Coming of Age: The Bar Mitzvah Explained--Preserve the Memories---Posted 4/20/09
|Without a doubt, one of the most important traditions in the Jewish religion is the bar/bat mitzvah. The meaning of these words derives from the ancient Aramaic and means “to whom the commandments apply.” From this, one will assume the term refers to a child becoming an adult in the traditional sense of the religion. Of course, such a momentous occasion is deserved of a celebration. As such, it becomes a festive event for the whole family. That is why photos of the event are often placed in elegant Bar Mitzvah picture frames.|
However, the oft repeated concept of entering adulthood is somewhat overstated. Surprisingly, the actual religious process of a bar or bat mitzvah is quite reserved. Really, it merely involves the young boy or girl (usually at 12 or 13 years of age) taking part in the actual Sabbath services. This means that the child becomes an active participant in the services as opposed to remaining an uninvolved observer. In the strict religious sense, it does not mean a minor is a full fledged adult with adult responsibilities although aspects of this are found in the bar mitzvah celebration.
Clearly, parents are not going to bestow emancipation on a minor simply because the child has been bar “mitzvahed”. So, a more accurate description of the bar mitzvah celebratory festivities would be that the first step in the process towards adulthood has been reached. This is no minor “gain” for the young child. Often, such events will have a strong impact on the child’s outlook on life as well as their perspectives on life. Again, that is why it is important to place photos from the event in high quality Bat Mitzvah picture frames.
Children, being children, are known to lack a sophisticated world view. That means they can still commit a number of youthful foibles or indiscretions. However, the process of having undergone a bar mitzvah may actually change their perspective on how they should behave. That is, if a child understands he or she is coming of age, then there may be a desire to emulate the actions of an adult. In particular, a need to act responsibly could become ingrained in the child’s outlook on life. Does this mean that the child will automatically avoid making mistakes? No, this would not be possible. However, the child could develop a more mature outlook that would reduce the potential for making many serious mistakes.
While the development of maturity is not the main reason parents will plan an expansive bar mitzvah party, it is a nice “side effect” of it. The fact that things take place in the context of a celebratory party is probably one of the most important aspects of it. The notion of becoming an adult takes on a sense of fun as opposed to a sense of seriousness. All of this is frequently then captured for posterity in the form of professional photography and placed in artistically designed Bat Mitzvah picture frames. This allows the event to remained properly remembered many years after it has occurred.