Bar Mitzvah - Should You Include Small Children?A bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah celebration marks the transition of a 12-year-old Jewish girl and 13-year-old Jewish boy from childhood to adulthood. Itís the equivalent of a debut in the Western culture. For many parents, this rite of passage calls for a big celebration.
These days, it is customary to hold bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah parties. Parents feel that since itís a momentous event in the life of their child, it is only fitting that they celebrate it with their family and friends. Parents are excited themselves that most often, they plan and prepare for this celebration as early as a year or several months before the actual date of the event.
However, apart from this major role as a party planner and organizer, parents also need to consider the participation of their child. Encourage your child to suggest ideas for the party because after all, the celebration is for him or her. Ask for his preferred theme, food and the number of friends to invite for the party.
Another decision a parent needs to make is whether to include small children. This will all depend on your budget. Surely, you have friends who still have small children and so if you want much younger kids included or not, you will have to inform your adult guests beforehand.
If your own child has younger siblings, then it would be okay to let other families bring their small kids as well. At least, the small ones will have their own playmates and wonít be left out during the party celebration. Just be sure that they behave well.
If thereís one talented kid you know, you can even request the parent to let the kid do a special performance during the party. This will add to the entertainment aspect. While small kids may be invited to the reception party but they may not be allowed in the religious worship service. You will have find out the policy of the synagogue about this by consulting a rabbi. When in consultation, feel free to ask all the questions that you want just so you will know how to follow the rules.
One of the first major tasks of a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is to attend the Shabbat service in a synagogue along with his or her parents. This marks the first religious service the child will attend as an adult and very small children may not be allowed in this event. There are some religious leaders who are easily distracted by small kids so itís best that you consult about this issue prior to the service.
For families with babies and toddlers, it may be okay to bring them along but make sure that they donít in any way distract the solemnity of the religious service. If itís unavoidable and you need to bring them to the synagogue, itís advisable that you leave the very restless ones outside with a close relative to look after them just during the time when they canít sit still. Most synagogues require that childrenís behavior be supervised well when on religious grounds.
A bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is a family affair hence, all the members and even the extended members of the family should be included in the celebration.
Read more articles on the subject: Bar Mitzvah Traditions Still Being Observed Today