Definition of B'nai mitzvah
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B'nai mitzvah Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
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Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah (plural: B'nai mitzvah for boys, B'not Mitzvah for girls) are Jewish coming of age rituals. Bar is a Jewish Babylonian Aramaic word literally meaning 'son' , while bat means 'daughter' in Hebrew, and mitzvah means 'commandment' or 'law'. Thus bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah literally translate to "son of commandment" and "daughter of commandment". However, in rabbinical usage, the word bar means 'under the category of' or 'subject to'. Bar mitzvah therefore translates to 'an [agent] who is subject to the law'. Although the term is commonly used to refer to the ritual itself, in fact the phrase originally refers to the person.
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