Saturday, February 20, 2016

BAR BAT COMING OF AGE

Bar Mitzvah (Hebrewבַּר מִצְוָה) and Bat Mitzvah (Hebrewבַּת מִצְוָה) (Ashkenazi pronunciation: "Bas Mitzvah") (plural: B'nai Mitzvah for boys, and B'not Mitzvah – Ashkenazi pronunciation: "B'nos Mitzvah" – for girls) are Jewish coming of age rituals.
Bar (בַּר) is a Jewish Babylonian Aramaic word literally meaning "son" (בֵּן), while bat (בַּת) means "daughter" in Hebrew, and mitzvah (מִצְוָה) means "commandment" or "law" (plural: mitzvot). Thus bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah literally translate to "son of commandment" and "daughter of commandment". However, in rabbinical usage, the word bar means "under the category of" or "subject to". Bar mitzvah therefore translates to "an [agent] who is subject to the law". Although the term is commonly used to refer to the ritual itself, in fact the phrase originally refers to the person.


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