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Fathers Blessing for Bar Mitzvah boy

The most important role of the groom's father at the Bar Mitzvah ceremony

t is important to know that the father has a big part to play in his son’s Bar Mitzvah.

The father blesses a blessing that is part of a centuries old tradition, in which, in fact, he expresses his delight that his son is now entering the commandments burden, and is solely responsible for his own actions.

The wording of the blessing is: "good riddance of its punishment."

There are people who do not understand the meaning of the blessing, and think that it means, God forbid, that the father now gets rid of the son. Obviously it is not so. The riddance does not refer to the son, but rather to the son’s actions. Until he reaches the age of thirteen years and one day, all actions and their results were the full responsibility of the parents, for better or worse. From now on, this responsibility transfers to him.

According to Jewish tradition, one can understand the timing of this blessing even more.

Our wise men say that by the age of thirteen years, only evil dwells within a man. Therefore, a child tends to do things of a more nefarious nature. From the age of thirteen, good is also introduced into the person, and now, in fact, the scales are balanced. The good draws toward the commandments, and the evil inclination vice versa.

The good instinct could in fact be called as an opinion. At the age of thirteen years, the child already has an understanding of the ramifications of his actions, so he should bear the consequences.

photo bar mitzvah blessing
Bar mitzvah ceremony at the Kotel

Fathers Blessing for Bar Mitzvah boy

In fact, the day of the Bar Mitzvah is the transition from childhood to adulthood, from dependence to independence, and its good to bless for that.

Every parent is waiting for the moment when a child for whom they worked so hard for over the years, will be his own living person.

Our wise men also say that once the child reaches the age of mitzvot, a new soul enters him. So its a very special moment.

Jokingly one might say that surely the father should be happy that his son became a man, but he should remember that from now on allowance will rise higher and higher.

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Bar mitzvah in Israel

Apart from the importance of the blessing, it should be noted that often it causes excitement to the brink of tears. This also adds a special touch to the ceremony. This is a good combination of joy and excitement together.

Its important to mention that the blessing needs to be spoken on the exact day the groom turns thirteen years of age, certainly not before and preferably also not after.

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