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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday Nigh Sabbat Dinner at the Lower East Side Syngogue. Why 13 for Bar Mitzvah question I asked the Rabbi

   I went tonight to a dinner that I ended up being there for only 30 minutes as seemed like very few people but would've stayed anyway except the atmosphere really turned me off.

  Anyway, it started by the Rabbi saying hello and was nice enough.

  Someone then asked about if women ever say in front and men in the back and the Rabbi said when we had a Bat Mitzvah as he said this was the only Halachic way to do it and this was the first Bat Mitzvah in the shul.

  It got me to ask when when did Bar Mitzvah's start and why 13? Since someone Bat Mitzvah's as I feel Bar Mitzvah was an invention as well.


  As the torah only mentions the age of 20 a number of times. With serving in the Legion to protect their camp and with the sin of the spies only those over 20 were punished. So, where does 13 come from? The Rabbi answered that this was for the military but I asked also about the Sin of the spies and he said well maybe those under 20 didn't commit it.

Photo from.www.preservationnation.org  Pretty sure this was the shul I was at. 



  In most Western Countries 20 or 21 was the age you could vote originally

  Which I also mentioned and said well they likely got that from the bible. And he said it doesn't matter but I again asked why 13. I told him when I was 13 I still had a boys voice and not a man's voice.

  He responded by saying that this is the age where you could know right and wrong and in America if you committed a crime at 15 or so you wouldn't be considered fully liable and be considered a juvenile  but under Judaism you would be.

  So he was putting down America as well that he would think harsher punishment for anyone over 13 while America makes a distinction between those under 18 and at one point it was 21.



  If this Rabbi truly feels this way he should spread the word that Jews believe at 13 you are fully responsible for your actions.

  As the Bible doesn't say this so how is anyone going to know. Instead of putting down your country for doing something which how would they know to do it.

  It bothers me as I don't go to synagogue often and this is why. Why is the Rabbi putting down America for this crazy reason and being the torah when the bible itself does view age 20 as a defining age and not 13. And if he does feel that way he should so and not be secretive about it. The Rabbi gets tax exempt by the government and he puts down that government that exempts him and keeps things secret.

  Just not a good mentality and it is sad that this Rabbi was clearly playing on those that want to think they are superior to other Americans and that most Americas are bad and we will keep our ideas secret.

  I myself don't believe you are a full adult till 20 as the bible said and if I knew something others didn't I would not keep it a secret and then think I am better then others which is what this Rabbi is doing. Shame on him. I don't think America should be put down because they don't a 14 or 15 year old as a full adult.

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