Age Rituals For Females : The Bat Mitzvah, The Quinceanera, And The Sunrise Ceremony

1422 WordsNov 30, 20166 Pages
Within the human lifespan, there are milestones setups that are in increments based on how many times we have revolved around the Sun. The ride around the Sun starts the day we are born, and each time we have made a full revolution we celebrate a birthday. Interestingly enough, cultures around the world have decided that after so many birthdays, a child has reached "the coming of age" and is celebrated through some type of ritual. I quote "the coming of age" because it is practiced differently from culture to culture. However, the underlying similarity is that it marks the time in which a child has reached a milestone in life that a society now views them as an adult. For this paper, I will investigate three coming of age rituals for females: the Bat Mitzvah, the Quinceanera, and the Sunrise Ceremony. To begin, the Bat Mitzvah is the coming of age ceremony for the girls in the Jewish community. The first coming of age ceremony for a female Jew is dated back to 1817 at a synagogue in Berlin. It was not until 1922 when the first Bat Mitzvah celebrated for Judith Kaplin was recognized. (Hilton, 2014 p. 106-107) A girl celebrates her Bat Mitzvah at the age of twelve and one days. The age for this coming of age celebration was determined by a story in the Midrash: "As Esau at the age of thirteen went off to worship idols, his father Isaac was relieved by responsibility for him (p. 1). According to our society, she is not even a teenager, yet the Jewish religion sees her as an

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