Bar Mitzvah: A History

Bar Mitzvah: A History

by Michael Hilton

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Overview

Bar Mitzvah: A History by Michael Hilton

The Jewish coming-of-age ceremony of bar mitzvah was first recorded in thirteenth-century France, where it took the form of a simple statement by the father that he was no longer responsible for his thirteen-year-old son. Today, bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls are more popular than at any time in history and are sometimes accompanied by lavish celebrations.

How did bar mitzvah develop over the centuries from an obscure legal ritual into a core component of Judaism? How did it capture the imagination of even non-Jewish youth? Bar Mitzvah, a History is a comprehensive account of the ceremonies and celebrations for both boys and girls. A cultural anthropology informed by rabbinic knowledge, it explores the origins and development of the most important coming-of-age milestone in Judaism. Rabbi Michael Hilton has sought out every reference to bar mitzvah in the Bible, the Talmud, and numerous other Jewish texts spanning several centuries, extracting a fascinating miscellany of information, stories, and commentary.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780827609471
Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society
Publication date: 06/01/2014
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael Hilton has been rabbi of Kol Chai Hatch End Jewish Community in London since 2001. He is the author of The Christian Effect on Jewish Life and coauthor of The Gospels and Rabbinic Judaism: A Study Guide.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

1 How Bar Mitzvah Began 1

2 How Bar Mitzvah Became Popular 35

3 The Spread and Regulation of Bar Mitzvah 54

4 Jewish Confirmation 74

5 Bat Mitzvah 106

6 Into the Modern Age 135

7 Current Issues and Trends 160

8 The Evidence Assessed 192

Notes 227

Glossary 261

Bibliography 267

Index 295

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