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How to Write a Good Bar-Mitzvah Speech for Your Child

A bar or bat mitzvah is a Jewish celebration that highlights the coming of age of a 12-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy. It is during this event that they are made aware of their duties and obligations as they enter a more mature stage in their lives. Although quite early, this celebration already marks their debut into adulthood making them responsible for their actions.

As they celebrate their birthday and maturity, one of the major tasks of a bar or bat mitzvah is to give a speech (drasha) after the prayer. The speech is usually reflective of their thoughts and feelings about their entry into manhood and womanhood. A portion also acknowledges the roles their parents and religious leaders play and what influence they had on their early years.

In writing the speech, parents can assist their child on what appropriate subject to talk about. However, if the child insists to write on his own, let him or her do it and then just edit the draft afterwards.

It’s best to have a focus. It can be about the Torah or Haftarah portion you will read or about your feelings on becoming a bar or bat mitzvah. With a theme, it would be easy to expound your thoughts on that particular subject.

If you’re going to talk about the Torah, be sure to research on it so you could express it well during your speech. Just select one parasha as your focus and explain why you found it interesting. For this kind of speech, you may start with “Shabbat Shalom” and then specify the Torah portion or parasha you have picked including the chapters and verses. Read some verses and then summarize them in your own words. While thinking what to write for this part, you should consider the lessons you’re supposed to learn from this, its importance and its message.

For a more personal speech, you may talk about the significance of studying and preparing for your bar or bat mitzvah and how you see yourself as an adult member of your Jewish community. You may include your aspirations in your future life, say, as a married man or woman.

In the acknowledgment part, don’t forget to express your gratitude to your parents for bringing you up in the proper way and for helping you prepare for your bar or bat mitzvah. Thank also your guests for coming to your special event.

The tone of your speech should not be too serious all the way. Keep it short and entertaining. To make it light, you may add a poem or a humorous Jewish parable or perhaps a funny personal experience that you’d like to share with your guests. After the celebrant’s speech, it is the turn of the parent either mother or father to say something about his or her child. It is actually just a short toast or tribute to the bar or bat mitzvah. Anecdotes that describe the character of the child can be included to give the speech a lighthearted tone. An expression of gratitude should also not be missed. While it is easy to order speeches from numerous websites today, writing your own speech makes the event more special. A personalized celebration is always worth the effort and money.

Read more articles on the subject: Planning a Bar Mitzvah

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