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Noam S

Page history last edited by nshahar 12 years, 6 months ago

To hear the musical accompaniment, click on the slideshow link below:

My Bar Mitzvah-slideshow project.pptx

My Bar Mitzvah

            I started learning for my Bar Mitzvah in the spring of 2008.  Every week on Monday, I went to my synagogue, Anshei Israel, and studied for about an hour and a half.  Most of the time I would learn the blessings and the other portion of the lesson, I would learn my Torah reading.  Closer to my Bar Mitzvah, I started writing my Dvar Torah which is a speech given about the section of the Torah that is read that day.  A Bar Mitzvah is important because it is when you become a Jewish adult.  Overall, I felt like my Bar Mitzvah led me to the path of responsibility and of keeping my Jewish identity. 

            The way the students learned was that the cantor gave us a few prayers to learn (some of which I already knew) and the students would go on the synagogue’s website during the week and listen to the recording and then practice by themselves.  It could be difficult sometimes because it was in ancient Hebrew and with a tune.  When we came in on Monday, he would test each of us and correct us if we had any mistakes.  Sometimes, he would write notes next to the prayers to help us with the pronunciation or tune.  We led each prayer that we learned on our Bar Mitzvah.  Additionally, I learned the prayers for Friday night so that I could lead that service as well as the one on Saturday morning.

            We started out by learning the trope, which is the tune that the Torah is read in.  There are multiple different tunes, each of which is very short, and every word has a different one of the tunes.  When the Torah is read with trop, it sounds much nicer than just reading it.  After learning the trope, the students each received their maftir (the last part of their section of the Torah) and started adding the trope to it.  I also learned two additional Torah readings.  Each person receives the section of the Torah that is to be read that day.  This is known as the parsha.  Along with each parsha, there is a haftorah, which is a section that is taken from one of the books of Prophets.  Haftorahs also contain a trope but one that is different from the Torah’s trope.

            I started writing my Dvar Torah around November 2008.  My Rabbi talked with me and gave me a few ideas about what to write.  In the end, my parents and I decided I should talk mainly about the different names of God.  It was different than most of the others’ Dvar Torah but was still very interesting and I received several compliments on it.

            A few days before my Bar Mitzvah, my uncle and grandma, who live in Israel, came to Tucson.  My sister who was on a program for the year in Israel also returned.  My family members contributed to my Bar Mitzvah on January 24, 2009 by reading from the Torah as well as leading some of the prayers.

             On the night before my Bar Mitzvah during dinner, I received several gifts from my family members.  My Uncle gave me a book of Blessings.  I got a photo album from my grandma filled with pictures from my childhood.  My family in Israel sent me a scrapbook that I could put all the pictures from my Bar Mitzvah in.  And from my parents, I received my first cellphone.  A few days before, my sister gave me a kippah with my name embroidered on it and at the end of the year, she surprised me with a puzzle that, when constructed, formed a picture of my brother, sister, and me at my Bar Mitzvah.

            Since the beginning of my Bar Mitzvah studies, I wanted to be more involved in Judaism.  So, I started coming to synagogue every week and actually prayed instead of socializing with people and playing games.  And I also began praying at home occasionally and started doing some other mitzvahs.  A mitzvah is a commandment given from the Torah.  For example, instead of receiving gifts, I asked for donations that I would give to support student programs at my school.  However, I did receive some special gifts as mentioned before.

            After my Bar Mitzvah I was allowed to do more things in Judaism because I was now considered a Jewish adult.  I would count as a member of the service and was now allowed to lead parts of the service as well as read Torah as I do several times a year.  And at home, I am allowed to say Kiddush over the wine on Friday nights.  So having my Bar Mitzvah allows me to be more involved in Judaism.     

            It fits for me to start doing more mitzvahs around the time of my Bar Mitzvah because “Bar Mitzvah” literally means “son of the commandments”.  So after my Bar Mitzvah, I started being more responsible and started keeping my Jewish identity more closely.

Comments (3)

flowery@stgregoryschool.org said

at 9:35 am on Sep 20, 2010

I liked it, you explained everything that happened really well, and it was very clear.

Nikolas said

at 8:12 am on Sep 21, 2010

Its cool how you explained what you had to do in order for you to succeed your barmitzvah

Hattie Groskind said

at 4:02 pm on Sep 21, 2010

I like the clear explanation of the steps it took to become Bar Mitzvah. You made it easy for anyone, Jewish or not, to understand the process.

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