THE BAR MITZVAH CEREMONY
The Bar Mitzvah ceremony celebrates the event of a Jewish boy reaching the age of 13 upon which he
becomes obligated to observe the commandments of the Torah.
A boy under the age of 13 is taught to observe the commandments as part of his education and
training but is not obliged to do so. When he reaches the age of 13 his obligation begins.
Part of this obligation is to pray daily wearing tefillin. To mark this event it is customary for
the youth to come to a synagogue on the Shabbat immediately after his 13th birthday.
Each Shabbat the weekly portion (parshat hashavua) is read from the Torah in the synagogue.
The parsha is divided into 7 readings. For each reading a different person is honored to be called
up to the Torah (given an aliya). The person called up recites the blessings and then the reader
reads from the Torah. The first aliya is given to a Cohen, the second to a Levi and the other 5 to
other Israelites. In addition to these 7 aliyot an 8th person is called up to read the concluding
portion (maftir) of the weekly Torah reading and then read from the prophets (haftarah).
After each 'aliya' the Gabbai recites a blessing for the 'oleh' and his family. The oleh then
usually pledges a donation to the synagogue.
It is customary for the boy becoming Bar Mitzvah to be called up to read the maftir and haftarah.
He recites the blessings and then reads himself from the Torah and from the prophets.
In unusual circumstances the Bar Mitzvah boy may be called for a different aliya.
The Bar Mitzvah ceremony usually leaves a lifelong impression as the boy performs himself.
At other ceremonies such as the wedding the Rabbi performs most of the ceremony.
After the service the parents of the Bar Mitzvah usually invite the congregation for light
refreshments preceded by the Kiddush prayer recited over wine.
PREPARATION FOR THE BAR MITZVAH
The Bar Mitzvah boy usually studies for about 3 months with a teacher in order to learn to recite
the blrddings, the maftir and the haftarah with their traditional melodies.
The Achdut Synagogue has several Teachers who specialize in preparing boys for their Bar Mitzvah.
However, if the family wishes they may choose a different teacher.
We highly recommend using our in-house teachers who are young dynamic Rabbis, or Rabbinical
students, who have much experience in Bar Mitzvah preparation, understand the youthful soul and with
whom the Bar Mitzvah boy enjoys learning. The teacher also obligates himself to stand by him when he
reads before the congregation in order to increase his confidence.
In addition our teachers prepare for the Bar Mitzvah celebrant a pamphlet containing all the
necessary blessings and readings which he may use at the Bar Mitzvah ceremony and also a recording
of the blessings and readings in the teacher's voice so that he can review the lessons at home.
Besides preparing the Bar Mitzvah ‘celebrant ’for the ceremony, he is also taught to recite the basic prayers
and how to put on tefillin (see below). He will advise the parents, if necessary, where to purchase
tefilin for their son.
Feel free to contact our teachers directly:
RAbbi Asher - 50-6341770
Rabbi Meir - 052-6566986
Yaakov - 052-8886434
Teacher from "Machon Mayan" in Herzeliya *
THE BAR MITZVAH CEREMONY AT "ACHDUT"
Arranging to have your son's Bar Mitzvah at "Achdut" has the following advantages:
The synagogue's director for Bar Mitzvot will sit with the parents in advance and explain to them
in detail how the Bar Mitzvah is celebrated and what are the synagogue's requirements.
If the parents desire he will recommend a teacher to them. Registration for a Bar Mitzvah at
Achdut is now made with Mr. Arie Biger 050-6666023 Arie@freidkes.co.il
The synagogue's fee for conducting a Bar Mitzvah is moderate, tax deductible and all inclusive.
Guests are not bothered for additional donations. If the family feels that they can not afford
the suggested fee then it may be reduced to what the family can afford.
The synagogue is very attractive having undergone a major renovation this past year.
The synagogue is not too small so that you feel crowded and not too large so that you feel lost.
A special up front section is reserved for the Bar Mitzvah family and friends so that all your
guests can sit together.
The female guests may occupy the first row of the balcony where they can clearly see and hear the
service and the Bar Mitzvah readings.
Several (usually up to 3) of the seven aliyot for the Torah reading are reserved for the Bar Mitzvah's
family: father, grandparents, etc.
The blessings to be recited are displayed on a stand in front of the table upon which the Torah is read.
The Bar Mitzvah boy is called up to read the last section (Maftir) of the weekly Torah portion
and the weekly selection from the prophets (Haftarah) with the appropriate blessings.
He may use the booklet which his teacher has prepared for him.
While he reads the teacher stands by him to give him confidence and to help him if need be.
The father also usually stands next to his son on the other side.
After the Bar Mitzvah boy finishes his readings the congregation sings in his honor while the
women shower him with candy.
After the Torah scroll is returned to the Holy Ark, the Rabbi or the Teacher will address the
Bar Mitzvah. At the end of the address the Bar Mitzvah is presented with a Siddur (prayer book)
as a gift from the congregation.
The Bar Mitzvah family has use of the kitchen, including a large refrigerator, to prepare the
Kiddush (light refreshments) after services are completed. The suggested menu is simple but
there is room for variation to suit the parents' tastes, as long as all products are Kosher with
Rabbinical supervision. The synagogue's director for Bar Mitzvot will discuss the menu with the
parents in advance. If the parents wish they may have the Kiddush arranged by one of our members, at a cost of 900 ILS: Oria Hordan 058-5858755
The Shabbat morning schedule is as follows: (give or take a few minutes)
8:00 - Beginning of the service
8:55 - Torah reading
9:30 - Bar Mitzvah called up to read maftir
10:00 - Musaf prayers (ladies prepare Kiddush)
10:30 - Kiddush
Besides the main Bar Mitzvah ceremony on Shabbat, a preliminary ceremony is held on the
preceding Monday or Thursday (depending upon the boy's Hebrew birthday). At this ceremony the
Bar Mitzvah puts on tefillin, opens and closes the Holy Ark and is called up to the Torah.
On this occasion it is permitted to photograph. (Photography and the use of all electronic
equipment including cell phones is forbidden on Shabbat).
"ACHDUT" SYNAGOGUE - HERZLIYA
Cuzari St. Herzeliya (Rgistersd Association 580041937)