The Simcha Gift Shop at Congregation Emanu-El’s carries kippot, tallitot and bar/bat mitzvah journals and many other Judaica items.
The gift shop is located at Congregation Emanu-El at the southern end of the Social Hall.
You may shop during office hours: Tues-Thurs 9:30-2:30 or by appointment at: SimchaGiftShop@gmail.com
We accept cash, cheques, and credit cards. Come check us out!
Bar/bat Mitzvah: historical background
The term bar/bat mitzvah בַּר/בַּת מִצוָה)) is a noun, referring to the legal status given to a boy/girl at a specific age of life according to Jewish law; it is not a status achieved through a specific ceremony. One becomes a bar mitzvah at 13 years and one day, or a bat mitzvah at 12 years and one day.
The term bar mitzvah is Aramaic Hebrew, indicating a person who is obligated to observe the laws and rituals of Judaism. Maturity of body and of mind is meant to coincide at puberty and so this becomes the time to take on adult religious responsibilities.
The bar/bat mitzvah ceremony is meant to be an act of public acknowledgement of a status automatically conferred.
Using the term as we do today, to imply a ceremony of simḥah related to the coming of age 13, is a relatively recent ritual innovation in Jewish tradition, dating only as far back as the 13th century.