By alexg on
Thursday, May 19, 2011 7:58 AM
A Barmitzvah is a religious ceremony when a boy reaches 13 years of age, and in the eyes of the Jewish law he then becomes a man. He can then be counted as one of thirteen men required to start a service and can take part in it as well.
It is a time when a boy must learn his Haftora - this is a portion from the sefer torah which is a scroll and is a handwritten copy of the holiest book. He must learn this in hebrew and sing it in the synagogue on his own. It is one of the most important days for him and also for his family.
He learns his portion with a teacher and it takes about 12 months and he also has to take an examination about many aspects of judaism.
A girl has a Batmitzvah at the age of 12, whereby she also has to have lessons and learn about her heritage and she must prepare to make a speech on her portion but she may read hers in English. Again it is a very important turning point in her life too.