B'nei Mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah

Inspiration

Scroll down to find resources for this lifecycle moment. 

Prayer

Traditional

 

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהו׳׳ה אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽנוּ וְקִיְּמָֽנוּ וְהִגִּיעָֽנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Baruch atah יהו׳׳ה Eloheinu melech ha’olam,
Shehecheyanu v’kiyemanu v’higi’anu lazman hazeh.

Blessed are You, יהו׳׳ה our God, Source of all being,
Who has given us life, sustained us and brought us to this moment.

Modern Prayer

 

May you know great joy, happiness and fulfillment in your life. May you walk with your people in pride, and may you understand that to be a Jew is a source of joy and meaning and an important responsibility. May you honor your parents, recognizing that they have brought you into the world in love and in hope, and may you bring them great joy. May you go from strength to strength, yet always be able to accept your own weaknesses and those of others. May you judge yourself and others with fairness and compassion, without harshness. May you have the confidence and self-esteem to more towards whatever goals you choose for yourself. May you have the wisdom and courage to change your mind if your original goals are replaced by newer and better ones. May you allow yourself to dream your dreams and soar with flight of fancy and imagination. May you always keep a precious part of yourself as “Child” even as you move into adulthood. May your ears be filled with music of every imaginable kind, and may the rhythms be or your own making. Allow yourself to march at your own pace. May you experience those inevitable moments of sadness and pain, which are also a part of life, in a way which will give these moments meaning and add value to your life. May you live in a world blessed with peace and harmony and may your future be as bright and as hopeful as the world’s first rainbow.

(Leila Gal Berner)

Modern Alternative

Our Wish

We wish for you to be a person of character
Strong, but not tough
Gentle, but not weak.
We wish for you to be righteous, but not self-righteous
Honest, but not unforgiving.
Wherever you journey,
May your steps be firm and may you walk in just paths and not be afraid. Whenever you speak,
May your words be words of wisdom and friendship.
May your hands build and your heart preserve what is good and beautiful in the world.
May the voices of the generations of our people move through you
And may the God of our ancestors be your God as well.
May you know that there is a people, a rich heritage, to which you belong. And from that sacred place, you are connected to all who dwell on earth.
May the stories of our people be upon your heart,
And may the grace of the Torah rhythm dance in your soul.

Anonymous

Texts

Parents’ prayer

May you live to see a world that you create.
May your future shine in ways we can scarcely imagine.
May your hope span the generations.

May your heart learn understanding.
May you speak words of wisdom and sing songs of joy.
May your vision be clear before you.

May your eyes shine with the light of wise teachings,
May your face glow with the light of heaven,
May you run to discover the radiance of the Holy Blessed One.

(adapted from Talmud, Berakhot 17a)

Poem

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Other Resources