Bar and Bat Mitzvah

by Nazy Rafaeil Last Updated 20th February 2020
Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah are Jewish coming of age rituals. Bar “בר” is a Jewish Babylonian Aramaic word literally meaning son, in Hebrew it’s Ben “בן”. Bat “בת” is Hebrew for girl, and Mitzvah “מצוה” is a commandment and a law. While this literally translates to “son of commandment” or “daughter of commandment”, the rabbinical phrase “bar” means here “under the category of” or “subject to”, making “Bar Mitzvah” translate to “an [agent agent] who is subject to the law”.

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