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How much preparation should a child have prior to his Bar Mitzvah?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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13 years.

Bar Mitzvah is the age and day when a boy becomes mature enough to be obligated to follow G-d’s commandments and live a G-dly lifestyle.

Until Bar Mitzvah a boy is not only a child, but also strictly human in the expectations of his behavior. At Bar Mitzvah a boy becomes mature and must also live by a lifestyle that is Divine.

This transformation cannot happen overnight. As a matter of fact, living in a physical world as a human being but at the same time living a spiritual life as an ambassador of the Divine, takes a lot of training and preparations. There is much to learn about the ways of G-d as described in His Torah, and much practice is required to get it right.

There is much to learn about the ways of G-d as described in His Torah, and much practice is required to get it right
Just imagine: if one needs six months to a year just to prepare for a Bar Mitzvah CEREMONY – an event that lasts a few hours – how much more time do they need to prepare for the actual Bar Mitzvah itself: living a life of Mitzvahs!

Thus from the moment a child begins to receive an education, he should receive a Jewish education, a Mitzvah education.

(Ed. note: needless to say, all of the above applies to a girl and her Bat Mitzvah. This article is a response to an actual email sent to Askmoses, asking the question about a boy.)


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Torah » Education
Life Cycle » Bar/Bat Mitzvah » Age of Responsibility

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Bar Mitzvah
The thirteenth birthday of a Jewish male. On this day -- customarily celebrated with a modest party -- the adolescent reaches adulthood and is responsible to observe all the commandments of the Torah.
Bat Mitzvah
The twelvth birthday of a Jewish female. On this day -- customarily celebrated with a lavish party -- the adolescent reaches adulthood and is responsible to observe all the commandments of the Torah.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.