Tehillim Seventy-Five: Bar Mitzvah

“And I shall recite forever; I shall sing [praises] to the God of Jacob (Psalms 75:10).” What drew me to this verse is the idea of eternal recitations. In my job, I spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the bar and bat mitzvah process. For those who aren’t as well-versed in it, twelve and thirteen year olds are generally responsible for learning and reciting prayers, and chanting Torah and haftorah portions during a Shabbat service. This rite of passage is an exciting one for teens and their families, as the teens transition into Jewish adulthood. However, for all its tradition and beauty, for some teens, the recitation isn’t meaningful, but rather is done by rote. Is forever a good thing? Or does it make things insignificant for the later inheritors?

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