Published May-08-05
Ask Rabbi Dan
by Rabbi Dan S. Wiko PhD
  Issue: 6.05
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Amanda Wolfe asks:

I am having my bat mitzvah next year. I had a question though. I understand that you have a bat mitzvah because you're becoming an adult. But you're really only a teenager.

Thank you.

Dear future Bat Mitzvah,

The purpose of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is for the youngster to begin to realize that he or she is now a member of the Jewish people with the responsibility of following our Torah. A "child" is not yet responsible for following many of the Commandments, but, at the age of 12 for a girl and 13 for a boy, the rabbis concluded that these ages were appropriate...12 and 13 is the beginning of the stage called adolescence. It is during this stage of life that the foundation for adult behavior is made lasting.

Mazel Tov,
Rabbi Dan

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