Definition of bar mitzvah in English:

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bar mitzvah

Pronunciation: /bɑː ˈmɪtsvə/


1The initiation ceremony of a Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13 and is regarded as ready to observe religious precepts and eligible to take part in public worship.
Example sentences
  • A bat mitzvah, the female equivalent of a bar mitzvah, is a Jewish coming of age ceremony for girls aged 12 and over.
  • We have the same thing for various other institutions like a bar mitzvah, which celebrates Jewish adulthood at 13, but for the state it is 18.
  • The Jewish bar mitzvah, for example, celebrates a boy's entry into adolescence, and most of tribal Africa holds puberty rituals which may include dance, music, or seclusion.
1.1A boy undergoing the bar mitzvah ceremony.
Example sentences
  • The Great Depression happened as he reached the bar mitzvah age of 14.
  • In addition, on the Shabbat following the bar mitzvah boy's thirteenth birthday, he is called to the Torah during morning services at the synagogue to recite the blessing on the Haftorah.
  • At this point a boy is said to become Bar Mitzvah.


[with object]
Administer the bar mitzvah ceremony to (a boy).
Example sentences
  • But I never lit Chanukah candles, and I wasn't bar mitzvahed.
  • Shortly after Israel was bar mitzvahed, Moses died, and the following year young Izzy left home and school to try his luck at street singing.
  • The play centers on grandfather Gabe, a concentration-camp survivor and sculptor, working on a bust of Muhammad Ali, when his grandson, Michael, soon to be bar mitzvahed, drops in.


From Hebrew bar miṣwāh, literally 'son of the commandment'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bar mitz|vah

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