What a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guest Needs to Know
This guide explains appropriate synagogue behavior, major sections of the service, the synagogue environment, and service participants.
The gabbai, or sexton, attends to the details of organizing the worship service. The gabbai finds a shaliach tzibbur, assigns aliyot, and ensures that the Torah is read correctly.
Members of the congregation may participate in all synagogue functions and leadership roles. Any knowledgeable Jew is permitted and encouraged to lead the prayers, receive an aliyah, read from the Torah, and chant the haftarah.
At 13, a young Jewish man or woman becomes obligated to observe the commandments of Judaism. "Bar/bat mitzvah" literally means "son/daughter of the commandments." The celebration of a bar/bat mitzvah signifies that the young man or woman is beginning and will continue to function as an active and responsible Jew in the synagogue and in the wider Jewish community.
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