Bat Mitzvah is a ceremony that celebrates the coming of age of the Jewish girl, at the age of 12. From this day on, she is considered an adult and takes upon herself the laws of the Torah and the Mitzvahs. Girls come of age one year earlier than boys, with the traditional explanation being that physically, girls mature earlier than boys.
However, this was not originally a traditional celebration for girls like it is for boys, and in most Jewish communities the Bat Mitzvah was not held. It was not until the 19th century that the celebration appeared among Jewish communities in Italy. A few months prior to their 12th birthdays the girls started learning Halacha and Mitzvahs with the community rabbi. On Shavuot, the holiday of the receiving of the Torah – a ceremony was held in which the girls were positioned by the open Torah Ark in the synagogue and required to answer different Halacha and Torah questions presented to them by the rabbi. Afterward, they were to read a special blessing composed for the ceremony. There is also evidence of Bat Mitzvah ceremonies in the 19th Century in Jewish communities in Denmark and Czech Republic.
In the early 20th Century, communities and families started holding more intimate celebrations in the USA, France and Italy. At first, the Bat Mitzvah celebration was held at home and after a certain time at the synagogue as well. It seems that the custom of celebrating the Bat Mitzvah started in modern orthodox and liberal circles and was part of the evolution in the status of women in society. Over the last few decades it has been customary to hold the Bat Mitzvah celebration.
The way in which the Bat Mitzvah celebration is organized depends on the family’s community and the values of the specific family. Whereas some families have a more religious ceremony, the more secular families emphasize the social and moral aspects of the event, the place of the girl in the family and the community, their love for Israel, etc. In these ceremonies, each family focuses on the aspects which are the most meaningful to them.
Bat Mitzvah tour in Israel
Many Jewish families, no matter what their orientations, choose to hold the Bat Mitzvah event in Israel. A Bat Mitzvah tour in Israel is an opportunity to mark this memorable event in a special way in a place which signifies above all the connection to Judaism. It should be noted that many secular Jewish families come to Israel due to the identification with the national aspect of Judaism and not necessarily the religious one.
A family trip to Israel for the Bat Mitzvah can be a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to come together. It is important to plan the trip in advance, to the last detail, and ensure that each stage of the trip including the Bat Mitzvah ceremony will provide happy memories for life.
Dekel Tours is an Israeli tour agency that specializes in family trips to Israel. Whether you come to Israel for a vacation or are planning a Bat or Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel, Dekel Tours offers you all-inclusive tour packages personally tailored for your family. Each trip organized by Dekel Tours is unique in order to provide the optimal response to your family’s requirements and wishes. Dekel Tours has extensive experience in planning Bar and Bat Mitzvah tours in Israel and the families are accompanied from the moment of arrival until their departure. An Israel private tour guide will ensure that your family enjoys the perfect trip, including the Bat Mitzvah ceremony which is arranged precisely according to your family’s values.