Bar Mitzvah

My wife's friend invited us for her son Bar Mitzvah . Can we (as Catholics) accept invitation to Bar Mitzvah ?
It looks like they are rather atheists (or secular Jews;), not very religious..I was a little suprised that they observe Jewish tradition.

They appear to be "Cultural Jews" as many are "Cultural Catholics." There's nothing that says you can't attend a tradition of another faith. Go and enjoy. I hear that these are usually are elaborate events.

Absoloutely you can go.

Especially to Jewish events, even though they're only cultural Jews.

I see them as our Elder Brothers and they therefore merit our respect and friendship. They have a lot of fascinating traditions, many of which our own liturgical traditions were drawn from or inspired by (example they have their own version of the Liturgy of the Hours with morning and evening prayer).

It is a beautiful religion so intimately intertwined with ours in many ways.

Remember that all Jewish males become bar mitzvah automatically at the age of 13 years and a day.

It's NOT a ceremony that bestows anything.

[quote="bpbasilphx, post:5, topic:183194"]
Remember that all Jewish males become bar mitzvah automatically at the age of 13 years and a day.

It's NOT a ceremony that bestows anything.

[/quote]

The bar mitzvah has to have learned to chant the Torah portion for the day (in Hebrew, naturally) and gives a thought on it (kind of like the homily), so the ceremony does celebrate that he's made the effort to take on the responsibilities of adulthood.

I have heard a bar mitzvah whose talk essentially talked about what it meant to be a Jew when one is an atheist, which is what he purported to be. Very odd to me, but nobody blinked. It is quite a bit different to be culturally Jewish than to be culturally Catholic, though. Circumcision is a requirement of male Jews, but it doesn't make one a Jew. If your mother is a Jew, you're a Jew. Period. If there is a Hitler around, dad counts, too...and it is not a matter of "hatch, match, dispatch." It is a matter of life and death. There is a sense, then, in which self-identifying as a Jew when one is not religious is an entirely different ballgame than when one does that as a Catholic. It is a matter of choosing to embrace what has been a disenfranchised and sometimes dangerous ethnic group, especially in the middle of the last century. Most often, it is also self-identifying with a group that sees itself as particularly bound to practice justice. It's a brave thing to do, really....imagine doing that without faith in God. I don't mean this as a put-down, quite the contrary, but that is almost insanely brave.

It is the receptions afterwards that get lavish, more than the service in the synagogue.

It’s not like this so much anymore. Shia Lebouf metioned that when he was Bar Mitzvah’d, he didn’t know Hebrew, what was out on the table for him was a transliteration of how to pronounce the correct words. I don’t think everywhere the Jews are making this to be the big deal and welcoming into the faith that it should be.

\I don’t think everywhere the Jews are making this to be the big deal and welcoming into the faith that it should be.\

Jewish girls are “welcomed into the faith” simply by being born. Jewish male babies are initiated into the covenant by circumcision. The very name for this rite, “bris” means “covenant.”

||The bar mitzvah has to have learned to chant the Torah portion for the day (in Hebrew, naturally) and gives a thought on it (kind of like the homily), so the ceremony does celebrate that he’s made the effort to take on the responsibilities of adulthood.||

**The only “ceremony” is a special blessing when the new Bar Mitzvah is called to read the third reading (Torah and Haftora) on the Sabbath after his 13th birthday, because, as I said, he automatically becomes a Son of the Commandment, with the responsibilities of observing the Jewish law, at that age. (For girls, it’s 12 years and a day.)

In short, bar mitzvah is NOT the equivalent of Confirmation.**

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