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Bar Mitzvah - What you don't need to do

Looking for a good bar/bat mitzvah book?

Nowhere in the Torah does it say that the napkins at the bar mitzvah reception need to match the flowers. It

Jewish software

Trope Trainer - learn how to chant Torah

doesn't even say there has to be a "theme" for the party. Yet many bar mitzvahs become monuments to Logistics (not to mention pomp and circumstance, one-upmanship, and a few other bad things).

It really doesn't have to be like that. We think that one of the main reasons that parents go nuts over color schemes and other ultimately less-than-important details is that in many cases, this is all they know how to do. That is, many parents aren't able to work with their children to seriously study the Torah portion or reading from the Prophets or Writings (called the haftarah in Hebrew, commonly pronounced haftorah in Ashkenazi circles). So they throw themselves into the logistics of The Event, and more's the pity. Not only do they not share in the learning that their child is (hopefully) doing, but they drive themselves crazy over all those pesky details.

Here at the Jewish Book Mall, we want to be part of the solution, and yes, we can speak from experience. There are, thankfully, a number of very nice books to help you and your child keep or regain a focus on what a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is all about. The day should really be your child's first opportunity to participate in the congregation of adults as an adult, most visibly by being called to the Torah for an aliyah and chanting the haftarah, but also by teaching the congregation something about the week's reading. It's not a celebration of the child and whatever his hobby or her favorite color might be. It's about the kids taking their place in the adult community.

Now, having said that, and lest you think we're a bunch of party-poopers here at the book mall, it is also a cause for celebration. Relatives from all over will be coming together, and it is a simcha. So there are also good books to help you plan your simcha so that it is indeed joyous - and, we hope, meaningful. Mazal tov!

New! Bar/Bat Mitzvah Software

Here are computer programs and other goodies to help you (or your child) learn how to read and chant Torah, plus software to help you plan a bar mitzvah, courtesy of our affiliate

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Kol Kore Ashkenaz - Professional Torah Reading Trainer for Torah & Haftorah

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Kol Kore Sephard - Professional Torah Reading Trainer for Torah & Haftorah

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - All Five Books - A Professional Bar Mitzvah Training Tool

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Bereshit (Genesis) - A Professional Bar Mitzvah Training Tool

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Shemot (Exodus) - A Professional Bar Mitzvah Training Tool

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Vayikra (Leviticus) - A Professional Bar Mitzvah Training Tool

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Bamidbar (Numbers) - A Professional Bar Mitzvah Training Tool

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Bar Mitzvah Tutor - Devarim (Deuteronomy) - A Professional Bar Mitzvah Training Tool

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Mazal Tov Planner - Ideal tool for organizing your next Affair

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Jewish Time - Interactive Jewish Calendar

Books on Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah

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Putting God on the Guest List: How to Reclaim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Child's Bar or Bat Mitzvah

by Jeffrey K. Salkin

bar mitzvah

For Kids--Putting God on Your Guest List: How to Claim the Spiritual Meaning of Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah

by Jeffrey K. Salkin

bar mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah: A Jewish Boy's Coming of Age

by Eric A. Kimmel

bar mitzvah

The Complete Bar/Bat Mitzvah Book: Everything You Need to Plan a Meaningful Celebration

by Patti Moskovitz

bar mitzvah

The Complete Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planner: An Indispensable, Money-Saving Workbook for Organizing Every Aspect of the Event-From Temple Service to Reception

by Linda Seifer Sage

bar mitzvah

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Planbook

by Jane Lewit, Ellen Epstein

bar mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah

by David Mamet, Donald Sultan (Illustrator)

bar mitzvah

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Memory Book

by Jeffrey K. Salkin, Nina Salkin

bar mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah Lessons

by Martin Elsant

bar mitzvah

In the Thirteenth Year

by Sandra C. Satten

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Whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This, Anyway?: A Guide for Parents Through a Family Rite of Passage

by Judith Davis

bar mitzvah

Back of Beyond: A Bar Mitzvah Journey

by Dvora Waysman

bar mitzvah

How to Survive and Profit from Your Son's Bar Mitzvah: Or Other Significant Event Where You Are Expected to Pay the Bill

by Marvin Shapiro

bar mitzvah

The Bravo Bar/Bat Mitzvah Organizer

by Mary Lou Burton

bar mitzvah

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Basics: A Practical Family Guide to Coming of Age Together

by Helen Leneman

bar mitzvah

The mystery of the missing bar mitzva gift

by Eliezer Gevirtz

bar mitzvah

Bat Mitzvah: A Jewish Girl's Coming of Age

by Barbara Diamond Goldin

bar mitzvah

The Bat Mitzvah Club: Debbie's Story

by Shayna Meiseles, Esther Frimmerman

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Pink Slippers, Bat Mitzvah Blues

by Ferida Wolff

bar mitzvah

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Autograph Book

by Miriam Seiden Novack

bar mitzvah

Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values: Living Mitzvot in Today's World

by Barry L. Schwartz

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Haftarah chanting

by Pinchas Spiro

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Creative Bar/Bat Mitzvah teaching

by Stephen Rittner

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Bar & Bat Mitzvah in Israel: The Ultimate Family Sourcebook

by Judith Isaacson, Deborah Rosenbloom

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My Brother's Bar Mitzvah

by Janet Gallant, Susan Avishai (Illustrator)

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Good If It Goes

by Gary Provost

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Bar Mitzvah

by Howard Greenfeld

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King of the Seventh Grade

by Barbara Cohen

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Checklist for a Perfect Bar Mitzvah (And a Bat Mitzvah)

by Helene Jeiven

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Does Anyone Here Know the Way to Thirteen?

by Stephen Kaufman

Want more bar mitzvah books? Click here to search on Amazon.

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