bat mitzvah

Alternative Spellings

bat mitzva, bas mitsvah

Definitions

  • in gender egalitarian communities, the ceremony of a 13- (or 12-) year-old girl's first calling up to the Torah, symbolizing her adulthood in Jewish life. can also refer to the girl herself. In Orthodox communities, refers to celebration of girl turning 12. "Celebration of a Jewish girl's coming of age; a girl who has reached that age." (Glinert)

Example Sentences

  • "The bat mitzvah girl will be reading the parshah this week."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Aramaic

Etymology

בת מצווה

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

also used as a past participle

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