Some people think that the term “the chosen people” means that this ethnicity is supreme over any other. The true meaning, however, means that the time of the Bar Mitzvah is the time when a boy or girl accepts the responsibilities of the Jewish religion, tradition, laws and ethics.Some people think that the term “the chosen people” means that this ethnicity is supreme over any other. The true meaning, however, means that the time of the Bar Mitzvah is the time when a boy or girl accepts the responsibilities of the Jewish religion, tradition, laws and ethics.

The Jewish people were once offered the Torah from G-d at Mount Sinai and, after other groups had denied it, the Jews accepted the Torah and all of the responsibilities that come with it.

Mount Sinai

Up until the Bar Mitzvah day, it is the parent’s responsibility to guide the child through the everyday routines of keeping the Torah. When a boy turns 13 (and a girl, in reform or conservative movements, turn 12), he accepts the responsibilities for himself and is from then on held responsible for his actions and inaction.

These responsibilities are actually privileges, as it is a privilege to follow the Torah and it was an incredibly special gift from G-d. The Torah is believed to be a book of Hebrew text that must be studied endlessly in order to understand its myriad of hidden meanings and messages about life, death, how to be a good Jew and how to lead a successful and fruitful life.

Traditionally, boys and sometimes girls are called to the Bima during a Friday or Saturday Shabbot service to read a portion of the Torah, called HafTorah, and may involve a ‘D’var Torah’, which is a discussion of the week’s Torah portion (what it says and what it means).Meaning of Bar Mitzvah Gifts

It has always been customary to acknowledge and drink to (or l’chaim’) the Bar Mitzvah boy or girl at the Kiddish that follows the ceremony. A gift is often presented to the Bar Mitzvah boy or girl, usually by the sisterhood of the congregation and other attendees of the Kiddish.

Traditional customary Bar Mitzvah gifts can be an engraved prayer book, or Siddur, or a Kiddish cup, which is used during the prayer over the wine in every Friday and Saturday Shabbat meal.In more modern times, parties are thrown in honor of the Bar Mitzvah boys and girls. In conservative and reform movements, the parties have been known  to be quite grandeur and entertaining.