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GrandmaALiCE August 11th, 2015 3:03pm

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.

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FlipFlopGirl Sic semper tyrannis
08/11/15 7:30 pm

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

BamaGirl ROLL TIDE from Arizona
08/11/15 1:27 pm

I suspect that is a very modern tradition.

chickencookie It really is
08/11/15 9:09 am

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".

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 10:58 am

Excellent question!

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.

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 11:01 am

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 ...

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 11:05 am

... 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 ...

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 11:11 am

... mother to self-identify as Jewish.

It can be confusing, because sometimes it all depends on who you ask.

chickencookie It really is
08/11/15 11:48 am

What is difference between conservative and reform Jews? What is the "average" in this country if there is one.

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 3:06 pm

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 ...

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 3:07 pm

... practices, WITHIN the members of any branch. For example, I don't keep kosher, but many other members of my synagogue do.

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 3:08 pm

I belong to a synagogue that identifies as Conservative.

GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 8:27 am

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 ...

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GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 8:28 am

... the point of being reasonable.

The religious observance is truly the significant thing, not the lavish party!

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/11/15 8:14 am

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.

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GrandmaALiCE For a better 2021
08/11/15 8:30 am

Yes, you are absolutely correct on all points.

In my other poll, I covered the point about Bat Mitzvahs being relatively new.

voc I am...what I am
08/11/15 8:13 am

What's the difference between a bar mitzvah and a bat mitzvah? Thanks for these! Very interesting!

voc I am...what I am
08/11/15 8:19 am

That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure. Thanks!