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.