What is a Bar Mitzvah?Once a Jewish boy turns 13 years old, he becomes responsible for his actions according to the Jewish law, making them officially a bar mitzvah. Though, for a girl, they are considered a Bat Mitzvah by the age of 12. Before the children reach the age of becoming a Bar/Bat MItzvah meaning, son or daughter of the commandments, the child’s parents are held accountable for the child’s behaviour. Bat/Bar Mitzvahs are included in all tradition, and ethics, and can participate in all areas of Jewish community life. Significance: Once the child has reached the age of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, it symbolises that you are a full-fledged part of the Jewish community and are willing to accept the responsibilities that come with being a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. These duties are things such as; the qualification to be called to read from the Torah; moral responsibility which is to be accountable for one’s actions; the duty to obey the 613 rules found in the Torah and carry the halakha. Lastly, according to the Jewish law, you have the right to possess personal property and to be legally married.Symbols: Bar Mitzvahs have many religious symbols that contribute to the significance of the ceremony. The Torah is the Jewish scrolls; it is believed to be written by Moses over a period of 39 years; the Torah is like a bible is to Catholics. The next symbol is the tallit; it is a unique prayer shawl that the Bat/Bar Mitzvah receive during their celebration of becoming a son/daughter of the commandments. Lastly, there’s the kippah; it is a small cap made of cloth, mostly worn by Jewish men, Women can wear it, but most chose not to.History:In the 19th and 20th centuries, many Jewish communities started indicating when a girl became a bat mitzvah with a special ceremony. Females were restricted from engaging directly in religious services. Though in 1922, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan performed the first bat mitzvah ceremony in America for his daughter, which granted her the ability to read from the Torah. Although this new-found privilege did not match the bar mitzvah ceremony, the event still marked what is considered to be the first modern bat mitzvah in all of the United States.Participants:During a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the family can decide to have a small celebration with only close family members, though several families choose to throw a huge ceremony and invite close family members, cousins, grandparents and good friends.