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Bat Mitzvah for an Adult

Bat Mitzvah for an Adult

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Question:

I am a young adult woman, not affiliated with any branch of Judaism. I have heard of adults becoming bar/bat mitzvah and am enquiring whether this is possible with Chabad, because I am interested in this possibility for myself.

Answer:

A Jewish girl becomes bat mitzvah at the age of twelve. On your twelfth Jewish birthday you reached adulthood and became responsible for your actions, whether you were treated to an official ceremony or not.

Nevertheless, you can still do a ceremony now, it is never too late. Speak to your local Chabad rabbi about how you can go about it.

Whether celebrating your bat mitzvah at the age of 12 or at the age of 82, the underlying idea remains the same: Becoming bat mitzvah is not so much about the ceremony with pomp and all the details associated with it, it is more of an inner spiritual state of being. When you turned twelve, you became a woman, mature enough to be responsible for the most important task of observing the mitzvot, the commandments which G‑d gave us all at Sinai, and of continuing the beautiful traditions, your heritage, which have been passed on mother to daughter since time immemorial.

One such tradition, a most empowering and beautiful observance and one that is unique to women, is lighting Shabbat candles Friday evening before the onset of Shabbat. Click here for more info on this special mitzvah.

Mazal tov!

Chani Benjaminson,
Chabad.org

Chani Benjaminson is co-director of Chabad of the South Coast, coordinator of Chabad’s Ask the Rabbi and Feedback departments, and is a member of the editorial staff of Chabad.org.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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Meira Shana San Diego January 12, 2015

Only one time when it's too late At my age I am studying to become a Bat Mitzvah - and in May 2015 my dream will become true, G-d willing.

It's a good thing that I always remembered the alef-bet and practice reading Hebrew because otherwise the process would be even more difficult.

So, anyone interested, do all you can learn Hebrew - it's phonetic so once you learn the alphabet and vowels and practice - the joy will come!

I can feel that my family who have passed on are kvelling. Reply

Lisa Providence, RI July 27, 2011

Adult Bat Mitzvah I had my Bat Mitzvah for my 36th birthday, because I was away from home, and I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is High-Functioning Autism. I was too unstable to handle the stress.

Thankfully, I got diagnosed, got help, take medication, and I'm now a full-fledged member of the Jewish Community, and I couldn't be happier! Reply

Jenny Korea Town, CA via chabadlosfeliz.org June 1, 2011

Adult Bat Mitzvah I would like to have one too, because I would like to learn more about Judsiam and take reposnibility as an adult Jewish woman. It is an important time in a girls life, where she is recognized as a reponsible and capable jewish woman in the community, and in her own eyes, she has made a commitment to herself to now commit to being a Jewish woman and because of the ceremony, she will never forget the support for the transition. In her/his own connection with gd She feels blessed to particpate in the community as an adult. I may cry likr a baby if I can have one, but after maybe I will be able to controll my tears and have faith , that in my big and only getting older body, I am confident that it is the right way, ... ) Reply

Eliana K. New York, NY December 12, 2008

Adult Bat Mitzvah There are also other ways to celebrate being bat-mitzvah. If you are not affiliated with any branch of Judaism, but would like to have some sort of ceremony, you should ask yourself a view questions. What would you like to gan from this experience? Do you want to learn more about Judaism? Do you want to help others? Do you want to explore Jewish tradition and practice? Do you want all of these things? Some possibilities are taking a Hebrew class or class about Judaism or doing a mitzvah project (social action project that helps others and also has Jewish content). The possibilities are numerous. It's all about finding what will enhance your Jewish life. Reply

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