practice for non-Orthodox denominations. Given that Orthodoxy is a minority movement in Judaism, I have altered the article to reflect non-Orthodox practice as the standard, with Orthodox traditions noted afterwards as the exception. Rejewvenator (talk) 16:11, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy is to not get involved in deciding which movement should be classified as standard.
-- -- -- 03:19, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
P.S. At the section titled "Aliyah to the Torah", Torah readings for Bat Mitzvah girls are not mentioned at the beginning of the section, since they are not mentioned in the Jewish Encyclopedia article quoted.
-- -- -- 03:45, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus for move. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:17, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Bar and Bat MitzvahBnei Mitzvah —(בְּנֵי מִצְוָה, cf. WP:TITLE & wikt:בר מצוה) (-)Recognizability—a WP:GOOGLETEST for "bnei mitzvah" has 12.6k results but "bar and bat mitzvah" has 72.2k; only a fraction (.758) of an order of magnitude more.

(+)Naturalness—bnei mitzvah is the wikt:translingual, universal plural but bar and bat mitzvah is a disjoined mix of English and Hebrew with an inappropriate two-count constraint; bnei and bnot mitzvah avoids the count constraint but sounds less natural in both tongues.

(+)Precision—as both are similarly precise, WP:PRECISION prefers the concise one, bnei mitzvah.

(+)Conciseness—bnei mitzvah has two words or twelve characters but bar and bat mitzvah has four words or nineteen characters.

(+)WP:TITLE#Explicit conventions—instead of a page called Jew and Jewess, ours is called Jews like יהודים (Yehudim) @ the top of that page.

(+)WP:TITLE#Titles containing "and"—avoiding "and" is preferred.--Warmest Regards, :)—thecurran Speak your mind my past 07:15, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose your own results shows that the current title is more recognized, 72/12 = 6, so it is 600% more prominent. Further, "bar mitzvah" and "bat mitzvah" shows half a million hits, definitely more than the proposed title. Indeed, the inversion of the current title, "bat and bar mitzvah" shows an almost equal prominence to your proposed title. If you add it to the current title order, then the current format would garner 7x more hits than your proposed title. This doesn't even consider that they are frequently spelled without a space "batmitzvah" and "barmitzvah" which you are missing from your googletest. (talk) 12:24, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is the English Wikipedia, not the Hebrew Wikipedia, and comprehensibility in English ultimately trumps these other considerations. Quite a few English speaking people will have heard of bar and bat mitzvahs but this new term is new to them. PatGallacher (talk) 13:11, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Most probably the page should be at plain Bar Mitzvah, "even though it's wrong", because "Bat Mitzvah" is not anywhere as well-known in English as the traditional male-only term. In any case, "Bnei Mitzvah" is not a common term for anything in English, so moving from a term that's only minimally surprising to one that's completely unknown is not in line with our practices for article titles. Gavia immer (talk) 08:35, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


History seems a bit vague, but recording of an actual ceremony did not occur until about 1500 ("The 16th century"). Here is an npov source There is probably something out there that is more scholarly.

Since it probably makes a difference, the rest of the world copied NY, the ceremony arrived in NY (same source) "in the late 19th century."

The fact of "reaching religious maturity" since biblical times is undisputed. What is disputed is the date of the actual formal ceremony, which was many centuries later. Student7 (talk) 20:00, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Split proposal[edit]

I suggest that this article be split into two, or at least have seperate articles on the Bar and Bat mitzvahs as well as this overview article, because although they share part of their name, and nowadays are seen as different-gender versions of the same thing, they are actually two completely different things, with two very different histories. Althoguh Bar Mitzvahs have been around since ancient times, Bat Mitzvahs were only invented in the last 100 years or so for gender equality.

"In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Jewish communities began marking when a girl became a Bat Mitzvah with a special ceremony. This was a break from traditional Jewish custom, which prohibited women from participating directly in religious services.

Using the Bar Mitzvah ceremony as a model, Jewish communities began to experiment with developing a similar ceremony for girls. In 1922, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan performed the first proto-bat mitzvah ceremony in America for his daughter Judith, when she was allowed to read from the Torah when she became a Bat Mitzvah. Although this new found privilege did not match the Bar Mitzvah ceremony in complexity, the event nevertheless marked what is widely considered to be the first modern bat mitzvah in the United States. It triggered the development and evolution of the modern Bat Mitzvah ceremony."

— [1]

--Coin945 (talk) 03:00, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

This article just crossed my way and I saw this split proposal. I highly support doing this as the user above suggested. The two articles, Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah, should be separated - exactly like they are in nearly all other Wikipedias. Any comments/opinions? If no resistance is met, I'll do it myself some time this week. -Yambaram (talk) 14:50, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't see the need or desirability for this. This article is not large, and the two articles would be largely overlapping, so best keep them together. Debresser (talk) 01:34, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I kind of changed my mind immediately after writing that sentence.. Looking at the article and considering what you said, I agree. Leave as is. Yambaram (talk) 20:16, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Been a year, no consensus, so I removed the tag. --jpgordon::==( o ) 17:04, 26 December 2013 (UTC)


External links modified[edit]

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