Celebrating My Son’s Bar Mitzvah || Mayim Bialik

Celebrating My Son’s Bar Mitzvah || Mayim Bialik

– My son just had a bar mitzvah,
I know it’s so exciting, Woo, mazel tov. I bet there are many of you who know what a bar mitzvah is, but probably a lot of you who don’t. Let’s break it down. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel, click the little bell icon
so you get notifications about all of my videos,
and make sure you go to Grok Nation for the
super-detailed explanation of what my bar mitzvah outfit looked like. That’s what’s really important. Anyway, number one. What does bar mitzvah even mean? Well, bar mitzvah literally means son of the commandments. Bat mitzvah means daughter
of the commandments. Pretty catchy, right? Historically speaking,
when a boy turned 13, he was able to be counted in a minion, or a prayer quorum of 10 people. He would recite a blessing over the person reading from the Torah on the Sabbath closest to his birthday and boom! He was an adult, done. Instant man, instant Jewish man. Number two. What’s a bar mitzvah like now? Well, now, bar mitzvah boys and girls don’t just make a
blessing over someone else reading from the Torah, they often read the Torah themselves on
their bar mitzvah day. They may often lead the
congregation in prayer and, if you’re part of the conservative or reformed denominations of Judaism, you may even take a more active part in planning the entire day. Girls in traditional
communities actually become bat mitzvah at age 12,
because girls mature faster, you know how that is. So do the Jews. In communities where women typically don’t read from the Torah,
they sometimes will do a charity project or a research project about their Torah portion, or, in progressive communities,
they have Torah services where only women are allowed and girls can read from
the Torah for other women. Number three. I know you wanna know,
what about the partay? I know what you’ve
heard, you’ve heard about Mariah Carey at people’s bar mitzvah’s and the Rockettes and DJs
spinning hip tunes all night. You’ve heard about fountains of chocolate and limousines and parties costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes, that does happen. But not in my house! While many people do devote
a lot of time and money to the party, in our family, we devoted a lot of time to the learning, the Torah study, the speech writing, you know, the boring stuff. Basically, I solidified my raising a child who, like me, hates fun. I’m kidding, but not really. In all seriousness, we had a lovely lunch at synagogue, right after services, and a handful of kids came
over to my ex-husband’s house for pizza and dancing at night. We got balloons, we borrowed
a friends disco ball, done. Number four, what about the money? (whispers) The money. (normal voice) I know some
people think that all Jews think about is money. It is not true. Although, it is true that
traditional bar mitzvah gifts tend to be monetary, and
in denominations of 18, because, in Hebrew, the word for life, actually corresponds to the
numerical equivalent of 18. We encouraged our son to donate 10% of his bar mitzvah earnings to charity, which he gladly agreed
to, and the rest of it he wants to invest and
not touch until he’s 18. Number five, the feelings. This rite of passage is huge. It is very significant. My first-born is 13,
but he still seems like so much of a little boy, in the best ways. There are hints of
maturity coming through. He carries himself a
little bit differently, he’s got, like, little
bit of a swagger now, his neck seems really
long, he cares more about his appearance, he kind
of speaks more formally. He’s been studying for the
better part of this past year. He has learned the melodies and the words and the philosophy of our people. It was so powerful to see
him up there in a suit and he was so adorable, he was! This is my boy, this is my
baby, and he’s growing up. He’s grown up. Becoming a bar mitzvah
was a process he took on, which involved a tremendous
amount of responsibility and him learning how to manage his time and his energy and his sense of commitment to the Jewish people. He also got to complain about
all the things he didn’t like and he got fatigued about
having to practice so much and if nothing else, he perfected the art of eye-rolling this year. Mom, bah! I would love this child no matter what, but I have to say, this
bar mitzvah process helped me love him in more ways than I even knew that I could and I am so grateful for that. I learned about his
deep thoughts about God and Jewish law and the
religious process in general. We sat as equals with
our trusty teacher, Shep, and I got to see his eyes light up and his brain near explode
when he comprehended a really, really deep, deep
piece of Torah learning. And I saw him hold up
the trust of our people when he came up with his own
answers to eternal questions, the way a true scholar should. I know my boy so much
better from this process. I can see the foundation of the man that he’s starting to become, and I feel so high from
this entire process. It sounds so cheesy,
but it was so amazing, what it did for him, and for me and for our family and for
his place in our community and it was unbelievable. Mostly, I can’t wait to
see what he does next. Thanks for letting me share my experience about my son’s bar mitzvah with you. What are your thoughts about bar mitzvah, what are some things that
are still unclear to you? Leave them in the comments below. In addition, if there’s
other things about my religious tradition that you
wanna hear me talk about, let me know. Thanks for watching, go to groknation.com for more about the bar mitzvah. See you next time.

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100 thoughts on “Celebrating My Son’s Bar Mitzvah || Mayim Bialik”

  • I absolutely loved seeing the pure, unadulterated joy and love on your face and hearing it in your voice as you spoke of your boy's rite of passage. Congratulations Mayim. Thank you for explaining the process. I'm not Jewish but find your religion (and your love for it) to be beautiful, as I love the antiquity and traditions to be soothing and very spiritual. I was raised Southern Baptist but rejected my family's religion at a very early age. That's all I'm going to say about THAT. LOL

  • For 17 years from mid-1970s-early 90s, I was Washington, DC area's foremost (and only) Gentile Bar Mitzvah photographer, a totally accidental hobby profession. At one time the rabbi in my town, who became a good friend, and I were comparing notes on who had done more B'nai Mitzvot. I was ahead something like 400-350 (but I worked at most shuls in our area, and he did only his own congregation. It was a chance to learn more about the rich Jewish traditions and not coincidentally my own mainstream Protestant faith. At the time my real job was as a government Arabic translator and I had a Masters in Middle East Studies which naturally included Islam. This rabbi invited me to give lectures to his confirmation class on comparative religion not only on my religion but on elements of Islam as well. I gave up photography when my financial goals for the hobby were met. I had financed my two kids' college educations with the proceeds from this hobby-profession.

  • I'm a Muslim, actually I didn't know about you being a Jew, but I found this video very informative, normally we get to know very little about your people, which I try to overcome, I still like you & I'm happy for your son, I'd say it in Arabic: مبروك = congrats 😀

  • Blessings for all Jews ! Thank you for sharing! We want to learn more about The Tora , and all the traditions!

  • I hope you had fun. I agree religious celebrations are about family and faith rather than impressing guests and wasting money in frivolities. You seem to be such a good mother :3.

  • I have learned so much more about. Being Jewish from your posts….I am personally not a Jew. But learning is always good!

  • Good job raising Jewish kids who are about the teachings of the soul rather than a huge wye-popping parties that really would mean nothing in the big scheme of things… Mazal Tov!

  • My question is , what is the difference between conservative and Hasidic bar mitzvahs. Your an amazing mother .

  • I really enjoy your video..I am a Christian and have a great respect for Jewish people.. Thank you for Sharing your Jewish custom when your son turned 13.. How exciting.. to see your son have his bar mitzvah.

  • “Traveling to Israel can be complicated – why stress out over reservations and planning, when Shin-Tours can take the worry off your plate? Discover the Holy land for yourself, for an experience you’ll never forget!” Visit now Shin-tours.com

  • I remember my Bat Mitzvah like it was yesterday. I got my speech wrong and cried but everyone was so proud of me. I had a Charity box so instead of people giving me money they put it in the box and I gave it to two different charities

  • So they don't get their cocks chopped off at this ritual, when do they get physically mutilated then🍴

  • I am not Jewish but have been to a number of friend's son's Bar Mitzvahs. I always have found the service to be very emotional and touching. The boys around here complete a project in addition to their Torah lessons. Quite amazing. Mayim, your observations about your son are so adorable. I have a 19 year-old and his transformation into a young man often leaves me breathless with emotion.

  • Love your channel, not at all into judesim, not even interested after seeing things very uneasy to friends of mine , in that religion, but watching you , everyone knows what a great mom you are!!

  • As a Christian, I have always been curious about the rituals and traditions of the Jewish people. Thank you for explaining this particular event in a way that’s easy to understand and rather entertaining. 🙂

  • I'm not Jewish but was in a serious relationship with a Jewish man back when in my early 20s. I remember a big thing I said was (we said if married we would be Lutheran and jewish….so our kids really hated us I guess lol) but said barmizas and conformation (same age is. 8th grade where you get to take communion) would be about our child and God not about a huge party etc. I think kids need to learn religion and put religion with a party for them to out party others. Go you momma.

  • Mazel tov Mayim! A bar mitzvah is a lot about the mother too and the mark of great parenting and putting together an amazing day!

  • I was taught that way back when boys had to memorize the entire torah! On process in trying to achive becoming a Rabbi.
    I'm sure hes grateful that's no longer the case 😆

  • maybe hanukkah 101 for blended families? i mean obviously not in the middle of july, but maybe this december.. we've been getting acquainted with estranged jewish in-laws (long story), so a quick run-down of things to do, and maybe more importantly what not to do (foods to serve, gifts to give, cards to send, etc) might be helpful for a lot of ppl during the holidays.

  • Es extraño que una persona de ciencia como es Mayim dé tanto crédito a cuestiones religiosas, siendo realmente la base de toda esa ceremonia. La parte racional se somete a la parte espiritual, y acaba por sucumbir. Forma parte de su libertad, pero igualmente me parece contradictorio con sus estudios y profesión.

  • You live in USA right…!
    Can u please talk to your people whom hold guns and hurts our kids to leave Palestine, please!
    We need to live in Pease we need no war !

  • Thank you for sharing this. We're members of a Christian church and like your son, my teenage son recently had the opportunity to progress on his spiritual journey with extra responsibility. I could say what you said about your son about mine. I love him enormously, but this process has made me love him in more ways than I thought and I'm so proud of him.

  • Thank you for sharing this. We're members of a Christian church and like your son, my teenage son recently had the opportunity to progress on his spiritual journey with extra responsibility. I could say what you said about your son about mine. I love him enormously, but this process has made me love him in more ways than I thought and I'm so proud of him.

  • Congratulations on your son's Bar Mitzvah. I Bar Mitvahed my boys many years ago and what I remember most was thinking that they were sure still children I got to take home with me. I also remember how happy they were to be done with lessons. My boys didn't seem to acquire any profound wisdom from their year of learning so if your son did you are fortunate.

  • Torah doesn't allowed girls to read at the Torah so only boys can read girls do a party instead and candlelight but the reformers are just making a new religion out of Judaism and it's disgusting what they're doing to Judaism

  • Salaam,

    I enjoyed Blossom growing up. I enjoy your videos. I noticed you mention Israel. As Muslim I have no issues with the Jewish faith; however I have endured the Israeli air invasion in 2006 in Lebanon. It was a massacre. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD from this experience. I would like to visit Israel as it is a blessed land as is Jordan, Iran, Iraq as the prophets walked on these lands; but I have seen videos of Christians being bullied and physically attacked while on the streets of Israel.


  • I wish I could understand Jewish faith because I am currently going through a spiritual crisis. Ever since I turned 30, all I ever think about is my own mortality and the concept that I will eventually die, which makes going through everyday tasks pointless.

  • Thank you so much for this video. Love learning about other cultures and Mayim, you are my favorite to listen to. ❤️

  • We are given 613 basic commandments to do. Until 12 or 13 is the age of training and we gradually are taught to do the commandments. At 12 or 13 we become responsible for doing them.

  • I adore you and I enjoy watching your eyes glow when you talk about your true passions . And when u talk about your son's, your eyes glow.

  • One of my fav movies is Loving Leah ! If you’ve seen that movie ( a Jewish marriage ceremony) hie accurate was it. I tried to look up information to see if it was. Thank you

  • In Puerto Rico there is only a very small community of Jews so we don't know much about the culture. Thanks for sharing and educating us!

  • Thanks for sharing this . it s kind of like the big step of confirmation in lutheran and other churches . we even had a questioning session in front of congregation. It was a special time .

  • I really appreciate you taking the time to explain what a Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah is and the differences . Until I saw this , all I really knew about the ceremony was what I saw on the movie Yentl . Great movie , and BTW would love to see you and Babs in a mom& daughter comedy !

  • Cool explanation! As a Christian I got to go to my friend's bat mitzvah and I can't say I fully understood it. But the party…insane . They rented a whole ice cream truck inside the country club

  • Wish more parents( and people) spent more time to have actual conversations with their children (and other people). It would help avoid a lot of misunderstandings and feelings of antagonism, not that you can fully understand other people, but at least come to understand the place where they are coming from. Interesting share.

  • Mayim–Interesting video story about bar and bat mitzvahs, with emphasis on the former.  I feel that the process helps young Jewish kids become more grounded and responsible for their lives and what happens around them.  I'm not a religious person (though I was baptized Catholic owing to pressure by my dad's family); the baptism was the beginning and end of my involvement, as our dad was not religious, either.  I can't speak with authority, but I don't think there's any comparable process within the other major religions here in the States.  I imagine it gives the kids' purpose and helps define themselves within society, which is something more children could use.  At present, it seems hit or miss among the rest of us if a child becomes a "good" or "bad" person later in life.  It largely rests with parental guidance and the attention a child receives in their formative years.  That can vary wildly, depending on parental involvement, economic station in life, educational levels attained and the   opportunities a child can access to improve themselves.  The bar/bat mitzvah allows them to explore the teachings in the Torah, then apply them to his or her life in ways that help them become a better person.

  • My husband is Jewish but he never had a Bar Mitzvah because his family was not religious. We have attended Bat Mitzvahs for the daughters of some of our friends – they all were Reform – in their services the girls too learn and read from the Torah. My husband was invited to read at one of the b'nai mitzvah services and was so emotional and grateful for this. I was at the services although I am not Jewish, and being there made me understand how important and different was this rite of passage. I was raised Roman Catholic and the Holy Communion rites – I was 9 when I had Communion and it was late by the standards – do not have the meaning of coming of age and the awareness of what becoming an adult and a part of the community is. I am not religious now and don't mind, but I always felt sad for my husband that obviously would have wanted to have a bar mitzvah, but ended up shrugging it out. I think that not having one was part of his not being at all religious and not particularly identifying as belonging to the Jewish community if not in the "tradition" sense.

  • Just Saw this.. This is my FIRST time seeing this.. #AWESOME!
    I truly did not Know what a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is/was, and I have learned a lot, thanks for sharing Your Son's Bar Mitzvah , I can only imagine the joy as well as the happiness that you were experiencing at that time..I know that although this was a a year ago, I still want to say.. #MAZELTOV!

  • Stop forcing your children to be vegeterian!!! You're cruel and discraminitory if you don't give them a choice. MY GOD!! I wish i could introduce them to steak, it will be like a whole new world that you've been hiding it from them!!! Stop your meat hatred!!!

  • I think that it's brilliant to have a big party when you come of age. Well done to everyone of the Jewish faith for such a wonderful thing.

  • Just when I thought I couldn’t respect you more than I already do, you go and boost my respect up for you even further. ❤️

  • I love the Jewish people. Have you read the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and Tramp for the Lord. These books built my faith.