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Understanding Shabbat services/Bat Mitzvah

Rabbi Jonathan Blass24 Shevat 5764
320
Question
Shalom Rabbis: Thanks to your website I now no longer call myself a hopelessly lost Jew. I am 54 years old and trying to learn what I should have done many years ago; therefore, can someone please advise me on the best books and software (or anything else) for the following: 1. Understanding Temple services (Friday and Saturday). I seem to get quite lost at times. 2. Getting a Bat Mitzvah (I’m 54!) 3. Learning Hebrew ...I really want to go home...(i.e. make aliyah!) 4. Anything else I need to learn. My husband agrees too.
Answer
Regarding material that can assist you in understanding services in shul (you write about a "temple"; are you attending an Orthodox synagogue?), you should contact the Union of Orthodox Congregations at www.ou.org. When you reached the age of 12 you were bat-mitzva, with or without a ceremony of any kind. From that point on, any commandment- mitzva- that you have done has had the added value of being performed by someone who was acting on Divine authorization. If you want to make a party to celebrate your new recognition of the significance of your being commanded by G-d, there is nothing wrong with that. Don't participate in any Conservative or Reform ceremonies; these rituals express the belief that observance of Jewish law is optional, not binding. In:re to Aliya- speak to the shaliach Aliya of the Jewish agency in your area. I am happy that the web site has been helpful to you.
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