Bar/Bat Mitzvah Glossary

Aleinu: Prayer of “Adoration.” Sung or read before the open Ark, it is one of the concluding prayers in each service.

Avodah: Literally “worship” or “work.” From Pirke Avot, one of the pillars upon which the world stands.

Aron HaKodesh: The Holy Ark, containing the Torah scrolls.

Bar Mitzvah/B’nai Mitzvah: Literally “Son (children) of God’s Commandments.” B’nai is the
plural for two males or one male & one female celebrating together.

Bat Mitzvah/B’not Mitzvah: Literally “Daughter(s) of God’s Commandments.” B’not is the plural for two females celebrating together.

Bima/Bema: Raised platform, the stage.

D’var Torah: Literally “a word of Torah,” refers to what is commonly called the Bar/Bat

Mitzvah speech: A D’var Torah is given by one who has studied and prepared a lesson on a selection from Torah or other texts. One of the rabbis will work with you to prepare your D’var Torah.

Haftarah: A reading from one of the prophetic books of the Bible, thematically connected to the Torah portion.

Kiddush: The blessing over the wine. Also, a light snack after the Saturday Shabbat service.

Kippah/Kippot/Yarmulke: Head covering.

Minhag: The way BHC does services, our “custom.”

Oneg Shabbat: Refreshments after Friday evening Shabbat service.

Pirke Avot: A book of Rabbinic teachings and sayings.

Siddu: The Jewish prayerbook.

Tallit/tallito: (Tallis/tallesim) A prayer shawl.

Torah: A hand-written parchment scroll containing the Five Books of Moses. The term is also used to connote the entirety of Jewish learning and text study.

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