bat mitzvah

Definitions

  • n. In gender egalitarian communities, the ceremony of a 13- (or 12-) year-old girl's first calling up to the Torah, symbolizing her adulthood in Jewish life. can also refer to the girl herself. In Orthodox communities, refers to celebration of girl turning 12. "Celebration of a Jewish girl's coming of age; a girl who has reached that age." (Glinert)

Example Sentences

  • "The bat mitzvah girl will be reading the parshah this week."

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Aramaic

Etymology

  • בת מצווה 'daughter of the commandment'

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

      Regions

      • North America

      Dictionaries

      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      bas mitsvah, bat mitzva, bat mitsva, bas mitsva, bas mitzve, bas mitsve, bas mitzveh, bas mitsveh, bat mitsvah

Notes

  • Also used as a past participle: "I was bat mitzvahed at that temple."

    See also bar mitzvah and b mitzvah.

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