Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Photo by the Global school Twinning Network, Jewish Agency for IsraelPhoto by the Global school Twinning Network, Jewish Agency for Israel ©

Here you are, only a moment ago you were childish and naughty, and now look at you—mature and involved.

Here we are, only a moment ago we were isolated and persecuted, and now look at us—strong and united.

Here you are, connected to heritage, tradition and the succession of generations.

Here we are, accepting you with love and open arms.

Here you are, Israeli, French, American.  A Jew.

Here we are, Israelis, French, Americans.  Jews.

Here you are, with 13 years of memory behind you.

Here we are, with three thousand years of memory behind us.

In Pirkei Avot, chapter 5, verse 25 it is written: "Thirteen, for the obligation to observe the mitzvoth".  Here the intention is that in Judaism, when a child turns into a youth, it means that he, or she, accepts being a 'commanded' person.  In other words being responsible for his/her deeds and knowing the price of his/her decisions.  This way of thinking is part of the saga of Judaism, whose heroes were figures that taught us to be genuinely free people, meaning taking our destinies in our own hands and being free.



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