Definition of bar mitzvah in English:

bar mitzvah


  • 1The initiation ceremony of a Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13 and is regarded as ready to observe religious precepts and eligible to take part in public worship.

    • ‘My nephew and I will not share the same holidays and he will not have a bar mitzvah for me to attend.’
    • ‘They're not brothers, they're not Jewish, and they've never even been to a bar mitzvah, but don't hold it against the Bar Mitzvah Brothers.’
    • ‘A bat mitzvah, the female equivalent of a bar mitzvah, is a Jewish coming of age ceremony for girls aged 12 and over.’
    • ‘In fact, in his case, it happened in full sight of a large crowd on the stage of a synagogue during his bar mitzvah ceremony.’
    • ‘When I look at the family portraits that were the inevitable last course at every wedding and bar mitzvah, she sparkled.’
    • ‘My husband and I recently returned from Israel, where we spent a Shabbat celebrating the bar mitzvah of our cousin.’
    • ‘Doctors gave him little chance of making it to his bar mitzvah.’
    • ‘I believe today, when people hear ‘YMCA’ every weekend at a bar mitzvah or a wedding or when people hear ‘Macho Man’ when they're working out at the gym, they smile.’
    • ‘Boys aren't allowed to wear tefillin until after their bar mitzvah; women can choose to wear them but rarely do.’
    • ‘We have the same thing for various other institutions like a bar mitzvah, which celebrates Jewish adulthood at 13, but for the state it is 18.’
    • ‘But remember your bar mitzvah speech where you said you wanted to follow in the steps of Jewish thinkers like Moses Maimonides and Karl Marx?’
    • ‘The Jewish bar mitzvah, for example, celebrates a boy's entry into adolescence, and most of tribal Africa holds puberty rituals which may include dance, music, or seclusion.’
    • ‘The only connection we have is that your bar mitzvah was the day I was born… but other than that, I don't think it's going to work.’
    • ‘Incidentally we were totally secular; I never went inside a synagogue until a cousin had a bar mitzvah at thirteen.’
    • ‘Her father, Bertie Camberg, was Jewish and Muriel happily gave Robin #50 towards his bar mitzvah in 1951.’
    • ‘Jesus returns to the temple at an age that corresponds closely to that required for the rite of passage for Jewish boys known as the bar mitzvah.’
    • ‘As I learned the rituals for the bar mitzvah, my father, a cantor, began to create the service…’
    • ‘It was not in Israel, for one, as my bar mitzvah was, at the Wailing Wall in 1968.’
    • ‘Witness the recent flap over the Jewish twelve-year-old, on the verge of his bar mitzvah, who was more or less tricked into a Christian baptism by the local Baptist church.’
    1. 1.1 A boy undergoing the bar mitzvah ceremony.
      • ‘I believe that the greatest gift I think I can give the young Bar Mitzvah is not a Razor scooter or a skateboard, but perhaps Judaica on CD-Rom or a leather bound anthology about the history of the modern state of Israel.’
      • ‘Usually, the Bar Mitzvah reads the regular portion for that week.’
      • ‘At this point a boy is said to become Bar Mitzvah.’
      • ‘Traditionally, the father of the Bar Mitzvah give thanks to God that they no longer have to carry the burden of their child's sins.’
      • ‘The Shamash does not invite the community to this feast, instead an hour before Mincha the young Bar-Mitzvah boy himself invites those who are to participate.’
      • ‘The bar mitzvah reads his Torah or Haftorah passage in shul and can then be counted as a man for purposes of a minyan.’
      • ‘Precisely what the Bar Mitzvah should lead during the service varies from one congregation to another, and is not fixed by Jewish law.’
      • ‘What we seek for our young Bar Mitzvah boy is a new paradigm of Jewish masculinity.’
      • ‘In addition, on the Shabbat following the bar mitzvah boy's thirteenth birthday, he is called to the Torah during morning services at the synagogue to recite the blessing on the Haftorah.’
      • ‘The Bar Mitzvah reads a portion of the Torah section and all of what is known as the Half Torah.’
      • ‘The Great Depression happened as he reached the bar mitzvah age of 14.’
      • ‘Our Bar Mitzvah reads: Behold, God is my unfailing help; I will trust in Him and will not be afraid.’
      • ‘This is done so that the young Bar Mitzvah wouldn't feel embarrassed if he couldn't proceed with the sermon due to stage fright.’
      • ‘Unlike most young bar mitzvah boys, Citrin has led a full life.’


[with object]
  • Administer the bar mitzvah ceremony to (a boy).

    • ‘I was bar-mitzvahed in a synagogue in Rockville Centre, Long Island suburb.’
    • ‘In Jerusalem, a 13-year-old boy is bar mitzvahed—the ceremony, or right of passage, that allows young Jewish males to participate fully in their religion.’
    • ‘How does a boy become 'bar mitzvahed' and a girl 'bat mitzvahed?'’
    • ‘Only time I remember was the ‘Today’ show bar mitzvahed me after 50 years.’
    • ‘"In 1954, when I was bar mitzvahed, I didn't get presents," explains Evanstonian John Lavine, dean of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.’
    • ‘The play centers on grandfather Gabe, a concentration-camp survivor and sculptor, working on a bust of Muhammad Ali, when his grandson, Michael, soon to be bar mitzvahed, drops in.’
    • ‘I spoke to a rabbi last year about finding out what steps needed to be taken so he could be bar mitzvahed and was told that he would have to study Hebrew.’
    • ‘Shortly after Israel was bar mitzvahed, Moses died, and the following year young Izzy left home and school to try his luck at street singing.’
    • ‘Adam Streicher and Ben had been friends since their Hebrew school days, bar mitzvahed weeks apart.’
    • ‘Seeing my son Bar Mitzvahed atop Masada is an experience I will never forget.’
    • ‘But I never lit Chanukah candles, and I wasn't bar mitzvahed.’
    • ‘"For a Jewish boy who grew up on Long Island," he said, "to have dinner with Steven Spielberg is like being bar mitzvahed twice."’
    • ‘I remember my friends getting Bar Mitzvahed though.’
    • ‘Though people talk about being "bar-mitzvahed" there is NO ritual that must be performed to be considered a Jewish adult in the eyes of Jewish law.’


From Hebrew bar miṣwāh, literally ‘son of the commandment’.


bar mitzvah

/bɑː ˈmɪtsvə/