Category: June 2022

What is Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

What is Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

By Eric Carlson in June 2022, newsletter-post on June 1, 2022

Bar mitzvah means son of the commandments in Hebrew and bat mitzvah means daughter of the commandments. A bar/bat mitzvah signifies the transition from childhood to adulthood in their walk and relationship with Adonai! There are three scriptures that are associated with this ceremony about teaching the children:

Proverbs 22:6. Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.

Ecclesiastes 3:1. A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

The heart of our relationship with Adonai is expressed in the above passage of Torah. To teach our children the affirmation of God’s uniqueness, the duty to teach obedience loyalty to Adonai through performance of Mitzvot’s (commands) coupled with the acceptance and salvation of Messiah Yeshua! The purpose of the commandments is to keep our lives focused on what’s truly important: family, community, and an intimate relationship with God.

The formal ceremony celebrating a child’s transition into young adult hood has evolved over time. In Luke 2 we read of a 12 year old Yeshua in the Temple Courtyard;

Luke 2:46-47. Temple court among the rabbis, not only listening to them but questioning what they said; 47 and everyone who heard him was astonished at his insight and his responses.

Today at 13, the child is considered fully responsible for their actions and behavior, accountable to God for their sins. Bar and Bat Mitzvah represents a passage into the teen years and early adult hood. Although generally a 13-year-old is not considered a full adult, the spiritual emphasis of the ceremony connected with Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the teenager’s willingness to pursue Torah, seek the will of God for their life, and accept and follow Yeshua, becoming a member of the believing community. Though typically perform at the age of 13, there is no age limit to do a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrates the following values in the child’s life:

  1. Educational achievement:  The Bar/Bat Mitzvah has mastered a significant understanding of the word of God and can share the fruits of their study publicly
  2. Inter-generational links to family members: The parents celebrate this day as well as a sign of the child’s willingness to follow in their paths of seeking God and God’s will in their life.  Relatives participate in the ceremony as a connection to the past and a guide in the future.
  3. Acceptance of Commitment: The Bar/Bat Mitzvah pledges to take a personal stand to live by responsible and moral standards as prescribed and outlined in the Word of God. To live in accordance with Biblical traditions, culture, and faith. To set a Godly example to others and share the saving news of Messiah Yeshua.
  4. To perform Tzedakah (charity). The Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate is required to do a Mitzvah-Mitzvah! They must research and find a charity to raise funds for and support a good, godly cause! This is how they learn Tzedakah!

The bar mitzvah boy or bat mitzvah girl is called up to the Torah (called an Aliyah in Hebrew, ascension, rise up) wearing their brand-new Tallit to recite the blessings and read from the Torah in Hebrew! These skills have taken a year of learning, studying, and practice to obtain. Keep in mind that services vary widely from congregation to congregation, depending on a synagogue’s leadership and its unique customs or traditions. After reading from the Torah, they share a drosh, a teaching, or word about what they just read and how it will applies to their life. Once the ceremony and drosh are complete, the boy or girl is now considered an adult in the eyes of Congregation! The ceremony ends with their proclamation of: “Today I become a man” or “Today I become a woman”! They are now a member of the Congregation.

After the service friends and family will be invited to attend a reception, a party that will have food, dancing, speeches, and entertainment to celebrate their milestone achievement. Common bar/bat mitzvah gifts include religious and educational books, jewelry, gift certificates, or money. Gifts involving money are traditionally given in multiples of eighteen because in Hebrew the word “Chai”, life corresponds to the number eighteen. Any money received is intended to be saved and used for college or to further the adult’s education.

In Messianic Judaism the Bar/Bat Mitzvah does not represent the culmination of one’s biblical education, but rather a stepping-stone to a more mature, deeper relationship with Adonai in Yeshua! It means taking responsibility for their actions and behaviors, using Torah as their guide, to have a biblical world view because that is the mandate of a child of God. Success in achieving these goals is what we wish for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and the beginning of that journey is what we honor in this joyous celebration.

Rabbi & Rebbitzen’s Greetings for June 2022

Rabbi & Rebbitzen’s Greetings for June 2022

By Eric Carlson in June 2022, newsletter-post on June 1, 2022

Shalom Mishpocha,

 

June has arrived, the weather is warming up, schools are letting out for the summer, vacations are being planned, and summer arrives on June 21st with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year! June is a transition month, leaving spring and entering the summer season! Adonai designed transitions for a kingdom purpose. Transitions aren’t just change but are a series of events designed to move you, us, your business, ministry, Kehillat, the greater Body of Messiah, even the nation in a divine new direction. Our lives in the Kingdom of Adonai are one of transition, the Kingdom is always moving. Adonai uses periods of transition to birth restoration, revivals, awakenings, to shift history, to establish His will and dominion on earth, to guide, direct, and launch us into our prophetic future and destiny!

We’ll be celebrating Shavuot in just a few days! The Feast’s serve as divine guideposts while we’re passing through here! They let you know you are on the right course, the true path towards our creator, not going in circles or getting lost in the journey. Leviticus, along with the rest of Torah keeps you from falling prey to deception, falsehood, apostasy, and separation from God’s presence! The Moedim, the Feasts mark heavenly transitions, supernatural paradigm shifts, phase shifts that herald a change of time and seasons! Keeping the feasts ensures a proper, heavenly, Kingdom alignment. Shavuot is the commemoration of the divine revelation of God’s oracles given at Mt. Sinai, the fulfillment of the Passover Experience. Passover’s true freedom isn’t experienced until Mt Sinai with the revelation of God and His divine word! Until Mt Sinai God only spoke to Moshe! Now all Israel would Shema, hear God’s voice! It was at Mt. Sinai that Israel (the mixed crowd) entered a free will covenant with God. Torah teaches us how to live as a free people. 1,700 years after the first Mt Sinai experience the Ruach HaKodesh is given in the upper room on the same Moedim. This First Shavuot at Mt Sinai betrothed Israel unto Adonai! The second Shavuot experience 2,000 years ago through Yeshua betrothed the Gentiles unto Adonai! We were given the Ruach HaKodesh so we could live, walk, and move in unity, in one accord, Echad as Jew and Gentile, “One New Humanity”! Let us prepare to celebrate Shavuot with anticipation and great expectation, may we experience a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit! May we experience revival this Shavuot!

June 19 is Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day). On this day in 1865, Union General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation aloud in Galveston, Texas, effectively liberating enslaved people in the state, which had thus far been beyond control of the Union Army. Juneteenth became nationally recognized as a Federal Holiday June 16th 2021! It’s a small step on a long journey of racial healing and reconciliation!

II Corinthians 5:18-19. And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation, 19 which is that God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

We will conquer and defeat racism, prejudice, and Anti-Semitism through focused intentionality, active dialogue, relationship, fellowship, and the Blood of Yeshua coupled with the Holy Spirit! We have a biblical mandate to do so, “entrusting to us the message of reconciliation”! Racism and prejudice are taught, not inherited! It won’t just go away! But that which was taught can be untaught, we are all made in the image of Adonai!

We pray that your summer be a joyous one with friends and family! We thank Adonai for the sun in the sky, the cool sea water, and the sand on the beach. We pray you find rest in the cooling shade of Adonai’s glorious presence this summer! Be safe and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Blessings and Shalom,

Rabbi and Rebbitzen Carlson