Bar/Bat Mitzvah series, Question 3 of 3: The custom of celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah with a lavish, extravagant party is an ancient tradition. It is an integral part of the religious milestone.
I would think the lavish party aspect is new, but the meaning, rite of passage part and traditions are older. This is a wild guess. Lol
I suspect that is a very modern tradition.
And they are very expensive. Another question grandma as I have heard this. If mother is not Jewish but father is - does this make the child a jew or Christian or "nothing".
Unfortunately, the answer varies. It depends on which branch of Judaism you ask. Technically, by the standards of Orthodox Judaism, they go strictly by the mother.
By this standard...
If the mother is Jewish and the father is not, the child is born Jewish.
If the father is Jewish and the mother is not (your example), the child is NOT Jewish. The child can convert to Judaism and if so, will be the ...
... same status, as if he was born Jewish.
But, I started out by stating that there are different standards. Conservative and Orthodox Jews generally use the above standard. Reform Jews consider the child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish ...
... mother to self-identify as Jewish.
It can be confusing, because sometimes it all depends on who you ask.
What is difference between conservative and reform Jews? What is the "average" in this country if there is one.
To oversimplify ... Think of a continuum of observance, from Orthodox to Conservative to Reform. That's not quite exact, but it's as close as I can get, without writing an essay. 😏
To make it more confusing, you will find a wide range of ...
... practices, WITHIN the members of any branch. For example, I don't keep kosher, but many other members of my synagogue do.
I belong to a synagogue that identifies as Conservative.
This one is 1000% False! In the European small Jewish community ("shtetl"), it was a simple shared celebration, nothing like what we have come to know in modern America.
In many cases, the modern Bar and Bat Mitzvah have gone way beyond ...
... the point of being reasonable.
The religious observance is truly the significant thing, not the lavish party!
The Bat Mitzvah itself is a modern thing if I'm not mistaken. And I doubt there's an ancient requirement that it be lavish. I would think a sense of solemnity is more traditional.
Yes, you are absolutely correct on all points.
In my other poll, I covered the point about Bat Mitzvahs being relatively new.
What's the difference between a bar mitzvah and a bat mitzvah? Thanks for these! Very interesting!
That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure. Thanks!